At what age should you start feeding calves hay?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by jlgoinggreen, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. jlgoinggreen

    jlgoinggreen Well-Known Member

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    At what age should we start feeding the calves hay?
     
  2. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    You should put hay out for them as soon as possible... whether they eat it or not is a moot point. If it's there, when they are ready for it, they have it.
     

  3. Gregg Alexander

    Gregg Alexander Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On bottle calves I offer it to them on day 3 as well as a handful of grain
     
  4. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    What they said.
     
  5. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    You can introduce hay from day one, although I usually wait till they are at least 4-7 days old. At that age it does not need to be good quality nutritious feed, just clean straw to get their rumen working. The good quality hay should be introduced in time for them to be eating hay well by the time they are weaned off milk.
     
  6. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    Rumen developement is influenced more by the ingredients in grain. Feeding straw to scratch the rumen to get it working is an old wives tale. http://www.calfnotes.com/pdffiles/CN019.pdf

    calves should have access to a good quality grain starter, good quality hay and fresh water within the first week.
     
  7. TSYORK

    TSYORK Jhn Boy ina D Trump world

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    I had a black angus calf that started eating hay at 4 days old.
     
  8. commonsense

    commonsense Well-Known Member

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    Our calves start tasting hay within the first couple days. We keep them on the cow for a few months, so they like to try whatever mom is eating. I separate the cow/calf overnight and usually give the calf a bit of hay in case she wants to eat some overnight.
     
  9. Bountiful Ranch

    Bountiful Ranch Well-Known Member

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    Watch a week old calf next to mama. They start chewing on it but watching mom.