Calves

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Rob30, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just bought a couple hiefer calves, about 600lbs. How many round bales would it take to get through until April? Also how many small square bales would I feed per day? They will be outdide most of the time eating the round bales, inside only when it is very cold, to keep the barn warmer, eating square bales.
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the hay. Cattle can digest as much as 3.5% of their body weight a day in hay, or as little as 2%. The higher the quality of hay, the better it is digested. If they have access to it, they will eat more of the lower quality stuff, but it can't be digested.

    Adding a protein supplement can increase the digestibility of poor hay, plus add enough to the total ration to keep them in good shape.

    Jena
     

  3. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Rob,

    We are 4 ton per head per winter....if that helps any. 25# a day is a good average for feeding hay. If it gets terribly cold, be sure you are feeding grass hay and not straight alfalfa.

    I wouldnt bring them inside, if what you have is a 'true' barn. If it is just an open shelter that is ok, otherwise you might start dealing with respitory issues.
     
  4. allen8106

    allen8106 Well-Known Member

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    Just as a point of reference for you I feed four angus cross calves 1 bale every two weeks and they were 12-14 months old.
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    To break it down for what we feed. Recently we bought some holsteins, they are almost a year, weight im not sure of (haven't taped them). I am feeding them 20-25lbs a day. Some eat more than others, but they get about that much. Their weight is maintained. We have other animals about the same age, and they get the same. Our bigger animals, the adults average 50-60lbs a day. They get 6 50lb bales and about 400lbs of haylage. It might be more than 400, tough call. Either way they get a good amount. Since ive dropped one bunk vs the 3 total, its less per day (hay sticks better). So 4 600lb animals, 20-25lbs. Now if you did get some haylage into the mix, you might notice they take in more of that vs the hay. Hay being 90%+ dry matter, it sticks to their ribs more. SO if you get a 700lb roundbale (im not familiar with them). Divide 700 into 80. That might get you the days it takes to eat down the bale. That would be about 9 days or so. Remember this might vary, but figure lbs a day. Roundbales are easy to feed, but it might be best to get square bales, you can regulate things better and there isn't as much waste. Easy thing about squares, two bales a day would feed those 4. That is what im feeding to 4 holsteins, and actually 8 herefords. I am thinking because the herefords coat is so thick, they aren't burning as much. The holstiens are eating more because of two reasons, metabolism, and they dont have a thick coat.


    As far as bringing them inside? IMO, they dont need to if its not cold out. If its nasty, give them the option, but dont make the place air tight. Our barn isn't air tight, they have fresh air, etc. But go outside for the day, and have the option if its not super cold (under 10). Our adult herefords stay out no matter what, and they are healthy. The younger ones stay out till its down to 5 or 10. But anything below that, we give them the option. Spoil them a little, but dont over do it. A barn that has sufficent ventilation will suit your animals well, but a barn air tight, make some holes!


    Jeff
     
  6. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for all the info.
    I put the calves in at night to keep the barn warmer for the pregnant goats, chickens, ducks, etc. The calves are also put in because we live on the edge of a large provincial park, made famous in Ontario for its wolves. I have found the round bales last about 2 weeks for 2 calves and 6 goats. Have not had to feed any squares yet.
    I will be getting more goats and maybe some bottle calves, so hay consumption will go up soon.
    Rob