Crabgrass Hay

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ozark_jewels, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a hay/goat guy tell me that goats/cows would milk very well on crabgrass hay. I have never fed or even seen crabgrass hay so does anyone else have any knowledge about it?? He was selling it, so I would like some impartial info... ;) Thanks!
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I have no idea what its benefits if there are any would be. But if someone is selling it, I can't imagine he would put it down. I know of brome grass, and do know of crab grass. But never heard of "crab grass hay".



    Jeff
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I love Brome, but unfortunately have run out of it. According to this crabgrass can be a great forage and hay grass and is planted as such. http://tinyurl.com/avs4k
    I always thought it was a weed. Wonder if what we call crabgrass is *really* crabgrass?? Or if it is, maybe its not one of the good varieties.<shrug> Because the stuff I know of doesn't get tall at all. I would certainly buy just a couple bales to try before getting a whole load.....The big question is WILL MY SPOILED GOATS EAT IT?? :rolleyes:
     
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  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you sure he didn't mean canary grass?
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, crabgrass it is.
     
  6. ranlan

    ranlan Active Member

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    Crab Grass is being improved much as many other grasses are. Crab grass is a good warm weather forage grass, the only problem with crab grass hay is that it can be hard to cure. If the hay looks green and free of mold, I would not be afraid to try it.

    Randy
    SW MO
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Do a search on Red River crabgrass. Here in the sometimes dry and hot south it appears that the improved crabgrass would have a place in summer grazing. I have considered trying to work this grass into my rotational grazing forages. The price of the seed is a little discomforting however. $9.50 per lb.
     
  8. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that crabgrass was a weed to but my Dexters love the stuff. It does seem invasive though, it spreads all over the place. The seed is very tiny, and it makes a lot of seed. You can probably bet that if you use the hay then you are going to get it growing on your land if you don't have it already. Our crabgrass in NY grows pretty high if you leave it alone, it's also grows then seeds then doesn't seem to grow again. Ok that's all I know about crabgrass, LOL.

    Carol
     
  9. HDRider

    HDRider Well-Known Member

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    I would like to hear someone talk about their experience with Red River Crabgrass. Is it easy to grow, do cattle like it, does it hay well? Does it reseed itself well?

    What about wild growth crab grass? Same questions????
     
  10. SCRancher

    SCRancher Well-Known Member

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    I have crab grass growing (volunteer) - cows eat it fine. I think it's "weed" status is mostly for pure stands, crops, and lawns - I don't think grazing animals care that people don't like it. For me - since the majority of my pasture is cool season grasses I welcome any volunteer warm season forage that my pastures produce which include - Common Bermuda, crab grass, Johnson grass, and broom.

    Do I want any/all of these to eliminate my fesuce? No.
     
  11. bigbluegrass

    bigbluegrass Well-Known Member

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    I fed my cows mixed grass hay last winter. They ate the hay with crab grass in it better than they ate any other hay. I think crab grass makes excellent cattle feed. I have no idea what variety of crab grass was in the hay.

    I have crab grass in some pastures as well and the cows eat it and it grow back well.
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Initially I did not get a strong stand of Red River crab grass as I would have liked. The planting conditions were not the best. However, over time I am getting more and more of this hot weather grass. It is necessary during its establishment to let the seed heads mature. I have some bottom land that for cold season grazing has fescue and rye grass and for hot summer needs is being established in Red River crab grass. No hay is made here but the cattle really seem to like grazing the RR crab grass. I will move the cattle to this area and using rotational grazing start feeding it within a week. I expect to graze each area twice before frost provided we get some rain.

    Here is some collected data regarding crab grass

    A hay harvest of crabgrass during the first growth
    can have 15-20% crude protein and 65-75% digestibility.
    A desired haying height is 1.5-2 feet tall. When
    haying, leave at least one green leaf on most stems for
    quicker regrowth. Strips can be left unmowed for
    reseeding (Dalrymple, 1996).

    Under moist, fertile conditions, Red River crabgrass
    can yield 125 pounds per day per acre. A 21-year average
    at the Noble Foundation is 3,075 pounds of dry
    weight crabgrass per acre double cropped with 4,285
    pounds per acre of winter pasture. Together these double
    crop forages totaled 7,361 pounds per acre.
    Crabgrass trials have demonstrated Red River
    increased yields 25-50% more than good native types.
    First year production of broadcasted seeded crabgrass
    averaged 2,260 pounds of dry forage producing 226
    pounds of beef from 50 pounds of nitrogen fertilization
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  13. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I planted Red River crabgrass this year. It's supposed to be more palatable than the wild stuff. My cattle would eat around the wild stuff until it died in the fall, then eat it. They seem to be eating the Red River right along.

    I was given two big round bales of Big-N-Quick ? crabgrass to try early this year. The cattle tore into it! It didn't last long.

    Our agricultural research station is very high on it. They push it at every seminar and conference for graziers.
     
  14. Vickie44

    Vickie44 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How do they mow something that close to the ground?
     
  15. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's a good question. I asked the same thing. The answer is that the Red River and Big-N-Quick varieties grow much taller. Red River is supposed to get knee-high, but my cattle won't let it. They keep it grazed down.
     
  16. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    Crab grass makes good hay. Better then a lot of other hay.
     
  17. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can Red River and/or Big-N-Quick be overseeded on existing pastures. If so, is frost seeding a viable option? It sounds interesting but not if I would have to kill off my present pasture grass and prepare a seedbed or drill it.
     
  18. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  19. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I have a mixed predominately fescue with clover pasture. Thanks for the link, I will check into crabgrass as a possibility for warm weather grazing.