Does anyone feed corn stalks

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Lance Morgan, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Lance Morgan

    Lance Morgan Member

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    I was just driving through nortwest Tennessee and saw several farmers bailing large bales of corn stalks. Does any one feed these, and what do you think about doing this?
     
  2. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Lance, I'm just a micro farm and I feed green stalks to my goats and steers as often as possible. I even ask gardeners if I can cut and keep their picked stalks. It fills the animals bellies and they never complain about the taste.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    In field I saw it being done near Paris, TN they had harvested the ears first. All which was left was the stalks and leaves. I suspect they are going to have the bales ground up and then items added to it, such as cracked corn, soybean meal, molasses, salt and minerals, as a bulk dry feed.

    As an aside, due to drought, corn is being harvested about a month earlier than normal.
     
  4. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    We would round bale or use a Hesston stacker to get up the stalks. Put them down as bedding in the heifer sheds. Gave em something to chew through and bedding.
     
  5. BrokeFarmer

    BrokeFarmer Active Member

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    Cows like cornstalks, I throw the ones from my garden over the fence :) I have seen alot of the old timers do this, when I was growing up.
     
  6. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    Round here they feed corn silage!!! We seen a few corn fields with nothing being done to them. So started asking. Late fall or winter once the plants are done and dried up (with ears still attachted) they make them into silage for cows. They also graze a lot of cattle in the stubble fields once the corn is gone and only a foot or 2 of the stalks still standing. I also know of a farmer that grows peas just to make pea hay for his cows. So maybe they do just feed the corn that way!!

    Sorry no answer!!
     
  7. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

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    A couple of years ago, due to drought a lot of corn stalks were baled in this area. They made adaquate feed, especially ground and mixed with other hay. Some used a protein supplemment with the corn stalk bales. Worked ok, and gave a little value to the failed corn crop.
     
  8. Sunraven

    Sunraven Well-Known Member

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    They're chopping dry corn for silage? Can't think what the ideal moisture percentage is at the moment but you don't want it dried out. Well, at least we don't.
    If a foot or two of stalks are still standing after they've been through the field they probably didn't chop (for silage), they combined (shelled corn). When you chop you want as much plant as you can get because you're feeding the whole plant, rather than combining where the dried plant is run through the machine and the corn is separated from the stalk and the remains of the stalk blown out the back.

    To the original subject of this post: We generally bale about two hundred rounds of stalks to use as bedding for the barns and for the steers on full feed to have something to chew on. They're good for either. They can be kind of a nuisance if they get rained on then they freeze in the winter and you can't get them broken apart! They're also hard to net wrap because the wrap tears on the rough stalks. Straw makes better bedding because it's fluffier and absorbs moisture better but the stalks are a lot cheaper and plentiful.
     
  9. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It can be decent forage. You would need to supplement. Most folks around here who feed stalks also feed liquid or block protein supplements.
     
  10. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I visited Croatia in 2001 and was taken to see a 5K head capacity cattle feedlot. Predominately intact bulls. Their feed was dry corn silage (chopped after the complete plant had turned brown), spent brewer's malt and a bit of salt. Corn silage was stored uncovered in large outdoor pits.
     
  11. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do any of you have corn smut (fungus)?

    It got into my garden years ago, and at first I was feeding corn stalks to the cows, but later learned the fungus is still alive coming out into their manure. So for years I've cut out any smutty corn before the fungus ball sporulates and thrown it in a pile well away from the garden. Gradually I've nearly eliminated it.

    My dad was getting manure from a local dairy and didn't realize it would bring smut into his garden. A few months ago I saw that dairy's field corn and saw alot of smut.
     
  12. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Corn smut is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Never heard of anyone having trouble feeding it.
     
  13. gleanerl

    gleanerl USMC can't fix stupid(s)

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    when we farmed for a living and had cattle, the silage/ensilage was chopped right before (and for sure right after) the first freeze.
    timing was everything.
    losing the moisture was a BAD thing!!
    it was then 'packed' (tractor with duals/dozer) and left til it was time to winter/feed the cattle.
    it would ferment and stink to high heaven, but it was good feed.
    we also hot-fenced all the corn fields after chopping or combining and put the cows in before the winter feeding.
    hope this link explains it.. http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/ansci/g02061.htm
    this one has pictures... scroll down to the 'bunk silo'....
    that's how they do it around here for the most part..
    although you pack it out in the open if you know what you're doing...
    many have horror stories of getting to close to the edge while packing...
    :rotfl:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?img...=corn+silage&ndsp=20&svnum=10&um=1&hl=en&sa=N
     
  14. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I haven't either. Cows will eat it fine. My point is that most Americans don't like it in their gardens, as they don't consider it a delicacy. You will get smut if you get manure from someone who feeds smutty corn. And if you get smut in your garden, you will continue to have it if you feed the smut to your cows and use the manure.
     
  15. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, it seems to be everywhere. I think, like most fungal spores, the stuff is everywhere and where the conditions permit, it grows.