How many square bales for cattle?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by stevenagee, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. stevenagee

    stevenagee New Member

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    I would like to know how many square bales per day does one head need. I would like to reduce the waste.

    Thank you.


    Shrug
     
  2. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was just wondering about this. Thanks for asking.

    Anyone?
     

  3. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    depending on stage in lactation ,weather,age,ect.

    3% of body wt. will get you close
     
  4. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the animal, weather, and quality of hay. My cow (1025 lbs, milking and nursing 2 calves) is eating about 2 bales in a 24 hour period. Its wet and cold and windy out, so this is pretty normal. On average a quality bale of hay should be enough per day.
     
  5. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, and I'm also feeding pelleted feed daily. How much do you suggest per head? And does that cut down on the amount of hay?
     
  6. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's not really correct to say how many bales a cow eats in a day, since bale size is variable. My neighbor puts in 45# bales and I put in small squares that cure down to 65-70#s in the mow. Big difference.

    Dry matter fed is about3% of body weight per day. For dry hay and a 1000 pound cow, that's 30# of DM per day. But even dry hay and concentrates run about 10% moisture. So you'll actually be feeding this cow a few pounds more. Waste should run no higher than 3%. So you could feed upwards of 34-36# of hay. If it's really good hay, and they like it, they'll eat more.

    If you were feeding silage, with a much higher moisture level, they'd be eating a whole lot more in pounds a day of forage.

    If you are feeding concentrates (grain) you can take that away from the pounds of hay fed. In my herd, I generally figure 25# of hay per head for the milking herd and then they get their grain on top of that. Some of the high producers get a lot of grain, too. But don't cut hay down less than 20# because cows need fiber to make their digestion go correctly. A good rule to follow is always have a little hay in front of them. If they clean things up too well you are probably leaving them hungry, so feed so there is just a little left in front of them all the time so they never run out.


    Jennifer
     
  7. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So how much grain do you give them?
     
  8. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Grain quantity also depends on how much the animal is producing. There is a formula that can be used. More or less it is a DMI (dry matter intake) formula, it will tell you how many lbs of grain you need to feed. I also used NEL NEM (Net Energy Lactation and Net Energy Maintaince) formula as well. The figures came to the same amount of grain needed. There really isn't a set lbs of grain fed, as it is highly variable cow to cow. Some cows take in 8lbs, some need 16. It also can depend on feed quality, higher quality feed will yield less grain needed, lower protein grain as well. With the Jersey we have, once she begins milking. I will feed 10lbs of grain a day. I figure this in, because with the forage last year I would have needed 16lbs, but it is much better over last year.


    Jeff
     
  9. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have pregnant beef cows - due in spring. They are probably all around 1000 pounds. None is lactating.

    I've been putting out 50 pounds of feed daily for six adult cattle, one donkey, and a few goats. If I keep hay in front of them do you think 50 pounds is enough?
     
  10. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Is it 50lbs of hay? Or is it 50lbs of forage? I know hay tends to fill a cow faster than forage, as it is fiber. I was feeding last year about 60lbs per animal through March, was composed of haylage and hay. However, when I fed hay alone. I beleive I fed 10 bales a day, or so (60lb bales), for 12 animals or so. It was more or less 7 bales to the larger animals, about 7-8 of them, then 2-3 for the smaller. There was some waste, but not a lot. It took them through the coldest of days and nights. Currently I am feeding 7 cows, 2 steers, 1 bull calf and a donkey and her little arse 6 bales of hay, with a trough of haylage (10' long trough). I noticed today there was some waste, so I might cut back 1 bale if it builds up. These bales are about 50lbs.

    Edit: Forgot to add the grain. For beef cows, it is up to you. I was feeding a beef steer about 5-6lbs of corn meal a day and he gained a good 2.6-3.0lbs a day for 45 days before he was butchered. He also was eating grass silage, so that also helped. So if the cows are filled out, nice and fat and you plan on using them as mothers, sell the calves. I would put the money into the steers if you raise them for beef. With my beef cows, I only put hay and haylage into them, no grain, and they do well.


    Jeff
     
  11. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I don't think 50 lbs of hay is enough per day for that many animals. 2 adult cows could eat that and still be looking for more. The best way I have found is to not fuss with formulas and expect them to tell you what to give, but to keep hay in front of the animals 24/7 and see what they eat and figure from that.
     
  12. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What I meant was that I'm feeding them 50 pounds of beef mix pelleted feed per day (I dump one bag into the feeding trough and it's every cow for herself.) And I'm keeping hay in front of them - going through about one 600-pound round bale every other day.

    1. Do you think this is enough hay for 6 adult cattle, 3 weanling calves, 11 small goats and a donkey?

    2. Is the 50 pounds of feed - every animal for herself - enough to supplement number 1?
     
  13. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I figure 25 pounds of grass hay/cow/day and I don't feed anything else. That is for dry cows, if I have a calf on a cow I'll up the hay a little and feed a little rolled barley. My cows need to be able to make do with what there is and nothing extra to get them by.

    Bobg
     
  14. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I figured in what I feed a day, and averaged as a whole. The trough is about 200-300lbs about, lets call it 250lbs. The hay quantity totals 300lbs, 50x6. This is feeding 2 donkeys, 3 calves, and 7 cows. The donkey does not eat much at all, the calves ingest around 25-30lbs, maybe more for the angus bull calf. So averaged out with these figures (dividing using the cattle only), is 55lbs per animal. The donkeys eat far less than the calves, I know a couple flakes will satisfy a donkey for a day easily (grade B minature).


    If it is taking them every other day to go through 600lbs, it sounds about right. I am not sure what goats take in, but the cows seem to be getting enough.


    Jeff
     
  15. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    why would you feed a beef cow grain? Unless the hay is terrible or you are doing a little finishing before slaughter I'd save my money on that one. Cows only need grain to support high milk production. Just for body maintenance and milking small amounts of milk for a calf (tops maybe 40 # a day?) they don't really need grain fed to them.

    My neighbor runs 200 head of Angus on pasture in the summer, and grass hay in the winter. They almost always look really good with the exception being some really old cows when the winter is tough. And when I say old cows I'm not kidding as he's sold some cows that were 25-26 YO in the last few years.

    I've got about 15 Holstein cull cows that are raising bull calves instead of going to auction this year. They get no grain at all, but all the hay they want. They all look good, and the calves grow great.


    Jennifer
     
  16. jailbirds

    jailbirds Active Member

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    Hi
    I was reading threw this topic and I believe it is a good topic.
    The reason for giving a cow, horse, sheep, goat, grain is for the nutients that they can not get out of the dry hay or, corn, silage, and or haylage.
    Am I right?
    We have beef cattle, holstiens, jerseys, brown swiss, and they are fed
    hay along with corn silage and about 8 lbs of grain per adult cow. this time of year most of ours are not lactating and or feeding their off spring.
    There is always some waiste of hay or corn . Am I feeding them to much?
    I am waiting to hear how much portein that the corn silage has in it and the hay. We do not do a tmr mixture.
    thanks for your help
    Kim
     
  17. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    We have 2 quarter horses, 1 bull, 2 cows, 2 yearling heifers, 1 4 month heifer calf and 1 5 month bull calf. The cattle are all Dexters.

    What I did was figure out the weight ( estimate ) of all of them, then figure how much 3 percent of that is to get how much hay. I actually made a spreadsheet of this to make it easy to change for different numbers of animals, weights, etc.

    I don't feed any grain to any of them, they are all very healthy and doing fine in our brisk ( +1F this morning ) weather we have been having this week.
     
  18. KesWindhunter

    KesWindhunter Well-Known Member

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