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Discussion Starter #1
dry as all get out here, but I am thinking ahead to winter..how much hay should I put aside for winter here in NC? and how much per cow should we feed daily? the pastures are dry, so we are suplimenting now, but how much is sufficient? For 5 cows what would be prudent to store away for wintertime? thanks..
 

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Here in central Louisiana I put up four large round bales per cow. But, there
is a lot of factors that needs to be considered such as what else will you will be
feeding besides hay,how hard is the winter how long will they have to be fed
etc.
 

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I always figure 25 to 30 pounds of hay a day, depending on what the quality of the hay is. When I lived in Montana we always fed 25 pounds of orchard/clover hay and that was all, we didn't increase the amount when it was colder either.

Bobg
 

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Retired Coastie
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If you buy field rounds you better factor in environmental waste (5%). Plus if you don't have a round bale feeder or something similar then the cattle will waste 20% of each bale by peeing on it, laying on it and #2 all over it....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
not to seem totally ignorant, but how much does a square bale weigh? I guess I was hoping that a bale of hay a day for two animals would do it..so doesn't matter how you cut it, I need more hay...will have to try and find a bunch somewhere....maybe I can find some large round bales, we have a hay circle thing...right now they are also getting some feed, maybe 4 lbs a day....just to keep them coming up..they do like to see that bucket come along...thanks for your thoughts on this...
 

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In my part of the country, I would hope a small sq bale would weigh around 75 lbs and should feed 2 cows per day, easily. This can all vary according to types of hay and weather conditions. With large round bales you will not easily ration the hay, but rather the cows will have free access to all they can eat. Takes more total hay that way.
 

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This is always a hard one because of the climatic variations and the farm itself. I use conventional bales and calculate it at four cows to the bale over four months, plus a few extra and get it pretty right. However, we don't lose our grass over the winter so I'm able to break feed paddocks during the day and feed the hay at night. You can't beat local knowledge so is it possible to talk to some of the neighbours and get their input?

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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Dutch Highlands Farm
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Depends on the breed and individual cow, too. My Highland cattle are high converters and well insulated for winter weather, they consume 15 to 20 pounds per head per day, no supplements. Holsteins are larger, not insulated as well and have lower feed conversion, so they are going to need more. So, like so much in life, it all depends. :baby04:
 

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agmantoo
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With no grazing and the animal entering into winter in good body condition, 3 percent of the animal's body weight in quality hay per day will be sufficient. Most farmers anticipate feeding hay for 90 to 120 days in NC.
 
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