Is your grain off-the-shelf or custom made?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by oakhillfarm, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. oakhillfarm

    oakhillfarm Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    I've been talking to the folks over at Joann's site about feed for my dairy cow and it got me to thinking: I wonder how many people manage to custom make their own grain, or have it done for them, as opposed to buying pre-mixed, bagged feed at the local feed store.

    If you care to chime in I'd be interested in any recipes you might like to share for winning mixes, and to see how prices range in different areas.

    It's beautiful here this morning - a good day to be a cow I think.

    Liz.
     
  2. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,440
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    SE Washington
    I normally grind and mix my own feed. I bought a small hammer mill at a local university surplus auction for $10.00. I buy screening from the certified seed program at the university, they bag (at no cost)it up for me so I don't have to handle bulk. I get whole peas from work off of experimental plots and grind for protein. I also get canola meal for nothing at a local university just for bagging it up. I use Morrison's Feed and Feeding book (it's old), the recipes are good in there even though they are from the 30's and 40's. I also find recipes on internet and use my cement mixer to mix everything together. It pretty slow the way I do it, but I'm not putting out any large amounts of money to feed my cows and chickens. If I had to buy all the ingredients, I probably wouldn't be raising as many animals. I use "Pearsons" square to figure the final ratio of protein and I've not had any problems.

    Bobg
     

  3. oakhillfarm

    oakhillfarm Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    I've called and have had very confusing conversations with "feed guys" at mills all over Central Virginia. First they tell me that 18% protein is too high - they don't have crimped anything, it's all cracked or ground - they don't understand why I would want to limit soy - most of them don't know what DE is, let alone have it available - and if I want to "up" the protein level of my feed without soy, well I should just use the distiller's corn mash. Oh well. I'll keep trying, and perhaps one day will find someone who can affordably mix healthy, natural feed for me... until then, it's the 18% dairy mix from Purina from the local feed supplier, who gives me no discount. And since my fields aren't up to par, I guess it's purchasing expensive alfalfa hay (hard to find around here) too. But, at the same time, I love my cow, and she loves me and her milk is wonderful and yesterday she was so wonderfully when we finally allowed the kids to milk her. She's worth it. I guess having a cow isn't all that much cheaper than buying all your dairy - I thought it would be - but unprocessed, fresh, organic Jersey milk has to be worth it.