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What do you feed your dairy cow? I've read so much and there are so many opinions out there now I'm just confused.

:waa: Carla
 

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i have a 21 month old bred heifer (holstein). On days that she wasn't on pasture, she got 30 pounds of hay a day (that she shared with 3 pygmy goats) and a 3 # scoop of grain in the evening. The majority of the time it was alfalfa. When it was a real cold spell in the winter, I'd give her timothy at the nigth feeding. Right now she has a mix of alfalfa and grass hay, plus pasture for about 3 hours twice a day on weekends. She has been checked by a vet and by a couple of people who have been around cattle for years and they say she is healthy as the day is long.

I got her when she eas five weeks old. For most of the time since her weaning, I fed her grain 2 times a day. I was told it wasn't really necessary to give her any grain, so I cut it back to once a day. Now that she is due to calve in August, I'll slowly increase the grain from the end of Jun till she calves.
 

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A dairy cow or heifer needs all the good forage she can eat. When feeding hay, all she will clean up until the next feeding of the day is the right amount. Their hay or pasture should be the best quality that you can get. Legumes like alfalfa and clover are better hay than most of the grass type hay. They need some crushed or ground grain such as corn mixed with a protien supplement and minerals plus salt. The grain feed is fed at milking time in a limited amount. About a half gallon each feeding would get her by OK. The main thing is to have forage in front of her 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We really need to mow our pastures but our tractor is broke. :( There' quite a bit of old and new grass for her. She's coming tomorrow and although I've read a ton of books I still feel lost. I have her grain and a little bit of local grass hay. I was concerned that our pasture was too wet and green in places.

Posted by Christina R. - "Right now she has a mix of alfalfa and grass hay, plus pasture for about 3 hours twice a day on weekends."

****Why only 3 hours twice a day on the weekends???****

I think this is just like right before I had my first baby - the fear of not being prepared and not knowing what I'm doing. :) Now my baby is 13 - and he turned out just fine...with the exception of that teen attitude. :haha:

Any other advice on the feed?

:) Carla
 
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