Economic tips for feeding cows in winter

Cattle feed for the winter

Proper care and management of livestock is very important during the winter season. Let’s tell a beef expert at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mary Drewnoski. Mary advocates using distillers’ grains to feed cows inexpensively during the winter months. Here are his ten suggestions for feeding cows economically.

Know the nutritional needs of a cow: Understand the difference between mid-gestation and the end of gestation. Drewnoski says – “Mid-gestation, the calf does not grow much, so the needs are considerably less. Then they resume at the end of gestation. And, many people miss the higher nutritional needs of early education. Do not deceive then if you want the cows to breed. “

Test your hay: Not all bromine hay is the same. You can guess because it’s nutritional value, but why guess? Spend the $ 20 to get it tested in a lab. Extension offices can tell you how to do this and they even have hay probes you can borrow to take samples.” – she says.

Choosing the right way when buying hay: “Feed Cost Cow-Q-Lator” – an online tool in Nebraska. You can enter numbers for the hay you are considering, and this will give you the most beneficial hay. “If you set it based on its crude protein and total digestible nutrients (TDN), you make sure you get the best deal. Frankly, this is an area where people waste a lot of money.

Grazing the stalks of corn is sufficient: One of the best ways to reduce power costs in winter. In cows calving in spring, mid-gestation occurs when corn stalks are usually available. Drewnoski says – “We have been doing research here in Nebraska for five years. Cows that received supplemental feed while grazing corn stalks and cows that did not receive supplements had the same calving and breeding performance. They may need extra vitamins and minerals, but they can get all the protein and TDN they need. “She added -“When cows graze, they selectively eat the leaves and husks, the best parts of the corn residue. Balled rods don’t give them that choice. “

Baled stems make a good combined feed: A mixed ration of baled corn residues and distillers’ grains can make a very good ration for cows. Limited feeding is often an inexpensive option. “Distillers fed on poor quality fodder like corn stalks are so profitable because stills are often an inexpensive source of energy and protein.” – she says.

Grazing according to corn yield: The higher the yield, the greater the load capacity of the rods. “200-bushel corn will provide twice as much pasture as 100-bushel corn ” – said Drewnoski and adds that – “When the cows graze in a field of stems; she keeps an eye on the corn husks. It’s time to move after they leave. It is not necessary to count the ears of corn. In any case, most cows hate them.

Eat less in confinement: You can be even more careful with their feed if your cows are overwintering in small areas.. We often find that locked up cows need less feed than we calculated. We suspect that their inactivity in confinement further reduces their energy needs and we do not take this into account.

Ammonia corn residue bales: If you ammonia the corn stalks with anhydrous ammonia after harvesting for cow feed, you can significantly increase the protein and TDN content. Cover the rod balls with a tarp and inject the gas into the balls to penetrate them. Drewnoski says that with this approach, ammonia corn stalks are roughly equivalent to excellent quality grass hay. TDN can be increased to 55 percent and crude protein to 9 percent. Drewnoski says – “It costs about $ 25 a tonne for ammonia from the husks of corn stalks. Interestingly, the cow seems to like ammonia corn on the cob.

Feed a bunk, waste less: Sleeper feeding still makes sense if you can do it“- she says. Up to 40% of the shredded waste was fed to the cows in the form of dried distillers’ grains. In a bunk, however, about 5% of the droppings are normally thrown away.

Find you are a competitive advantage: She notes that the most profitable operations in virtually all cow-calf operating record comparisons are those with the lowest costs per cow. “Ask yourself “where are my competitive advantages?” »Then adapt your system to your resources. And don’t be afraid to try something New or different.

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