Sucklers on hay

beardface

Member
Location
East Yorkshire
Usually feed cows ad lib baleage. Salt licks right through then lifeline crumb on feed about 2 weeks pre and right through calving. Looking at making more hay this time due to cost of wrap. Thinking hay until new year then switch to baleage. What would people feed with it? Would be medium to good quality (hopefully) with bit of clover in it. Was thinking either molasses splashed on top, or bit of rolled barley? Cows tend to get a little fat on baleage, but not a bad thing as they can be a month or 2 inside milking calves. Or do I just risk plain hay and see how they go? Shorthorn ranging from 600 to 750 kg. Plus weaned calves.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Usually feed cows ad lib baleage. Salt licks right through then lifeline crumb on feed about 2 weeks pre and right through calving. Looking at making more hay this time due to cost of wrap. Thinking hay until new year then switch to baleage. What would people feed with it? Would be medium to good quality (hopefully) with bit of clover in it. Was thinking either molasses splashed on top, or bit of rolled barley? Cows tend to get a little fat on baleage, but not a bad thing as they can be a month or 2 inside milking calves. Or do I just risk plain hay and see how they go? Shorthorn ranging from 600 to 750 kg. Plus weaned calves.
Are we talking autumn calving, or spring?
Spring calvers shouldn't need anything more than hay.
Weaned calves will want the best grub. Feeding any concentrates?
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
It will depend on the protein content of the hay.

Cows need only around 9%CP for proper rumen function, and feed efficiency drops off above that as energy is used to balance the excess protein.
Most animal health problems are due to protein excess diets, not insuffcient protein diets

This is how we comfortably outwinter on saved pasture that is definitely "past its best", the protein content is still higher than required.

Unless your hay is absolute rubbish, or your cows are - which I doubt - then hay and water will be adequate if mineral levels are.
 

Jonp

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Gwent
My natives out winter on haylage mainly because I can put 12 bales over the hedge from the road.
Roll a bale down the hill every other day to the ring feeder. Come out of winter looking fit and bring them home after lambing to calve in the field at the start of May. If the grass is growing well in April I start to worry that the cows will put on too much extra weight especially if they don't calve in the first cycle.
 
A spring calving beef cow should only need pretty average quality forage when dry.

We currently use pretty mature Timothy hay or haylage cut in late June.
Fed in the morning, we tend to have them running out within 12 hours and they can pick at straw for the other half of the day.

That said I'm wondering about ⅓ red clover silage fed with ⅔ straw or even concentrate and straw, as I think silage and even hay are much too expensive these days with fertiliser being where it is.
 

hendrebc

Member
Livestock Farmer
A spring calving beef cow should only need pretty average quality forage when dry.

We currently use pretty mature Timothy hay or haylage cut in late June.
Fed in the morning, we tend to have them running out within 12 hours and they can pick at straw for the other half of the day.

That said I'm wondering about ⅓ red clover silage fed with ⅔ straw or even concentrate and straw, as I think silage and even hay are much too expensive these days with fertiliser being where it is.
A few years ago I did some back of an envelope sums and hay came to £1 a day per cow. Straw and molasses came to 60-70p per cow with the added benefit of not needing to make the straw and they keep cleaner.
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
BBx and Lim x cows here calving jan-march and they start on hay in the autumn until almost christmas before going onto average round haylage and then nice round silage once they have calved a few weeks. No hard grub at all but cows are always kept in average condition and anything struggling put on haylage earlier.
 
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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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