Winter dry cow rations. Have I been wasting my money

Bojangles

Member
Location
Scotland
So I have always tried to feed dry beef cows in winter well being careful to meet all of their dm requirements, best minerals, correct protein etc.
then i visit friends who basically give them silage and minerals and free access straw. Their cows look grand and I feel stupid. Am I a victim of the sales patter? If I went to just silage, good minerals and a bit of straw would they do as well as when on silage, straw, barley, molasses through the wagon?
I certainly don’t over feed they get the minimum but if you go by the books they get what’s required.
What are you lot feeding beef cows kept inside both pre and post weaning?
calves come in on cows atm and are crept in to other shed with ad lib good silage and nuts then weaned at turn of year.
If I go all silage how many kg would 600kg cows to firstly maintain themselves and do a gallon of milk then just maintain after
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Our sucklers get ad lib haylage / late July August first cut silage about a lb a head a day of mineralised blend (basically to get them forward for lookering purposes) and a bolus. Calving mostly Feb to April, suckling to about 10 weeks from scanned due date.
Edit. Poorest silage fed first while biggest gut capacity, quality improving as winter progresses and gut capacity drops.
 
With housed cows I give 2/3 appetite haylage (cut late June) and they can top up with straw.
Dry cow minerals are dusted on top of silage daily.
Outdoor cows get rough (July Timothy) hay ad-lib hay as it's difficult to restrict to cows using ring feeders with the same minerals dusted on the bale.

The cows are shiny and healthy and they calve down fine and rarely hold a placenta.
I haven't time for a diet feeder, the more simple and machine free a system is the better it suits me.
I don't feed concentrate to beef cows unless they are on a straw diet.
 
Last edited:

Bojangles

Member
Location
Scotland
With housed cows I give 2/3 appetite haylage (cut late June) and they can top up with straw.
Dry cow minerals are dusted on top of silage daily.
Outdoor cows get rough (July Timothy) hay ad-lib hay as it's difficult to restricted cows using ring feeders with the same minerals dusted on the bale.

The cows are shiny and healthy and they calve down fine and rarely hold a placenta.
I haven't time for a diet feeder, the more simple and machine free a system is the better it suits me.
I don't feed concentrate to beef cows unless they are on a straw diet.
Cheers for the reply. What weight do you think they are eating to be 2/3 full
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
Our sucklers get 2nd cut silage, both Spring and Autumn calvers. Hay or big bales before housing. Lick tubs before calving. No hard feed unless twins or odd thin cow. Fed in feed trailers or along barriers with shear grab.
Suckler needs around 2% of weight in DM as maintenance. 600kg cow is 12kg daily, at 30% DM is 40kg silage per day. 200 day winter is 8 tons each or 20 cows per round bale per day.
But bottom line we have a pit of silage and it has to last. A suckler needs to reach Spring in enough condition to have a live calf and milk. You could argue that anything extra is wasteful.
 
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Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Drop half a bale of good clean feeding straw (barley or wheat depending what I’ve got) into the square bake feeders every Saturday. Then ad-lib haylage/silage/hay rest of week. Always have free access minerals on offer, moving to pre calving mins when we start too get close. System has too be easy, cheap and fast. Dry cows can’t take up much time for us in the winter. No hard feed or chopped roots until after calving unless as stated above a lean one or expecting twins. And then they usually get chopped roots on silage, not hard feed
 

Cornish bob

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
Ours weaned on housing or before then the cows get adlib hay and mineral salt lick ,3weeks before calving himag feed block and mag in the water to stop milk fever.
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
So I have always tried to feed dry beef cows in winter well being careful to meet all of their dm requirements, best minerals, correct protein etc.
then i visit friends who basically give them silage and minerals and free access straw. Their cows look grand and I feel stupid. Am I a victim of the sales patter? If I went to just silage, good minerals and a bit of straw would they do as well as when on silage, straw, barley, molasses through the wagon?
I certainly don’t over feed they get the minimum but if you go by the books they get what’s required.
What are you lot feeding beef cows kept inside both pre and post weaning?
calves come in on cows atm and are crept in to other shed with ad lib good silage and nuts then weaned at turn of year.
If I go all silage how many kg would 600kg cows to firstly maintain themselves and do a gallon of milk then just maintain after
When they are out at grass do you feed them anything else bar the grass that happens to be in the field you put them in ?
 

Bill the Bass

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cumbria
Ours get clamp silage at a feed barrier pushed up with a loadall bucket. I don’t know how much, We just do it to body condition, sometimes we put powdered minerals on top, sometimes we bolus them with tracesure. We calve at the last week in February and they just get the same, anything lean may get a little bit of rolled barley post calving, but not often. Ideally they are back out mid March onwards.

There isn’t enough margin in beef to have cows that are reliant on fancy rations and arguably fancy feed wagons, your cows need to live as much as possible on forage alone - that’s my view anyway for what it’s worth.
 

Whitepeak

Member
Livestock Farmer
Pure continentals (Blondes) here, avg cow weight approx 725kg. Ad lib haylage for everything. Later cut stuff is fed first (as that's at the front of the stack), then 2nd cut closer to calving. Used to wean everything at housing but I'm now leaving the majority of the later born calves on, weaning into the new year. Cows still all ran as one group. Incalf heifers are kept as a separate group and get slightly better haylage and stay on that once they calve in Feb/March until turnout. They are looking great and are bulling like mad atm 👌
We offer lifeline buckets after Christmas and before that we usually offer a gp bucket. But this year fed Maxx energy buckets, cows looked fantastic but they didn't half shift them 🙈
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
GP minerals and rock salt in the fields, wheat straw when i start creep feed in late sept, hay once the calves have been weaned , adlib ppasture haylage a month before calving with rock salt and lifeline buckets and usually mid winter half way through calving they go onto new ley high DM bale haylage to keep the milk flowing , finish the winter with high mag licks . Usually put a few mag flakes in the water troughs to top them up while calving too. Cows are mostly first cross bb and lims, calving from late jan to mid april and calves weaned late oct and sold november. Black hfds before that which would live much harder and cheaper but i prefer looking at better cattle even if the profit margin wouldnt be much different!
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
So I have always tried to feed dry beef cows in winter well being careful to meet all of their dm requirements, best minerals, correct protein etc.
then i visit friends who basically give them silage and minerals and free access straw. Their cows look grand and I feel stupid. Am I a victim of the sales patter? If I went to just silage, good minerals and a bit of straw would they do as well as when on silage, straw, barley, molasses through the wagon?
I certainly don’t over feed they get the minimum but if you go by the books they get what’s required.
What are you lot feeding beef cows kept inside both pre and post weaning?
calves come in on cows atm and are crept in to other shed with ad lib good silage and nuts then weaned at turn of year.
If I go all silage how many kg would 600kg cows to firstly maintain themselves and do a gallon of milk then just maintain after

You used to be the man with the sales patter!? 🤦‍♂️ :ROFLMAO:
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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