Big Muddy rancher wrote:I don't think bloat is your biggest concern feeding Alfalfa hay, more of a concern grazing it.
But you are over feeding protein so could probably sell some 2nd or 3rd cut for good money and replace with grass or cereal hay.
As Faster horses would tell you "Feed test" and get a ration figured out to meet the cows requirements.
Testing your hay is the cheapest thing you can do and then figure it out from there. You already know straight alfalfa will cause problems, though really not bloat when it has been cut for hay. Of course, if it gets wet it sure can cause bloat. If you do happen to get a bloater and can dr them in time, be sure to give them a probiotic which helps the rumen. Grass alfalfa mix is a wonderful feed. Alfalfa has a lot of good qualities and makes a wonderful protein supplement. Mixed with grass it makes a nearly perfect feed, if not perfect. BMR is right, IMO, sell some 2nd or 3rd cutting and buy back some grass hay. Cows don't need 2nd or 3rd cutting and feeding it after calving raises the ph level in the calves and predisposes them to scours. Who needs that? Alfalfa and cereal hay fed after calving can also cause problems. Diluted alfalfa with grass hay works pretty well, more grass than alfalfa, we have found.
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