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Feeding straight alfalfa

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tagnew
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Feeding straight alfalfa

Postby tagnew » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:19 pm

I'm looking for suggestions on how to feed straight alfalfa hay- 1st,2nd and 3rd cuttings- to cows without tipping them over. Have round bales, a hydrabed, and a Dew Eze processor. Half my hay is alfalfa/grass. Leaning towards buying some straw or grain hay, putting that out first, letting them fill up on that before laying the alfalfa on top. Would rather not buy anything, but the idea of bloating them scares me.

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Big Muddy rancher
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Re: Feeding straight alfalfa

Postby Big Muddy rancher » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:29 am

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.
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Re: Feeding straight alfalfa

Postby Faster horses » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:55 am

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.


:clap: :nod:
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.

Good luck!
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Re: Feeding straight alfalfa

Postby Rafter8 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:56 pm

Where are you located?

If you are worried about frothy bloat from grazing Alfalfa there is a product called Alfasure that you put in the drinking water to prevent frothy bloat

If you have a cow with frothy bloat you can inject it right into the rumen


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