Big Swede wrote:I've got 2nd cutting alfalfa orchard grass for sale. No rain on any hay this year unfortunately. I've sold about 2,000 bales so far but have a little left.
Soapweed wrote:Big Swede, we are starting to feed more alfalfa in place of cake. What are you asking for yours? I might be interested in some.
lavacarancher wrote:As usual I'm coming in way late on this topic but here's my two cents worth. First, living where I do alfalfa just isn't available. It's usually hot and dry in S. Texas and no one even tries to grow alfalfa. I know a couple of ranchers that have it hauled in but at $3000 for trucking alone (don't know the price of the hay) it makes it hard to pencil a profit out of your cattle. Second, I use cubes (cake) as a supplement to hay. I try to feed 1-2 pounds of cubes per head per day IN THE WINTER when the cattle are on hay. Third, we call cubes "cow crack". The cattle love it and will take you down for a cube. So with a bag of cubes you can move your cattle where ever you want them (like in the pen) just by opening a bag and spreading it around the corral.
I know this is off topic a little but I also supplement with molasses and medicated lick blocks.
Big Swede wrote:Soapweed wrote:Big Swede, we are starting to feed more alfalfa in place of cake. What are you asking for yours? I might be interested in some.
My 3rd is all gone. I'm getting $135 for 2nd.
Faster horses wrote:Big Swede wrote:I've got 2nd cutting alfalfa orchard grass for sale. No rain on any hay this year unfortunately. I've sold about 2,000 bales so far but have a little left.
Ranchers in SE Montana have been crying for hay. Send me a PM of where you are and how to contact you and I'll let some people there know.
I read this thread from start to finish. It was interesting all over again.
I still maintain alfalfa is a better buy than cake; you know what is in it; you get some dry matter along with alfalfa (we are finding out more and more how important digestible dry matter is). Hay sure hasn't kept up with the price of other protein supplements. I also know that alfalfa hay needs to be put up right to be good. Mr. FH bales almost all our hay at night, or early morning. He likes to put up good hay.
I can't speak about DDG's as we have never fed those; but they seem to be a good deal. You may need to check your mineral formula and feed a less phos mineral with DDG's; depending on how much of it you feed per head per day. DDG's contain quite a bit of sulpher that may cause problems down the road and the right mineral formulation can help with that. Besides that, lower phos mineral is cheaper because phos is the most expensive ingredient in mineral.
I agree with Brad S. Alfalfa hay can be fed every other day or maybe even every third day and it will work just fine.
If you feed higher than 20% protein cake, it probably contains urea. Too much urea takes energy to digest. I've had customers tell me about feeding cake with a high % urea in the winter and the cows actually were shivering. He thought it was because of all the energy needed to digest the cake with urea.
Testing your hay could save thousands of dollars by not purchasing un-necessary protein. Feed companies have made a lot of money selling protein. 10% protein hay will meet a cows nutrition requirements; they just need plenty of it. We have never fed cake, only grass hay and much of it marginal in nutrition, and mineral and we got by just fine. We fed enough hay that there was some left over that the cows went back in the afternoon and cleaned up. We didn't have the rangeland to feed cake on winter grass, but I know those that do and they feed plenty of cake, they don't short the cows. They get along fine too. Protein is pretty easily met, it's energy requirements that are hardest to meet in the north country. There is a place in Miles City that makes a cake of alfalfa and corn. People that buy from them are very happy; that mill has a very good reputation. The cake looks really good and has the right consistency to hold up well.
We just tested some standing grass for a customer and it came back 2% protein. Cows can't eat enough of that to meet their requirements in digestible dry matter, protein or energy, so they need supplemented soon for sure. Mild temperature helps and that those cows aren't yet in the third trimester. Things change when entering that third trimester as nutrition requirements go up.