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feeding methods?

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Hayguy

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with last winter still fresh in our minds, and this winter looming and what with high fuel prices/shortages have any of you changed your feeding methods or equipment for the coming season?
 

Silver

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We'll use the little tractor (85 hp) with the bale unroller and feed the cows every second day by unrolling some and just setting some out out in the field.
We separate the first and second calvers from the older cows as it seems the young ones do better if they don't have to compete with the older ones.
Would like to bale graze, but elk would have a "hay day".
 

jodywy

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still plan on doing this
OffTheRoad.jpg

IMG_0283.jpg

got extra hay working a deal to feed a bunch of old may calving cows ay a $1/day/head but not calving them out
 

Justin

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hopefully graze for the most part until the first of the year, i know that is probably being overly optimistic. :? after that i plan on doing more bale grazing.
this plan could change at any given moment. :wink:
 

gcreekrch

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Justin said:
hopefully graze for the most part until the first of the year, i know that is probably being overly optimistic. :? after that i plan on doing more bale grazing.
this plan could change at any given moment. :wink:

I'll second that, we could just open the stackyards and go to Tahiti where the women don't wear no tops. :wink: :lol:
 

Faster horses

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gcreekrch said:
Justin said:
hopefully graze for the most part until the first of the year, i know that is probably being overly optimistic. :? after that i plan on doing more bale grazing.
this plan could change at any given moment. :wink:

I'll second that, we could just open the stackyards and go to Tahiti where the women don't wear no tops. :wink: :lol:

How do you know they don't wear tops?

And I think that comment should be censored.


:lol2: :nod: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :stop: :gag:
 

Justin

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gcreekrch said:
Justin said:
hopefully graze for the most part until the first of the year, i know that is probably being overly optimistic. :? after that i plan on doing more bale grazing.
this plan could change at any given moment. :wink:

I'll second that, we could just open the stackyards and go to Tahiti where the women don't wear no tops. :wink: :lol:

ok, give me a minute to go open the gates. :D
 

Wyoming Wind

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This is how we feed here in western Wyoming. 8 head of Belgian horses on 2 sleds. We get way too much snow here to make our tractors wade the snow; and you don't have to plug horses in for hours before you start your diesel tractors. We will be feeding another 550 head this winter---little square bales and round bales. These Belgians are the nicest horses we have ever worked! [/img]
 

Denny

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Hayrack and a Belarus tractor unroll hay most likely feed silage along a electric fence line with the skid loader. Lots of silage so they'll be on it full feed just to get rid of it.I guess we don't have a diesel shortage here and the price is about the same as it has been.
 
A

Anonymous

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will likely end up feeding for an open-range outfit where I'll spend upwards of an hour and a half driving around just LOOKING for cows through fog/iced-up windows...and then once I find them, get out, crawl up on the flat-bed, wait for 'em to gather-up, make a rough head-count, jump down, raise the little door on the cake-feeder, get back in...do a little math, figger out how many 'clicks' I need, put 'er in 4-LO, 2nd gear, watch the left rear-view mirror and try like hell to get most of the cake to drop into the tire-track.

On a sheep-outfit, spend THREE hrs tryin to locate them in the snow, beeping and flashing lights like I'm leading a funeral/wedding procession down 5th ave...once they see me, stop...wait for 'em to gather...hope like HELL I got all of 'em (unless a coyote came through and scattered them in multiple flocks which are scared to death of each other, and will likely STAY in separate flocks for the next two or three days, till they figure out that other sheep are NOT a threat to them) together...then put 'er in 4-LO 1st gear, tie the wheel to the window pillar handle (so she stays in a rough-circle) jump out...crawl on the flat-bed, drag a 100 lb sack of corn/pellets to the end of the flat-bed...rip the tie-string off, and shake/pour a steady-stream of feed into the tire-tracks, while swatting the head of the STUPID-A** ewe who keeps following right behind and sticking her fuzzy-head into the feed-stream, which has the effect of 'spraying' feed to the OUTSIDE of the tire-tracks, thereby wasting all the time, effort and feul involved in feeding sheep on open-range.

That's my feed-routine till calving starts, and then I'm usually stuck in the barn, day-calving till the night-calver twists-off in the middle of the night, leaving wherever I'm working for, short-handed.

If I'm LUCKY, I get to sign-on with an outfit where the foreman stays in the truck and drives (hopefully NOT like a maniac) while I'm on the flat-bed flaking off large-squares.
 

RSL

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We fed for 90 days last winter with the extreme conditions around here. It just about drove us mental. Normally we feed 30-45 days other than calves that we background. So this year...
Calves - going onto rake bunches, then swath grazing with Bale grazing supplemental. They will likely be sold earlier than normal in the new year.
Cows - Just went back out onto stockpiled native range this week after settling down from weaning, from there they will go to Swaths (end of Jan) and then Bale grazing (mid/end of March?). By mid-April they will be cleaning up any leftover swath grazing as well as emerging Fall rye.
Bulls - will be on Bale grazing and stockpiled grass.

The risk of a tractor not starting, or pushing snow, or getting stuck, or burning diesel are mostly eliminated around here this year.
And for the record, we are about 300 miles north of the 49th and get cold and snow (although not as much snow as some of you). We also don't have Elk issues so that frees up a lot of options.
Time will tell on the economics, but the preliminary work we have done shows a huge cost savings, even in our limited feeding situation.
The standard operation around here is typically working on a 180 to 200 day feeding period.
 

leanin' H

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On our little place the cows will stay on a meadow/hayfield til the snow forces them home hopefully the first of the year. Then i'll feed them out of a stackyard til April and the green up of spring. On the big ranch it's about the same as we leave them on private ground till snow stacks up. Then we trail them to Delta where they stay til mid May. Phil feeds hay and silage out of a feed wagon. I'd give a bunch of money for a good winter permit! :wink:

Now how does a guy sign up for this Tahiti trip? Does Gcreek have his own travel agency? Will Justin be wearing shorts? Is Tahiti near Elko or is it that little town over in eastern Wyoming? :D
 

hillsdown

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Now that I have moved calving back a to Feb I am hoping they can graze until the end of the year. But with the forecast of snow , freeze ,melt, snow, freeze, melt, it may just throw my whole plan out the window . :???:
 

WyomingRancher

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hillsdown said:
Now that I have moved calving back a to Feb I am hoping they can graze until the end of the year. But with the forecast of snow , freeze ,melt, snow, freeze, melt, it may just throw my whole plan out the window . :???:

Yep, that's what has happened here this fall. Two feet of snow since the end of October, which has mostly crusted, and it has been cold and windy. The grass underneath the snow which did melt/blow off is flattened to the ground :roll: . I've moved the cattle onto grass which I normally save until spring, but I don't want to graze that off too much. I'm just happy the calves have been long gone, and the cows were able to gain back a little before bad weather hit. I sure feel sorry for the cows in the area which still have those 5 weight calves on them, I don't see how they'll ever catch back up, no matter how late they bred them to calve next spring.
 

George

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With my little bunch I put out a couple of round bales every few days.

Keep the mineral in the barn with a few square bales and call the cows up at least once a day and give about 1/4 square bale ( not much per head with 24 ) to 1/2 square bale of second cutting alfalfa - - - sure makes it easy to keep an eye on them.

We normally have less than a foot of snow on the ground so the skid steer works well for feeding and it is nice and warm!

Very little manure in the barn to clean out, just enough to keep them off the concrete and the concrete is sloped 1/2" per foot to the outside so what builds up stays dry for them to bed on.
 

Hayguy

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thank-you all for your replies, i find it most interesting and informative to see how others are doing things. everyone does the best they can for their own operation but we can all learn from others no matter how old or big or small we are. wishing the best for the upcoming season for all

on that note i really like Gcreeks idea :wink: :lol: :lol:

adds new meaning to the words Tahiti Treat :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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We're already weeks ahead of last year...
Last year the first snow came in Sept- and was on the ground from then on..Water table was low enough I was pumping water for the cows on the north pasture by now...

Haven't checked cows for a week or so- and while I knew they had some snow to survive on- went to the north pastures (about 30 miles south of the border) to check their water situation on Monday...

While some of the snow has melted- and the major water holes frozen over-- the creek/spring is running good...

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Definitely enough snow they could still survive on snow if the water table wasn't up-- but sure nice to see it is and they can get water from the springs...

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Snowed a little off and on this week- but ground is still pretty bare.. Most has been going south and west of us (which was what one weather guesser forecast the pattern would be til Mid December)...State report says Red Lodge has a foot of snow on the ground....I talked with a cattle buyer that came out of Lewistown today- and he said they have about 6" there...
Doesn't look like we will pick up much this next week or so--but they are saying the first arctic front by the weekend- and below 0 temps...

Hopefully our snow will hold off and I can run on these pastures til Dec.--before moving the cows to the river bottom hayfields...Then if things hold out I can graze til at least Christmas...
 
A

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Faster horses said:
On another note, we have been running grass samples, the grass
is only 4% protein, with a surprising amount of moisture. 4% is on
a dry matter basis, as fed it's running 2.5-2.9%. Not much in that
dry grass.

The dryland grass hay we put up this year was definitely washy...Fed some to the heifer and bull calves when we weaned-- and you didn't want to stand behind them... :wink: :shock: :lol:

All the calves being shipped so far in this area are coming in 10-20 lbs lighter than most years averages...Everyone contributes it to the grass being green too long- and too washy with the record year rain we got...
 

Faster horses

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What is thought happened here, it was too wet and cold at first, then
got hot with no moisture from the first of July on. The seed
head came out on the grass early and then it just didn't have
the nutrition it normally has. The yearlings and calves for the
most part were lighter here too. They just didn't have a big
window of time for gaining well. Last year was a bumper crop
as far as gain on calves and yearlings. The cows around here
look good so far. It takes 80 lbs to change a body condition score
and that won't take long when the weather changes. Speaking
of which:

A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS THE AREA FRIDAY INTO
SATURDAY. THIS FRONT WILL LIKELY BRING ACCUMULATING SNOW AND THE
COLDEST AIR OF THE SEASON THUS FAR. ACCUMULATING SNOW COULD BE
SIGNIFICANT FOR PARTS OF SOUTHERN MONTANA AND NORTHERN WYOMING BY
SATURDAY NIGHT. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL AT THIS TIME LOOKS TO BE
FROM LIVINGSTON TO BILLINGS TO SOUTH OF BAKER WHERE 4 TO 8 INCHES
COULD BE POSSIBLE. UP TO TWO FEET OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE IN THE
MOUNTAINS. SOME UNCERTAINTY STILL EXIST WITH THIS DEVELOPING
STORM. PLEASE CONTINUE MONITORING THE FORECASTS CLOSELY FOR
UPDATES ON THIS DEVELOPING SITUATION.
 

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