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Oat hay

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3 M L & C

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What are the advantages of feeding oat hay. I have never done it but some neighbors do. We always have our ground tied up with spring cash crops. What people do around here is plant them early like in March. Then when its soft doe stage swath and bale it. What would the benefit be to do this instead of planting a sorgam feed?
 

leanin' H

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ZERO chance of bloat is why i like oat hay. Weaned calves do really well on them. Grandpa used to say they were almost as good as thier mommas milk. :D
 

Faster horses

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Oat hay is really good, and your neighbors are correct in cutting it in
the soft dough stage. Cutting at that time keeps the nutrient level up.
Be sure to test for nitrates before you cut, it can be deadly.
We learned not cut it early in the morning, and don't cut when it is
cloudy. That makes the nitrates come up in the stalk/stem.

Cows love it.
 

Larrry

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It is an almost ideal feed and put up right it will work for almost any livestock without supplemental feed. A great horse feed as h already said.
It won't yield with the sorghum feed, but it is stillthe best
 

burnt

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Cutting it at the right stage is most important. Just a few days earlier or later makes a huge difference in protein and energy levels. As it goes from milk to soft dough stage, the protein drops and the energy rises. But I think you lose something in total digestibility because the stem starts to get too coarse for calves. So it depends what you plan to feed it to.

When we feed it, I let the weaned calves eat what they will clean up fairly quickly then clean the feeder out and give the left over stuff to the cows the next day. The cows don't mind the stemmy stuff at all so I figure everybody ends up happy and I'm getting the best value out of everything.
 

BRG

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We have some in this year. We plan on chopping the majority if not all of it. It makes great feed. In our country, we get earlier rains than later and that is one reason why more oates is planted than sorgum here. This is one of the nicest oat crops we have raised. Hope we can get it in.
 

3 M L & C

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Thanks for the info. Does a person need to feed less protein with oat hay? What is the average protein level? I havn't seen any analasis on it
 

Howdy1

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We cut our oats before they reach the dough stage. We give up a little tonnage but the quality makes up the difference. Last time I had them tested they ran between 9-10% protein. Cattle love them! I have never had a problem with nitrates but we don't fertilize them and plant them on summer fallow.

We have a good crop also if we can keep the great white combine from getting to them.
 

Faster horses

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Howdy1 said:
We cut our oats before they reach the dough stage. We give up a little tonnage but the quality makes up the difference. Last time I had them tested they ran between 9-10% protein. Cattle love them! I have never had a problem with nitrates but we don't fertilize them and plant them on summer fallow.

We have a good crop also if we can keep the great white combine from getting to them.

You are right about when to cut oat hay, Howdy1. I asked Mr.FH and he
said we USED to cut it in the soft dough stage, but he tries to cut it
earlier for the same reason you mentioned.

We don't fertilize anything or plant on summer fallow and we've still
seen high nitrates in oat hay. If you have high nitrates you can blend
other hay with the oat hay and feed the oat hay last. Ours are usually
stressed from needing water and that will cause high nitrates. However,
one year in SW Montana ON IRRIGATED OAT HAY that had never been
stressed, the nitrates were really high. We had 1400 small square bales
and it took us 3 years to get it all fed. Of course we only had 150-200
head of cows. You just can't be too careful with hay that can have
nitrates and it seems oat hay is the worst. We fed a lot of oat hay
in Wyoming and never tested it, and never had a problem. But that was
in the later 60's and early 70's when it rained more than it does now.
Or we were just plain lucky. :lol:

One thing about high nitrates (and we learned this the hard way)
if you calve in late March, stop feeding it in February so you don't
chance an abortion from the nitrates. You can tell a calf that aborted
because of nitrates by the gums. If they are pale, it was most likely
nitrates. The calf gets smothered and the gums turn white from
lack of oxygen. FWIW

Interesting thread.
 

HAY MAKER

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Advantages of oat hay ? I sometimes plant oats for some deer hunters in the fall they pay me to plant them sure a good deer magnet.
Then after deer season I run cows on it all winter, early spring when patures start greening up I run the cows off the oats, and fertilize them 60 to 90 days later if mother nature has been kind, cut rake and bale haul to the shed and get on the front porch with some good Canadian whiskey.
repeat each fall, summers around here are getting to dry to do any good with the cane type hay.
good luck
 

3 M L & C

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Thanks everyone I usually plant all my acres to crops and buy my feed. I farm more than have cattle. I can make more with my insurance gaurentee on a failed corn crop if mother nature dosent cooperate than what feed cost. The only problem is when its dry its hard to find and price is high as others like me do the same around here. I am going to try to rotate some different feed in and not have to worry about someone else raising my feed.
 

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