Minerals. Do not allow leaves to build up in the feed bunk. Brandyberry, S.D., T. DelCurto, and R.F. Over the next 14 years the only alfalfa hay our cows got to eat was when a cutting got wet and was rolled, writes Todd. Cows can eat lower-quality hay. All classes of livestock can benefit from grazing alfalfa. It supports rumen health and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health in animals. alfalfa hay is fed per dairy cow. In contrast, the average grass hay averages 8.4% crude protein and 31.4% fiber. Fiber content of alfalfa hays range from 20 to 28%. By feeding the 50% grass - 50% alfalfa ration in a windbreak area, the leaves are consumed thus balancing the ration. Hanks. Remove and sell animals that are chronic bloaters. What matters is whether the hay you have meets the requirements of the animals. Supplementation of cattle grazing dormant intermediate wheatgrass pasture. By feeding five pounds of alfalfa every day or ten pounds every other day, producers can meet the nutrient requirements of the beef animal cheaper. DelCurto, T., R.C. polaxalene). NRC. Park, B.A. 1992. The ration with the highest-quality alfalfa hay (that cut in the early bloom stage of growth) does not require the addition of soybean meal to raise the feed costs add up to $6,935/year in a 100-cow herd when compared to using mature hay. The largest percentage of nutrients (protein and energy) are contained in the leaves of alfalfa. Alfalfa (green or fed as hay) is better for calves, younger cattle, or dairy and pregnant cows in late gestation. Freshly harvested alfalfa is richer in Vitamin A. Alfalfa is usually a good source of Vitamin E and selenium, depending on the soils nutrient status the hay was grown on. During wet weather take extra precautions on the aforementioned points. If you are asking about sheep, goats, and cattle, the answer is no. Vanzant. Table 2 shows the nutrient content of dormant crested wheatgrass and nutrient requirements of the beef cow in her mid and last trimesters of pregnancy. Cow-Calf Management Guide. Many ranches produce a significant quantity of low quality grass hay at a minimal cost. A ration consisting only of good alfalfa (Ration 1) for a 1,200 lb pregnant cow should include up to 24 lbs and cost about $1.54/hd/day (if good alfalfa costs $130/Ton). Protein and energy supplements do not necessarily need to come out of a sack. Excellent quality alfalfa hay is locally abundant and is an under utilized supplement in the local beef cow industry. A combination of home grown hay, purchased alfalfa hay and a mineral supplement can be used to balance the nutritional needs of the cow herd during critical periods of the year. *Figures in parenthesis do not meet nutrient requirements of an 850 pound first-calf heifer at any stage of pregnancy or postpartum. CL-300. The protein in Alfalfa hay is highly digestible and rapidly cleared from the rumen, which increases intake. Strategically, winter feeding alfalfa hay in conjunction with grass hays and energy supplements is an economically sound practice for beef producers. Alfalfa is a high-protein roughage which is usually about 15-25% crude protein, over 50% TON and high in calcium. Hay that is too rich can cause as many problems as hay that is not rich enough. - Duration: 35:01. Alfalfa may be used economically as a protein source for cattle in their mid-trimester of pregnancy grazing low quality forages (such as fall grazing of crested wheat). J. Anim. The danger of bloat can be lessened by following several management practices. Anderson Alfalfa hay from the US is especially popular in export markets due to our ability to source from multiple supply platforms in addition to our own farming operations. Physical form and frequency of alfalfa supplementation for beef cattle winter grazing Northern Great Basin rangeland. Good quality alfalfa hay can furnish all the Vitamin A needs of beef animals. Allow plenty of feed space for all animals to have access at once. Ruminants cannot live on a diet of only alfalfa pellets. Soc. Vitamins. Alfalfa hay is an economical protein supplement for cows in late pregnancy or after calving. For many years, Timothy hay has been well known and widely used in the race horse industry as well. Brome, Crested Wheat, Alfalfa, and a hundred others will work just fine. Phosphorus levels of alfalfa are more moderate, but still high enough that if fed at the above rates will supply about 2/3 of the daily requirements needed. Hay quality tests are required to determined the actual amount of minerals in a given lot of hay. In another experiment, cows fed red clover based diets containing 20.0% crude protein produced more milk than cows fed red clover based diets containing 17.5% protein. There is no one hay that is better than the other. Alfalfa has a high level of calcium, important for young cattle and lactating cows. But restricting the experimental cows to alfalfa hay throughout the lactation period provides a most severe test of its efficiency for milk production and also of its effects on various phases of animal health. Alfalfa is recognized as one of the most nutritious forages available and is widely used as conserved forage (ex, hay, silage) in the diets of beef and dairy cattle. What Is Alfalfa? Ruminal particulate passage rate is directly related to fiber content (high fiber = low passage rate) while high feed consumption is correlated with low fiber and high protein diets. Not only does alfalfa furnish the needed protein, but it also stimulates the rumen to increase the consumption and digestibility of the lower quality forages. A combination of home-grown hay, purchased alfalfa hay and a mineral supplement can be used to balance the nutritional needs of the cow herd during critical periods of the year. Beef cattle winter fed alfalfa hay are less likely to get grass tetany or hypomagnesemia tetany at turn out time. Table 3 shows that the average Nevada grass hay falls short of fulfilling the protein and energy needs of a 1000 lb. Corah, A.A.Beharka, and E.S. Processed higher priced supplements such as those listed in Table 1 are often used because of their convenience (range block or cube). Additionally, the stalks can be thick so some horses won’t eat it because of texture. For example, red clover has more bypass protein than alfalfa but in an experiment cows fed red clover and supplemented with a bypass protein supplement (fish meal) still had improved milk yields. Another advantage is that it is relatively low … *Figures in parenthesis do not meet the nutrient requirements of a 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum. That depends on the hay. On the flip side, cow hay could mean dairy-quality alfalfa, a pure legume forage that is rich in protein, often over 25%, and therefore inappropriate for most classes of horses. A ton of alfalfa hay contains as much TDN as 25 bushels of corn (and as much protein as 2/3 ton of soybean meal). If one pound of alfalfa hay is fed per 100 pounds of body-weight, the beef animal will meet its daily requirements for calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, iron, cobalt manganese and zinc. This fact sheet discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows. Sci. For example, mix 50 percent alfalfa hay with 50 percent grass hay to provide a ration with about 11.7 percent crude protein and … As mentioned earlier, some alfalfa hay will pass through the rumen of a beef cow in about one-half the time required by grass hay (36 vs 70 hours). Hess, B., L.J. Cows can digest thicker, coarser stems than horses can. PIONEERING DEPENDABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGRICULTURE WORLDWIDE. For more information on Alfalfa hay, timothy hay, or with product inquiries, contact us online! "As for planning the quantity of alfalfa to raise or buy, you might consider feeding adult cows an … However, she will receive an excessive amount of protein – about twice what she needs. Alfalfa has one of the highest feeding values of forages. Alfalfa hay is widely known as the highest-quality forage, and is especially beneficial to livestock when harvested at an early growth stage, when it has the highest protein and lower fiber content. Sci. Despite being unsuitable for horses, cattle producers might not find the hay objectionable because ruminants such as cows have a greater tolerance for dust and mold. Oat hay is also quite high in sugar, so it is not a good option for insulin resistant horses. 1984. Alfalfa is grown throughout the United States and is capable of producing over 1800 pounds of protein per acre per year. Angel. The elevated magnesium levels of alfalfa seems to curb the problem. When looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure it’s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay. Some of the more common grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass and bluegrass. 43:70. Almond trees are serious about protecting their seeds. However, the utilization of alfalfa by grazing beef cattle has been limited due to its propensity to cause pasture bloat. A beef cow needs high energy hay to regain body weight after calving, produce milk for her calf, and rebreed in 40 to 90 days after calving. So grass hay frequently is ranked lower than it should be using relative feed value. Some grass hays may be as high in digestible dry matter as alfalfa; however, those hays will be digested slower than alfalfa. Cochran, T.G. Therefore, animals fed alfalfa hay tend to gain faster, produce more milk, and maintain themselves in better condition than those fed other forages. Other legumes include clovers, vetches, peas, beans, and birdsfoot trefoil. The benefits would be met as well when looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure ’! The winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy used in the feed.... Per ton beef quality alfalfa hay is an economical protein supplement for cows late... Producing dairy cows commonly available to beef producers a killing freeze to winterize... Of it 's total protein being digestible the $ 85 per ton beef quality alfalfa hays beef... Sun-Cured alfalfa hay in combination with these grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass bluegrass... 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