How Much To Feed Cows - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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How Much To Feed Cows

So we have 2 probably 8 month old Holstein steers, who currently have no purpose, and I am wondering how much hay to feed them. They get fed hay 2x a day, alfalfa in the morning, bermuda at night, and I don't think that they get fed enough. The owner of the boarding facility feeds them 1 sometimes 2 flakes per feeding, total, not per cow, and gets upset when I feed them more. I don't want to talk with him though until I get my facts straight, and know what I am talking about. I was told from another person at the ranch that they should probably be getting 3 flakes EACH per feeding, but as he's never owned cattle before, he's not positive that that's accurate. Any information or websites would be appreciated so that I can talk to the owner as soon as possible, as I want to make sure that the steers are healthy, and growing right.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 03:27 PM
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Holstien steers really only have one purpose and that is food. I would feed them all the alfalfa they could eat and grain them heavily. When they get to 1200-1400 lbs I would clear out the freezer and fire up the BBQ.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 03:31 PM
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We raise cattle (simmental) and my fiance prefers at least 10 lbs free choice hay for the steers along with some grain. (grain= oats slowly until they are up to 8-10 lbs each.)

So..this is what he said he would feed them if they were his:
He would be doing free choice bermuda (all they can eat) along with a few flakes of alfalfa each...and the oats (split into two feedings).

Our calf steers had about 3 lbs of gain a day and at 7 months weighed over 800 lbs when we sold them.

Hope this helps some.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Holstien steers really only have one purpose and that is food. I would feed them all the alfalfa they could eat and grain them heavily. When they get to 1200-1400 lbs I would clear out the freezer and fire up the BBQ.
LOL! Pretty much what Kevin said, but I was trying to be more delicate.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 04:47 PM
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My dad breeds cattle - However they are on a large property on pasture so don't get fed at all, except for in winter when there is no feed. In winter, they get a huge square bale (The size of like 40 small bales) every second day per mob of about 10 - 15. He will sometimes use silage as well if ti is available. I don't know about the raising of a single/two cows intensively though - But none of our cattle get any grain and they grow just fine and the steers are sent off for meat.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 06:31 PM
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that's the difference between australia and the U.S. Aussie cattle are fattened on grass and american cattle are fattened on grains. They both get finished about the same but it takes more land to finish on grass and the cattle have been selected to finish well on grass where the U.S. Cattle haven't been.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-14-2010, 07:10 PM
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^ Fair enough! It seems such a strange concept here to feed grain to cows!

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-15-2010, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ya I had been led to believe that they were raising the cows for meat, but then when I asked about it a bit ago, they seemed a bit offended that I thought they were being raised for meat. I personally would love to have some home grown beef, but they aren't my animals. But thanks for the input. I just hate feeling like they aren't getting fed enough, but not having the knowledge to back me up on that. So thank you.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-23-2010, 09:48 PM
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Being ruminants, cows need food in front of them pretty much 24/7 in order to remain healthy; and being cattle babies, these guys definitely need more than 1-2 sections twice a day...cows generally eat 3-4 times the amount a large horse will eat per day...so even as calves, these babies need alot more than they are getting.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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