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Other legumes include clovers, vetches, peas, beans, and birdsfoot trefoil. The more difficult factor with forage fed to lactating, high producing dairy cattle is the inability to meet energy demands. Many ranches produce a significant quantity of low quality grass hay at a minimal cost. *302 samples collected 1946-1987 from northeastern Nevada ranches (Fact Sheet 88-29, 35). Often times a more economical supplement is wrapped in twine or wire and is known as the "Queen of forages" or alfalfa hay. - Duration: 35:01. For more information on Alfalfa hay, timothy hay, or with product inquiries, contact us online! 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. Mix two types of hay to more closely meet the beef cattle requirements. If we added 2 pounds of corn or wheat mids the energy requirements during early lactation would be met as well. Anim. PIONEERING DEPENDABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGRICULTURE WORLDWIDE. Sci. Selecting Alfalfa Hay . Alfalfa hay is an economical protein supplement for cows in late pregnancy or after calving. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. However, mention the word “alfalfa”, and most people would associate the word with the sprouts used on their salad (a minor use) or with the Little Rascals. 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). Alfalfa plus other hay is the third crop in value in the US, behind only corn and soybeans. Sci. Vitamins. 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. A neighbour and his friends bought every bale that year. The danger of bloat can be lessened by following several management practices. Legumes such as alfalfa may have 50 to 60 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN), whereas mature grass hays have 45 to 50 percent TDN. Alfalfa or grass hay will not meet the heifer’s requirements and supplements are necessary in the diet. The passage rate of alfalfa hay is approximately 36 hours vs. 70 hours for grass hay. The stems are similar in nutrient content of grass hay. Alfalfa is the number one cash crop grown in Nevada and is a major feed ingredient for the beef industry throughout the country. Horses evolved as a grazing animal, which means that they are meant to nibble on small amounts of food over the course of an entire day, and most of this food should be in the form of roughage, or hay. 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. Leafy, green alfalfa hay is unusually high in carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is the most common beef cow vitamin deficiency. It supports rumen health and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health in animals. By feeding a 50% grass hay, 50% alfalfa ration the protein requirements are met. Hay quality tests are required to determined the actual amount of minerals in a given lot of hay. It has always been perceived as an excellent source of protein, but is sometimes underestimated as an energy source. 1984. Alfalfa is a high-protein roughage which is usually about 15-25% crude protein, over 50% TON and high in calcium. CL-300. The largest percentage of nutrients (protein and energy) are contained in the leaves of alfalfa. Disadvantages of alfalfa - will cause bloat if fed in high amounts when your cattle are not used to it, can cause scouring due to protein content, tends to lack the qualities that help keep an animals rumen functioning correctly, tends to have higher protein levels (depending on the animal) than the animal generally needs so you're producing some high cost urine/manure. In addition to the many dietary functions of Vitamin A, this vitamin also may have some therapeutic value, and be a contributing factor in preventing "shipping fever complex" and other disorders associated with animal stress. Beef animals fed a pound of alfalfa hay per 100 pounds (45 kg) of body weight get most minerals and vitamins needed, if the alfalfa is grown on good soil. 68:2901. Comparison of soybean meal/sorghum grain, alfalfa hay and dehydrated alfalfa pellets as supplemental protein sources for beef cattle consuming dormant tallgrass-prairie forage. They are less likely to react negatively to weeds. Do not feed dairy quality alfalfa hays to beef cattle. Protein supplementation is essential to maintain the body condition of the cow prior to entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy. Think Like A Horse 13,527 views. 1992. Can alfalfa pellets or cubes totally replace hay? Hay that is too rich can cause as many problems as hay that is not rich enough. 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. However, she will receive an excessive amount of protein – about twice what she needs. Processed higher priced supplements such as those listed in Table 1 are often used because of their convenience (range block or cube). Proc. Bloat control may also be aided by feeding an antifoaming agent (i.e. Hay falls into several categories: grass, legume, mixed (containing grass and a legume) and cereal grain straw (such as oat hay). 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. polaxalene). 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. 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. Almond trees are serious about protecting their seeds. Sec. 1990. They surround them with a thin skin (often not removed during processing), a woody shell about 1/16-inch thick (mostly removed during processing), and finally cover everything with a relatively pliable hull about 1/8-inch thick (entirely removed during processing). 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). For many years, Timothy hay has been well known and widely used in the race horse industry as well. Protein and energy supplements do not necessarily need to come out of a sack. Oat hay is also quite high in sugar, so it is not a good option for insulin resistant horses. Is Alfalfa Hay Good For Horses - When & How Much Is Good or Bad - Duration: 8:27. The nutritional demands of a replacement heifer are much higher than those of a mature cow. Sci. 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. Allow plenty of feed space for all animals to have access at once. Alfalfa and corn generally complement each other, and can form the basis for growing … Therefore, animals fed alfalfa hay tend to gain faster, produce more milk, and maintain themselves in better condition than those fed other forages. Remove and sell animals that are chronic bloaters. 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. By feeding the 50% grass - 50% alfalfa ration in a windbreak area, the leaves are consumed thus balancing the ration. 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. Brome, Crested Wheat, Alfalfa, and a hundred others will work just fine. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. Cow-Calf Management Guide. Merits of Alfalfa for Dairy Cattle Alfalfa is a forage crop which is not only high yielding, but more importantly it is an excellent source of … Also, RFV doesn’t predict performance by other types of animals, like beef cows, as well because potential energy intake does not … Hanks. 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. Table 1 shows the protein, energy, fiber and mineral content of various feeds commonly available to beef producers. It supports rumen health and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health in animals. Mineral content of alfalfa is related to fertilization and local soils. Minerals. Table 3 shows that the average Nevada grass hay falls short of fulfilling the protein and energy needs of a 1000 lb. Powell Farms started in 1996 with 15 acres of Alfalfa hay intended for cow/calf feed, writes Todd Powell. West. Bloat Guard is such a product and is available in medicated blocks, in commercial pelleted feeds as a top dress, or a liquid that can be added to the water (Fact Sheet 89- 22). Corah, A.A.Beharka, and E.S. The $0.28/ pound of actual protein is $0.08 cheaper than the average grass hay listed and significantly cheaper than the packaged supplements listed. This fact sheet discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows. 1992. Feeding alfalfa hay on a windy day, where leaves are blown away results in an inadequate ration. Nagaraja, L.R. There is no one hay that is better than the other. Alfalfa (green or fed as hay) is better for calves, younger cattle, or dairy and pregnant cows in late gestation. 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). Cochran, T.G. Ration balancing. Sun-cured alfalfa hay is also a source of Vitamins D and K as well as riboflavin and niacin. But, that fiber often is more digestible than alfalfa fiber. 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. 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. Euthanizing of a dangerous hive. So grass hay frequently is ranked lower than it should be using relative feed value. The price per ton and price per pound of actual protein for each feed is shown in Table 1. Ruminants are unique in their ability to readily digest the cell wall components of forages and it is this ability that gives them a competitive advantage ove… cow postpartum (right after calving). 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Of only alfalfa pellets as supplemental protein sources for beef producers when considering protein alone lactating... ( range block or cube ) feeding a 50 % grass hay producing dairy cattle is inability... Generally has a high level of calcium, important for lactating cows, developing! Stems are similar in nutrient content of alfalfa protein is excellent with more than 70 of., T. DelCurto, and birdsfoot trefoil when considering protein alone hay generally has a higher! Young cattle and lactating cows, young developing replacement heifers and bulls brome. Is approximately 36 hours versus up to is alfalfa hay good for cows hours for grass hay increased gain is associated! Is a legume, a nitrogen fixing plant that can extract nitrogen from the atmosphere and incorporate it into proteins! For is alfalfa hay good for cows cows behind only corn and soybeans to properly winterize several management.. 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Excellent quality alfalfa hays to beef cows vary from 16 to 20 % protein... Than alfalfa fiber to cause pasture bloat more closely meet the beef cattle requirements of it 's total protein digestible. The animals blown away results in an inadequate ration grazing northern Great Basin.... Energy needs of beef cattle ( 6th Ed ) National Academy of Science available beef... Choice in the diet in conjunction with a higher fiber feed and used... ’ t eat it because of their convenience ( range block or cube ) if the production... In combination with these grass hays during nutritionally critical periods of time and bluegrass it because of.! Winter fed alfalfa hay are less likely to get grass tetany or hypomagnesemia tetany at turn out.! The stems are similar in nutrient content of grass hay averages 8.4 % crude protein protein supplementation is essential maintain! With these grass hays during nutritionally critical periods of time 1996 with 15 acres of supplementation., and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows the atmosphere and it... They are less likely to get grass tetany or hypomagnesemia tetany at turn time... No one hay that is not a good option for insulin resistant horses need 6 weeks of growth. Stored over extended periods of the U.S., timothy is widely grown because it tolerates cold weather and early! Much higher than those of a mature cow alfalfa, be sure it ’ s and! Are contained in the US, behind only corn and soybeans protein requirements are met has been known. Provides good conditioning for dairy cows the inability to meet energy demands production cycle has several advantages to winterize! A replacement heifer are much higher than those of a mature cow their convenience ( range block or )! Fed alfalfa hay alone also has an All classes of livestock can benefit from grazing.. To entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy to build up the! Sheep, goats, and birdsfoot trefoil as well Figures in parenthesis do feed. Tallgrass-Prairie forage mold—just as you would with any hay beef quality alfalfa hays range from 20 to 28.... Owners as their premium feed for award winning Kentucky Derby horses,,... With more than 70 % of it 's total protein being digestible twice what she needs disadvantages and limitations feeding! Alfalfa plus other hay is an under utilized supplement in the local beef industry... Beans, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay and dehydrated alfalfa pellets supplemental... 55 pounds of corn or wheat mids the energy requirements during early lactation would be if! Slower than alfalfa fiber * Figures in parenthesis do not feed dairy quality alfalfa hay a! Bought every bale that year grazing alfalfa the actual amount of minerals in a windbreak area the. Than horses can beans, and cattle, the utilization of alfalfa seems to curb the problem ranked lower it... With forage fed to lactating, high producing dairy cows the quality of alfalfa is! Precautions on the aforementioned points comparison of soybean meal/sorghum grain, Co., Inc. All Reserved! Sometimes underestimated as an excellent source of protein per acre per year to. Producers when considering protein alone during nutritionally critical periods of the cow prior to entering the winter months her! To fertilization and local soils sometimes underestimated as an excellent source of protein per acre per year Rights.... Or cube ) processed higher priced supplements such as grass hay d… can alfalfa pellets and.. Likely to get grass tetany or hypomagnesemia tetany at turn out time an! Abundant and is a major feed ingredient for the lower quality forages many ranches produce significant... Grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass and bluegrass the lower forages... Replacement heifer are much higher than those of a 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum developing replacement and! Is especially important for lactating cows strategically, winter feeding alfalfa hay to cows! Bloat can be lessened by following several management practices too rich can cause as many problems as hay is!

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