Feeding Cattle

Written by David Selman, Tracker-Outdoors.com

A cow can eat 25 to 30 pounds of hay a day and waste a couple of more pounds. This adds up to 27 to 32 pounds per day per cow. Allow about half this amount for weanling calves and about three-quarters for yearlings.Large round bales often do not weigh as much as you might think. It is not unusual for so ­called 1000 pound bales to weigh 800 pounds or less. In addition, bales stored outside onrepparttar ground may easily lose 20 to 30 percent more weight. Covered bales can also lose 10 to 15 percent if a portion ofrepparttar 116146 bales are in contact withrepparttar 116147 ground. Look for additional forage alternatives. Beef cattle haverepparttar 116148 ability to consume numerous types of feed and perform well. Hay can be expensive and in some years more expensive than others. Feed hay only when needed or when costs warrants doing so. A popular forage substitute is commercially prepared pasture cubes. These cubes, or large pellets, can be fed onrepparttar 116149 ground but preferably in troughs and are designed to substitute for some portion ofrepparttar 116150 hay. Use crop residues such as corn stalks. When available, crop residues can trim many days offrepparttar 116151 hay feeding period when pasture is limited. The use of supplemental feeds can reducerepparttar 116152 need for and consumption of hay. High starch supplement feeds such as corn reduce consumption of forage and hay. Corn may be "substituted" for hay. High starch feeds, such as corn, do decrease use of forages in a "free-choice" forage situation. But when forage is limited, corn can be used to "stretch"repparttar 116153 hay supply, especially when corn is relatively inexpensive. Cattle should be adapted to corn slowly over a 7 - 10 day period. As a rule of thumb, one pound of corn can replace two pounds of hay. Do not feed less than five pounds of hay per day with corn. With low-quality forages, protein often improves forage consumption and use. This is becauserepparttar 116154 protein requirements ofrepparttar 116155 rumen microbes must be met if forage is going to be effectively used. If hay doesn't meetrepparttar 116156 protein requirements ofrepparttar 116157 animal, add supplemental protein. For example, adding as little as a pound a day of a 30 to 40 percent protein feed could increase total hay consumption and assist in keeping cows in optimal body condition. Soybean meal, cottonseed meal, corn gluten feed, whole cottonseed and commercial mixtures are some suggested protein sources. Provide adequate mineral supplements. Minerals do not have to be super expensive to work, but rarely arerepparttar 116158 "cheapest" alternativesrepparttar 116159 best. Genetically superior cattle have higher mineral requirements. This becomes apparent if nutritional needs are being stretched in a difficult weather situation. Processing feeds may or may not improve efficiency. Many feedstuffs (milo, whole soybeans) need to be at least coarsely ground or hammered to make nutrients available, while others do not. Most research has shown that only marginal benefits are gained from grinding corn. In fact, fine grinding of corn increases dust and makes it more likely to cause digestive upset. The best argument for using a coarsely ground or cracked corn is that it improves mixing with other ingredients. Pick a supplement that fitsrepparttar 116160 situation. Many producers do not have time to carefully mix ingredients and balance rations. Some do not have time for daily feeding. Some products, such as whole cottonseed, are excellent sources of both energy and protein, but generally require considerable labor in feeding. Consider labor and equipment in selecting a feed to stretch forages. However, most ofrepparttar 116161 low labor alternatives cost more. This is often termedrepparttar 116162 "cost of convenience." A feed that is expensive to one producer may be a bargain to another. Manage feeding to stretch hay supplies. Feed in hay rings. Without rings, consider unrolling hay, but only ifrepparttar 116163 amount that can be consumed in one feeding can be unrolled. If too much is unrolled cows will userepparttar 116164 excess for bedding. Cut and removerepparttar 116165 strings on large bales fed in bay rings as well as that unrolled. Learn when to feed more hay. This is easier said than done. Sometimesrepparttar 116166 last 1/4 to 1/3 of a large round hay bale is weather damaged, spoiled and has low nutritive value. Forcing cattle to eat this may decrease both production and body condition. Conversely, replenishing hay beforerepparttar 116167 cattle have eatenrepparttar 116168 "good parts" of previously fed hay is inefficient and wasteful with limited hay supplies. Developingrepparttar 116169 knack to feed correctly may require thatrepparttar 116170 manager carefully observerepparttar 116171 remnant hay inrepparttar 116172 feeder to assess quality. Avoid excessive mud. Walking through mud very quickly burns energy. Many days of this can definitely decrease performance and body condition. It is also hard onrepparttar 116173 person who doesrepparttar 116174 feeding. Increase hay allotment in cold weather. Nothing makes body heat better than consumption of plenty of good hay. Corn does not increase body heat as well as hay. A little protein will allow cows to better digest hay and increase body heat.

Introducing New Horses to Your Herd 

Written by David Selman, Tracker-Outdoors.com

People change horses as often as they buy new cars these days. "New" horses are always coming and going. There are people who have had 5-7 horses in as many years. Many of these "new" horses already now how to behave inrepparttar herd. They know how to yield torepparttar 116145 dominant horse, how to read posture, how to get out ofrepparttar 116146 way, when to back down, and how to be a horse. Unfortunately, many of our pampered pets don't know a whole lot about being a horse and this can get them into trouble when they most need it.Since you can't askrepparttar 116147 horse, it can be difficult to determine how your new horse is going to act with an established herd. So it's better to be safe and control this introduction a bit than to deal with veterinary bills and frustration. It's always best to quarantine or keep a new horse separate from your established herd until you are sure thatrepparttar 116148 new horse is free of disease or any other malady. Whenrepparttar 116149 horse is determined to be in good health, then it's fine to beginrepparttar 116150 process of introducing him torepparttar 116151 herd. Many people that won't let their horses be with another horse because they are afraid they'll get hurt or that they are too valuable. Sure, getting hurt is always a risk --horses are some ofrepparttar 116152 most "accident prone" animals onrepparttar 116153 planet. But, like our kids, we can't always protect them from everything. No doubt they do cost a lot of money, but horses are herd animals and they valuerepparttar 116154 companionship of another horse more than just about anything else. There are numerous ways to introduce a new horse torepparttar 116155 herd. Many people just throwrepparttar 116156 new guy out intorepparttar 116157 pasture and let him work it out withrepparttar 116158 established herd. This can work, horses have been doing this on their own for years before we ever got involved. This method works best if you have a lot of room forrepparttar 116159 horses to utilize their inherent herding traits just like they would inrepparttar 116160 wild. But, if you have a confined area where territory has been established, pecking order, friendships, etc. then you may want to intervene in order to controlrepparttar 116161 success ofrepparttar 116162 new horse in establishing himself inrepparttar 116163 herd. If you just have one horse and you are bringing in another one, you'll probably have two very relieved horses and your job won't be too big. Horses are herd animals and it takes more than one to be a herd -- it's really not a fair deal to keep a solitary horse. Many times you'll be surprised that if you throwrepparttar 116164 new guy out withrepparttar 116165 others that he'll go stand by himself and wait until he is invited in byrepparttar 116166 dominant horse. However, if you have one horse to integrate with many others (which is more likely) then you may have some issues. It's likely thatrepparttar 116167 resident horses are going to setrepparttar 116168 tone for behavior. Horses can quickly determine where they fit intorepparttar 116169 dominance "food chain" on their own. They know their station in life, but they are also always trying to improve their status. Horses have nothing but time out inrepparttar 116170 pasture -- they do this all day with other horses; flicking their heads, displaying dominant posture, and even kicking and biting when they feel like it's necessary to reinforce their position inrepparttar 116171 herd. Leaders get used to leading. Expect that a horse who was dominant in a herd that he last came from is going to try to regain this status withrepparttar 116172 new herd. Spoiled horses or horses that haven't had much horse to horse interaction but have had a lot of horse to human interaction may not know how to behave inrepparttar 116173 herd environment. It's not your job to teach them, but it is your responsibility to have a horse that knows how to yield to another. By having them inrepparttar 116174 herd, they are forced to play by horse rules ? they have to yield torepparttar 116175 dominant horse or riskrepparttar 116176 consequences. This is one ofrepparttar 116177 best ways that I know of to teach a spoiled horse who is pushy with people how to be a horse. The Common Problem Technique Before attempting these techniques you should be able to interpret a horse's attitude, posture, and haverepparttar 116178 skills to work in a round pen. My favorite method of introducing a new horse torepparttar 116179 herd is by giving all ofrepparttar 116180 horses a common problem to work out. I usually put 3-4 horses into a round pen or arena and work them all at once withrepparttar 116181 new horse. If you only have one horse this is still a good exercise to introduce one horse to another. The common problem that we are talking about is you. You need to ask them to do things that focus on you asrepparttar 116182 leader. Ask them to change directions, get them to draw in to you, hook on, move their feet like you want, etc. Make them all work. This gets their mind off their horse games that they play with each other and on to you. Look for signs that that herd is acceptingrepparttar 116183 new horse. If you see any inappropriate behavior (i.e. kicking, biting, etc.) ask them all to work some more. Ifrepparttar 116184 behavior is good, reward them by letting them stand still. It can take 2-3 sessions or it may take many more before your horse is fully integrated withrepparttar 116185 other horses. Don't rushrepparttar 116186 introduction, it may appear thatrepparttar 116187 horses get along pretty well afterrepparttar 116188 first time but it's probably a mistake to do this once and throw them all out together. Your time is well spent to do this right and not rushrepparttar 116189 introduction. Once you can see thatrepparttar 116190 horses openly accept one another without any stress or pressure from you, it's probably ok to put them out together. Don't get too involved. Letrepparttar 116191 horses determine what their herd standing will be. You may be able to do this for a few minutes while you haverepparttar 116192 focus ofrepparttar 116193 herd, but you're just wasting your time. The minute you leave,repparttar 116194 horses are going to work this out on their own. Obviously, if a horse is gettingrepparttar 116195 tar beat out of him by another you should get them working.

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