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CloversMum Posted - Feb 18 2016 : 08:56:11 AM
In MaryJane's book, she gives us the formula to how much hay each cow needs a day. With our growing herd, I just figured out that we are going to need about ten to twelve tons of hay just for the cows, plus more for my goats. Wow. But I was also really happy to figure out that we are feeding our cows exactly what they need per their body weight, a daily ration of 2% of the cow's body weight.

And, MaryJane, you mention that you figure hay from October to March. Does that mean you start pasturing them in April? That seems a bit early around here, but I'd love it if possible. I suppose it depends on our winter, too. It is hard to imagine pastures being ready to be grazed in another five to six weeks, given all the mud right now.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Feb 23 2016 : 09:25:02 AM
Well, what a wonderful problem to have ... too much hay! Goodness, that never happens around here! :) Personally, if it were me, I'd keep them and use them up first.
Andrea0509 Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 11:27:30 AM
Thanks ladies for sharing what works for each of you.

Another reason I asked is because I'm thinking I may have over calculated the # of hay bales I purchased this Summer. We're only a few months from pasture season and I was thinking about selling some of them. But, if it's something that will get used throughout the year, I may just keep them.
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 10:47:07 AM
I stall my cows at night in the winter. I do this, partly because of the cold, but they are cleaner to deal with in the morning when it's time to milk. I do give each of them a section of hay and water for the night. As the weather gets nicer and less messy, they will stay outdoors all night. Both the calves are sharing a stall together as I'm weaning them off of mommas. They also get hay, water for the night.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 09:38:37 AM
We probably won't have a separate area for eating and sleeping so will leave out hay for the cows during the night. I do that now with our goats who I lock up every night. I've been up during the night with the goats during kidding season and its amazing how often they get up to eat more hay. They'd get up every few hours and eat and then go chew cud. I'd not want them to go looking for something to eat and then not have it.
maryjane Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 09:13:09 AM
I feed mine a evening meal in an area that is separate from where they sleep. Less manure in their bedding the next morning.
Andrea0509 Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 08:42:24 AM
Another hay related question! We'll be building our barn this year (details on that to come soon hopefully!) and our animals will be coming inside at night for the first time. Currently they are on pasture 24/7 and have small pasture shelters to get out of the elements.

My questions are:
1) Will I need to feed hay when Percy is in her stall at night? Of course she will still be getting her nightly feed with minerals & supplements but wondering if hay is needed for something to munch on throughout the night.
2) If so, is it needed just in Winter, or year round?
3) Do any of you stall your cows at night? I love the idea of it for the peace of mind.
I'm especially looking forward to stalling my sheep with the coyotes we have around us.

txbikergirl Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 7:02:58 PM
its totally spring fever mary jane... its catching from east texas to west idaho!
maryjane Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 6:28:57 PM
Or it could be what I've been feeling the last week. I just got back from a long walk in the dark in the pouring rain and I've been sleeping with my windows thrown wide open--loving the rain blowing onto my face all night long. Maybe they were washing away their winter cares. Spring fever?
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 6:12:00 PM
typhoon !
CloversMum Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 09:31:15 AM
The big, dark woods just wasn't for them last night ... someone forgot to leave on the nightlight?
maryjane Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 09:14:52 AM
Ha, we thought earthquake but that didn't happen:)
CloversMum Posted - Feb 19 2016 : 08:57:12 AM
Any possible idea of why those deer were out in the open? That does sound strange.
maryjane Posted - Feb 18 2016 : 9:06:54 PM
On the way home tonight, up the last stretch of our lane, and just before our pastures, Nick and I saw something we've never, in all these years (Nick has lived here his entire life), seen before: deer (several different bunches spread far apart) bedded down in the wheat fields. They've probably been nibbling on the new wheat but it's raining like the dickens. Essentially, they were laying out in the open in the mud, rain, and wind. We have plenty of trees nearby and even the ridge where they usually bed down. We both agreed, it was odd.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 18 2016 : 7:43:34 PM
With all the rain today and resulting mud, it is difficult to imagine pastures lush and green even though I know we need the rain and mud to get to the lush green grasses!
maryjane Posted - Feb 18 2016 : 09:05:59 AM
I was out inspecting one of my big pastures yesterday and seeing lots of green starting to happen ... along with the potential for mud. I'm going to have a different kind of challenge this year in putting any of my animals out because of all the trenches we dug last summer that have to grow some sod on them before animals can step in those areas.

As long as I keep moving my animals to new pastures, yes, I put them onto pasture in April, unless it's pouring rain every day. Given the number of animals I have, they'd still get something in their feeder, probably some Chaffhaye, when I brought them in at night.