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 Do cows need grain?

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RCMcDaniel Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 06:47:41 AM
I got my gorgeous girl yesterday! Her name is Evie and she is just a doll. She is so gentle, my girls love brushing her and she is adjusting to her life with us well.
One question for you all.....I know what MaryJane feeds her Jerseys from her book, but all the farmers around here who I've talked to keep telling me that she won't do well without some corn for energy in the Winter? Evie was fed a lot of corn where we bought her from, and here she is getting very high quality alfalfa hay mixed with some grass hay. Once I've got all her mineral supplements etc. will she be ok without grain? I don't want to feed her any of that and I'm hoping I don't have to.
Also, I can't find organic straw (planning on putting the manure in my garden) so I'm using the organic grass hay for her bedding. That'll work ok, wont' it?
Thanks all!
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 09:33:34 AM
And, congratulations on a new cow! Evie sounds wonderful!
CloversMum Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 09:32:43 AM
We are giving our cows Modesto Mills organic dairy pellets, along with the supplements listed above. The minerals and the pellets seem to really help with the amount of milk given and how much cream is in all the milk.
maryjane Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 08:57:14 AM
Regarding straw, I can't find organic straw either which means no one around here is growing either organic wheat or organic barley. I buy conventional straw but because it goes on my gardens, I make sure it hasn't been dosed with any of the chemicals listed on page 265 of my book. Yes, organic grass hay works for bedding, as long as she isn't trying to eat it once it's soiled.
maryjane Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 08:53:41 AM
Here's a thread where this was discussed recently:

Congrats on Evie! Photos, yes:)
Andrea0509 Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 08:49:05 AM
Your Evie sounds like a sweetheart! And so good with your girls, that's great!

I don't currently feed grain but will probably start giving an organic dairy grain soon. I've read a lot of the old posts on HJO about it lately and think I want to start giving our girl a small amount each night. Right now I feed hay, alfalfa pellets, and a sprinkling of DE, Sodium Bicarb, Kelp, and a loose mineral. Also a Redmond rock, and ACV when not giving Sodium Bicarb, same as Janet mentioned.

Will be following this thread as others chime in. Great question!
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 07:32:04 AM
Congratulations with your Evie. So happy for you! Photo's please! I think it's typical for farmers to feed grain. Around here it's mostly beef cattle and they feed quite a bit of grain, silage etc. I fed my gals, (Nellie and Sienna), corn at first but slowly reduced it down to none, and now just feed the organic dairy grain pellets/and alfalfa pellets at milk time, otherwise it's all hay/alfalfa. And they get Redmond rocks as they desire, and I sprinkle mineral on like seasoning along with kelp, Diatomaceous Earth, and sodium bicarbonate. Everyone does it a bit differently. ACV(apple cider vinegar), but not when feeding the sodium bicarbonate.