Hay Feeding Cost CAN be Substantially Reduced

– David Lalman, Austin Sexten, Gant Mourer, Casey McMurphy and Chelsea Dobbs; Oklahoma State University

This year’s (2011) historical drought has forced cattle producers in the Southern Great Plains to liquidate cattle or withstand record high purchased and harvested feed prices. Additionally, where the typical winter hay feeding season lasts for 90 to 120 days, many cow/calf operations that have chosen to retain part or all of the cow herd will be forced to feed for 200 days or more. Like never before, this is the winter feeding season to consider methods to improve efficiency of harvested forage use. Fortunately, a few relatively simple concepts are available that could make a dramatic impact. In fact, when combined, these strategies could cut the need for hay by at least one third!

Limiting hay intake: Feed yards and backgrounding operations have taken advantage of improved Continue reading

Winter Cold Stress on Cattle

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist and Jeff McCutcheon, Morrow County AgNR Educator

Factors that create stress during the winter months are cold, wind, snow, rain and mud. The primary effect on animals is due to temperature. All these factors alter the maintenance energy requirement of livestock. Maintenance requirement can be defined, as the nutrients required for keeping an animal in a state of balance so that body substance is neither gained or lost. An interesting thing to note is that while energy requirements increase, protein requirements Continue reading