Hay Versus Ground Feed For Beef Cattle

       If you want to produce good beef and generate a generous profit, usually good legume hay will do the trick.  It is estimated that a rancher will use a half ton or more of hay to fatten up the cattle. You want to get the best types of hay there is to offer. This type is one that will not only fatten your cows, but also it will fatten your wallet too. A fatter cow equals a fatter  profit.

     Alfalfa is the most expensive yet the most requested of all types of hay.  Alfalfa tops the charts on desirable hay. Although alfalfa can be expensive, it is well worth the investment when your cows gain more weight. Some other benefits of purchasing alfalfa hay are: Alfalfa produces more digestible proteins than clover mixture hays and corn together and it is rich in minerals and vitamins. It is wise to mix in some timothy clover and other grasses with the alfalfa when your intent is to feed your cattle. The reason for adding the grasses to the hay is to cut down on the risk of serious bloating in your cows.  

     Red clover, Alsike clover, Ladino and Timothy clover, are all examples of other grasses that can be used to match the effectiveness of alfalfa.  Also, sweet clover, Lespedeza, and soybeans will work just fine for your cattle feeding needs.  Some fescues and rye grasses have also been used as hay feed for cattle.  But mostly these days, alfalfa and other grass mixes are the most desirable for both cows and ranchers. 

     When it comes to ground feed, nothing can compete with corn for the number one spot.  Corn is an excellent fattening agent.  Many ranchers rely solely on ground feeding for their cattle.  And of course the cattle, if they could, would testify to the fact that corn is the best when it comes to a fattening ground feed.  But remember that your cows need supplements and other nutrients added to your feed.  That is why it is best to have a formula in mind.  A formula consists of the main ingredient, mainly corn, a supplement, some other type of additive, and salt.   

     It is important to add salt because salt is needed to help the cow maintain their health.  Try not to omit salt from your cow’s diet or pretty soon you’ll end up with some sick cows on your hands.  That’s why most ranchers have a salt block (salt lick) near and available for the cows when they need it.   

     You can help your cattle avoid developing grass tetany, a metabolic disease that causes the magnesium levels in the animal’s blood serum to drop, by supplying them with a supplement block that has high levels of magnesium in it.  This way, as they do with the salt block, they will maintain their levels of magnesium throughout the day.  They will not have to suffer if those levels are kept balanced.  When choosing which type of food to nourish your cattle, your desire and your goal is simple—fatten your cows and produce better profits.

 Introduction To Small Beef Cattle Ranching


 Red Beef Cattle Barn