Another hay unrolling thread

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Ky hills
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Ky hills » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:00 pm

ddd75 wrote:
Ky hills wrote:Right or wrong, I'm unrolling one roll per day to a field of 23 head, and 1 every other day to 10, and supplementing them with around 3 pounds per day of a feed ration of cracked corn, corn gluten, soy hulls, and ddg. They seem to be holding their condition well. On a side note, I just push the hay over the hill and let gravity unroll it, If I had more level ground I could use an unroller and measure off about half of a roll more, as they do seem to finish that off before the next feeding.


23 head.. not sure the size.. full size dry cows would require about 700 lbs of hay a day.

depending on hay quality, you may not need the grain.


They are average sized Hereford, Angus type cows, probably most average between 1250-1450 lbs, based on weight of other cows culled from the group. I had our hay tested for the first time this year, as I suspected it wasn't anything to brag about. Most of it looks good as far as that goes, it has been stored inside, but mainly late cut fescue, and just 4x5 rolls. I have almost always supplemented with a little grain just to keep them coming up and give them a little extra energy.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Lucky_P » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:43 pm

BF,
Back in 2007, when there was virtually no hay available - I knew of folks around here who were paying upwards of $90/roll for cornstalks and CRP residue, cut in October, with 1.5" diameter honeylocust trees throughout it - we started limit feeding.
Trials done at tOSU showed that you could feed as little as 5# hay (actually, they went as low as 2.5#) per head/per day, and the cows would do OK, so long as you met their nutritional needs with other feeds.

We bought in some high-priced hay from out west and fed... 10#/hd + 12-13# modified distillers' grain product. Cows came through the winter in better shape than in any previous year when we just fed free-choice crappy local hay (no test, but probably low CP and low TDN... I should have, but didn't know (or care) any better).
We've pretty much continued that 'limit-feeding' deal til this year... have been unrolling (as you know, it's been dry/solid til now)... 1 roll for the Spring-bred cows, 1.5 rolls for the Fall calvers and their calves. They have been cleaning it up, with virtually NO waste.
But today(and yesterday) they're on the concrete feeding pad.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby bird dog » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:22 pm

So Mr. Lucky do you feed on the pad so the tractor won't rut up the pasture or is there another reason?

I would think that since you already have a sacrifice area, why not have a sacrifice area to unroll when its muddy? It seems to me a long strip would be not to tough to fix with a disc and it would be loaded with nutrients and seed.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby ddd75 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:53 pm

bird dog wrote:So Mr. Lucky do you feed on the pad so the tractor won't rut up the pasture or is there another reason?

I would think that since you already have a sacrifice area, why not have a sacrifice area to unroll when its muddy? It seems to me a long strip would be not to tough to fix with a disc and it would be loaded with nutrients and seed.

sounds like lucky and I have teh same setup.

last year I didn't have a nice feeding barn to feed in.. In 1 winter I was pushing dirt with my front axle 100's of feet. to feed them. It stays wet here for a long time and with a lot of top soil it doesn't take much to really start getting deep. It took a lot of dirt to fill in my 3 paths I had to make to even get out to the cows.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Lucky_P » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:06 pm

Yep. Before we poured the pad... even with several truckloads of crushed rock spread, it was getting to the point that I wasn't sure I was gonna get back out of the hay-feeding lot some days... with my 4WD Kubota... and all the rock was just going to China as fast as I could buy it and put it out. And, my wife hated it when the knee-deep mud sucked her boots off.

We don't unroll when it's really soft/muddy (like the past two days), 'cause I think they waste/trample in more than they waste when they're eating on the pad. And, I'd rather not rut the pasture up any worse than I have to. At least on the pad, when they've eaten all the hay in the 5 rings, I can let a group in, or leave them in longer than their normal time and they'll clean up a lot of the stuff they pulled out and dropped... not all, by any stretch, but a lot.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby pricefarm » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:46 am

What size pad would you need to feed around 20 cows?
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Bigfoot » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:45 am

I tried the unroll one yesterday. They made the hottest mess I've seen in a while. If did that twice a day, for 6 months, I won't have any land left by spring. I'm certain, it'd be more successful, if the ground was froze or dry. "If" it were to dry up some, I plan to try it again.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby pricefarm » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:20 am

Bigfoot wrote:I tried the unroll one yesterday. They made the hottest mess I've seen in a while. If did that twice a day, for 6 months, I won't have any land left by spring. I'm certain, it'd be more successful, if the ground was froze or dry. "If" it were to dry up some, I plan to try it again.


I have tried to unroll hay also. It doesn't work here. The ground during the winter here stays soft. If the ground does freeze for a few days I will unroll some hay.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Bright Raven » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:36 am

Bigfoot wrote:I tried the unroll one yesterday. They made the hottest mess I've seen in a while. If did that twice a day, for 6 months, I won't have any land left by spring. I'm certain, it'd be more successful, if the ground was froze or dry. "If" it were to dry up some, I plan to try it again.


I would not even consider unrolling here. My ground stays wet in winter. The clay becomes a pig pen in high traffic. In fact, the benefit to having a designated feed area is to keep them off pasture.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Bigfoot » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:40 am

I should have cashed in during that dry spell.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby 1982vett » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:49 am

Bigfoot wrote:I tried the unroll one yesterday. They made the hottest mess I've seen in a while. If did that twice a day, for 6 months, I won't have any land left by spring. I'm certain, it'd be more successful, if the ground was froze or dry. "If" it were to dry up some, I plan to try it again.

Unrolling definitly works better in a drought. It also takes more feeding time management. I’ve had the unroller on the tractor since thanksgiving, unrolled about six.... trying to get rid of some lower quality hay the mess over if they aren’t hungry and I don’t necessarily want hungry cows. It hasn’t be overly wet to get muddy, but they don’t like wet hay.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Silver » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:51 am

Conventional wisdom in these parts is that it is always cheaper to haul cows to the hay than it is to haul hay to the cows. Would it be an option to take enough cows to be fed elsewhere for long enough to make the hay you have on hand last?
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Lucky_P » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:20 pm

Still feeding on the pad today. Depending on how much it may dry out today, may try unrolling, at least for the Spring herd, tomorrow... but maybe not. May still be too muddy to attempt in the paddock where the Fall herd is.
Don't have an 'unroller', we just drive to the spot - usually at the crest of the hill, or highest spot(s) in the paddock, unwrap, and roll it downhill - usually have to give it a shove/flip with the FEL, but after that I can usually keep it rolling on my own, and, if it's not going too fast on it's own, I can 're-route' trajectory somewhat along the way.
I try to unroll in a different spot every day - and with 10 acres in each paddock, I've been able to do that so far this winter... about 3 months' worth of feeding, so far.

Mid-TN & price asked about pad size. Ours is an 'L', essentially 80x30, with a 30x16 leg off one side. Easily accomodates 5 bale rings, with plenty of room between them for cows. Cow herd numbers are approximately 40 each in the two herds, with the Fall herd also still carrying the 35 or so Sept/Oct calves.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Bigfoot » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:29 pm

Silver wrote:Conventional wisdom in these parts is that it is always cheaper to haul cows to the hay than it is to haul hay to the cows. Would it be an option to take enough cows to be fed elsewhere for long enough to make the hay you have on hand last?


Not really an option.
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Re: Another hay unrolling thread

Postby Bigfoot » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:35 pm

I chained a cedar post to my fel and hung it way out to one side. Used it to mooch the roll along. A more permanent solution would be needed for everyday use. Dash made something that looked promising.
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