How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Cattle problems.
Steer15
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:16 am

How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby Steer15 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:31 am

We are fairly new to the beef industry. We have a very small farm. We have 6 steers that will be a year old in may. They currently weigh around 600-700 lbs. we got them when they were 7 months old and they were just weaned. They had been started on hay and some grain. This is our 3rd batch of beef so to speak. The other two batches we had were crazy over grain. They would eat it before hay. We buy a second cutting clover, alfalfa mix hay and they other cattle did well on it along with feeding them a 9 % cow chop feed. We have continued to feed the 9% grain to the current steers. They are currently getting 11lbs of grain per steer per day. They started out getting 7 lbs a grain a day along with hay. As we started to increase grain they began to be more interested in the hay. I was giving them 2 bales per day sometimes less. I am now feeding them 5 flakes of hay twice a day and the 5.5lbs of grain per steer twice a day. They always clean up the grain but will always eat the hay first. I'm just curious if anyone can tell me why that is? And am I giving them too much hay or not enough? We are really trying to produce excellent marbleing in the beef. I am getting the hay tested to see protein levels and am going to switch to an 11% feed. Any help would be appreciated.

User avatar
jerry27150
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2203
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:57 am
Location: northern missouri

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby jerry27150 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:49 pm

that hay should have plenty of protein. don't know what your chop is, normally corn & oats, they should only need whole or cracked corn with this hay. with 11 lbs grain they need more hay

User avatar
TexasBred
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 27608
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby TexasBred » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:59 pm

Steer15 wrote:We are fairly new to the beef industry. We have a very small farm. We have 6 steers that will be a year old in may. They currently weigh around 600-700 lbs. we got them when they were 7 months old and they were just weaned. They had been started on hay and some grain. This is our 3rd batch of beef so to speak. The other two batches we had were crazy over grain. They would eat it before hay. We buy a second cutting clover, alfalfa mix hay and they other cattle did well on it along with feeding them a 9 % cow chop feed. We have continued to feed the 9% grain to the current steers. They are currently getting 11lbs of grain per steer per day. They started out getting 7 lbs a grain a day along with hay. As we started to increase grain they began to be more interested in the hay. I was giving them 2 bales per day sometimes less. I am now feeding them 5 flakes of hay twice a day and the 5.5lbs of grain per steer twice a day. They always clean up the grain but will always eat the hay first. I'm just curious if anyone can tell me why that is? And am I giving them too much hay or not enough? We are really trying to produce excellent marbleing in the beef. I am getting the hay tested to see protein levels and am going to switch to an 11% feed. Any help would be appreciated.

Always try to feed the same amount of hay/grazing as you feed grain.
“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag.....“But I am not king.”....Supreme Court Justice Scalia

Steer15
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:16 am

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby Steer15 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:30 pm

Thank you for the replies. I'm trying to figure this batch out. I'm switching them to an 11% grower this week. I am also seeing corn in the manure.
Image
The feed does have cracked corn and some other stuff in it.

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1004
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby farmerjan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:37 pm

I have never limit fed hay to any of my cattle. It is front of them, or they have unlimited grass for grazing. Too much grain can cause an imbalance in the rumen ph and they can get acidosis and cause them other problems. Cattle are a ruminant, they want/need the roughage and their rumen will work better if they have enough. In dairy rations they often have to add yeast to make the feed (corn silage especially) less acidic and when they add hay it definitely helps. An animal won't marble well until it has reached a certain stage of maturity, it is just in their genetic makeup. They can put on fat but the meat will not marble until their body is ready to. That is why most animals do their best marbling in the 18-26 month range. Different breeds also have different rates of marbling and different degrees of tenderness that is due to marbling.
Some breeds are grain hogs and some don't care. Our red polls would just as soon have real nice hay as have grain. Others will knock you over for a bucket of grain. This group you have may just have the preference for hay.

User avatar
kenny thomas
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6714
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:16 pm
Location: SW tip of Virginia

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby kenny thomas » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:17 pm

The hay u describe should be much higher in protein that the feed your getting. 9% is a maintenance for a cow not a grower feed for calves.
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

Some people know people, who know people, who aren't very nice people and you could get a visit from them someday. So be good people.

Steer15
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:16 am

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby Steer15 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:19 am

Thank you Kenny and farmerjan. I apprrciate the feedback. I'm still learning all of this. I was raised showing quarter horses so this cow thing is new to me :nod:

User avatar
TexasBred
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 27608
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby TexasBred » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:59 am

Steer15 wrote:Thank you for the replies. I'm trying to figure this batch out. I'm switching them to an 11% grower this week. I am also seeing corn in the manure.
Image
The feed does have cracked corn and some other stuff in it.

Not a problem. Just lets you know that you have a pretty "hot" feed going there. ;-)
“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag.....“But I am not king.”....Supreme Court Justice Scalia

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1004
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby farmerjan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:25 pm

Just a note, one of the other members reminded me that yeast doesn't change the PH but it does help to make the gut/rumen more bacteria friendly and creates better digestion. It is sodium bicarb that changes the PH and I meant to put in my post that yeast and sodium bicarb is added to many dairy rations to make the feed less acidic. Thanks TB for picking up on my goof.

User avatar
TexasBred
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 27608
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby TexasBred » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:01 pm

farmerjan wrote:Just a note, one of the other members reminded me that yeast doesn't change the PH but it does help to make the gut/rumen more bacteria friendly and creates better digestion. It is sodium bicarb that changes the PH and I meant to put in my post that yeast and sodium bicarb is added to many dairy rations to make the feed less acidic. Thanks TB for picking up on my goof.

That's not a goof....read enough of my posts and you'll see some real goofs. :lol2: :lol2:
“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag.....“But I am not king.”....Supreme Court Justice Scalia

User avatar
kenny thomas
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6714
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:16 pm
Location: SW tip of Virginia

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby kenny thomas » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:00 pm

farmerjan wrote:Just a note, one of the other members reminded me that yeast doesn't change the PH but it does help to make the gut/rumen more bacteria friendly and creates better digestion. It is sodium bicarb that changes the PH and I meant to put in my post that yeast and sodium bicarb is added to many dairy rations to make the feed less acidic. Thanks TB for picking up on my goof.

Jan or TB, can yeast or bicarbonate be added to normal free choice minerals as a maintenance? Will it help grazing cattle?
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

Some people know people, who know people, who aren't very nice people and you could get a visit from them someday. So be good people.

User avatar
TexasBred
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 27608
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby TexasBred » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:21 am

kenny thomas wrote:
farmerjan wrote:Just a note, one of the other members reminded me that yeast doesn't change the PH but it does help to make the gut/rumen more bacteria friendly and creates better digestion. It is sodium bicarb that changes the PH and I meant to put in my post that yeast and sodium bicarb is added to many dairy rations to make the feed less acidic. Thanks TB for picking up on my goof.

Jan or TB, can yeast or bicarbonate be added to normal free choice minerals as a maintenance? Will it help grazing cattle?

Kenny it can be but not sure how effective it would be nor how cost effective it would be in a low consumption mineral. Yeast culture begins to deteriorate almost immediately once the bag is opened. it certainly can't hurt anything but as I said, not really convinced it would be cost effective. Beef cattle typically don't have problems with acidosis because very few of us feed that much real grain. (feedlots being the exception).
“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag.....“But I am not king.”....Supreme Court Justice Scalia

User avatar
kenny thomas
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6714
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:16 pm
Location: SW tip of Virginia

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby kenny thomas » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:25 am

Ok, so no real advantage feeding it to grazing cattle?
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

Some people know people, who know people, who aren't very nice people and you could get a visit from them someday. So be good people.

User avatar
TexasBred
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 27608
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: How much hay should I be feeding my steers

Postby TexasBred » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:18 pm

kenny thomas wrote:Ok, so no real advantage feeding it to grazing cattle?

No sir.
“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag.....“But I am not king.”....Supreme Court Justice Scalia


Return to “Health & Nutrition”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests