Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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grannysoo
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby grannysoo » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:36 am

City Rancher wrote:Thanks for the replies so far. Lets say I could get the clippings fresh so rot was not an issue. The main concern seems to be in getting enough protein and dense food into them. But is what I am proposing that much different than cattle raised till slaughtered on a 100% grass fed diet out in a pasture?


No such thing as "fresh" clippings. They are going to start decomposing the moment that they are cut. When piled, you have pressure and heat that makes the process happen faster. If we cut our grass in the morning, I can already smell the decomposing and fermenting by evening.

To each their own, but I wouldn't be doing it.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby dieselbeef » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:26 am

wheni mow around the house i blow it into the pasture. they come from all over the fields to come get...but only when its fresh. soon as it drys a little or if its clumpy and wet or starts to rot from being to thick they dont want none of it...i dont think you could get enuff everyday fresh enuff to feed 4 calfs..esp when they get to be 700-800 lbs each. thats a lot of intake. bet there wont be a sprig of grass in the lot theyre standin in....

if yer gonna claim the manure you best have em on concrete....cuz 4 calves on one acre gonna be wallowing like pigs in a short time
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby Susie David » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Same with us...when the cows hear the mower start they gather at the fence for their "treat" it is a suppliment to pasture not ment to be a feed source. Same goes when the see the grand kids weeding the garden they gather, shoot, the hens line the fence for the snack.
Unless you know what has been applied to the lawn I wouldn't feed it to my gals...just me but I don't like surprizes and do like healthy animals. Dmc
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby novatech » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:13 am

I don't see a lot wrong with feeding grass clippings in moderation, but not as their primary food source. First you would have no idea of the food value of each batch fed. So how do you know how to supplement with other products? The next problem is that you have no idea what others have used on their lawns. Some herbicides and pesticides have restricted use.
Many people feed their own clippings to their cattle with no problem but then they have control of what they are feeding. In your case you will have no clue. For instance MSMA has arsenic in it.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby mnmtranching » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:37 am

Almost all herbicides and pesticides have restricted use. Same stuff used on lawns as used on forage crops. Such as Alfalfa the #1 forage crop. IMO If I wanted to I would use lawn clippings without hesitation. I buy a lot of hay with no idea what it has been sprayed with. What about the chemical use in baled hay that keeps the high moisture stuff from molding? Very commonly used in dairy quality alfalfa. To worry about a little spray on lawns is silly. At most a twice a year application. And I bet there is more restricted use of chemicals on lawn then on forage crops. Humans, Kids are exposed to lawns.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby novatech » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:29 pm

mnmtranching wrote:Almost all herbicides and pesticides have restricted use. Same stuff used on lawns as used on forage crops. Such as Alfalfa the #1 forage crop. IMO If I wanted to I would use lawn clippings without hesitation. I buy a lot of hay with no idea what it has been sprayed with. What about the chemical use in baled hay that keeps the high moisture stuff from molding? Very commonly used in dairy quality alfalfa. To worry about a little spray on lawns is silly. At most a twice a year application. And I bet there is more restricted use of chemicals on lawn then on forage crops. Humans, Kids are exposed to lawns.

Same stuff I agree, but with residential home owners it is common for them not to even red the label. Many over do it. Same with fertilizer. Which is also causing our estuaries by the sea to diminish. It is also common for many people to through their weeds and garden clippings into the yard where they will be bagged up. I do, including oleander which will kill a cow. When all this stuff, poisonous or not is mixed up in a bagger and fed, the cattle cannot sort it out. Lawn clippings are much different than hay. Hay is large enough so the cattle can sort through it thus not eating the poisonous plants. If I could control the source then I would not hesatate. Problem is most I cannot. Feed my overfertilized grass to your cows and you won't have them long.
Much better composting, build the soil, raise the grass that feeds the cow.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby Dave » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:53 pm

I have thought about this for years. There are acres and acres of lawns near me that get cut regularly in the spring and summer. These people are paying to dump the grass clippings. Maybe I could charge less to take it. What an idea have someone pay me to take feed from them. My thought is not so much to feed it fresh but to make silage out of it. Grass clippings test high in moisture and thus low in dry matter. They need to be wilted some before packing to make silage, so the drying that will occur is not a bad thing. The ADF numbers are real low which makes it very digestable. In fact too much so. Some more fiber is needed in the diet to slow it down passing through the cow. But on a dry matter basis it is high in protein.
Think of it as grass from a lot of small productive irrigated fields.
I just haven't figured out how to handle it in a high enough volume to make it worthwhile.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby dyates » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:37 pm

Dave wrote:I have thought about this for years. There are acres and acres of lawns near me that get cut regularly in the spring and summer. These people are paying to dump the grass clippings. Maybe I could charge less to take it. What an idea have someone pay me to take feed from them. My thought is not so much to feed it fresh but to make silage out of it. Grass clippings test high in moisture and thus low in dry matter. They need to be wilted some before packing to make silage, so the drying that will occur is not a bad thing. The ADF numbers are real low which makes it very digestable. In fact too much so. Some more fiber is needed in the diet to slow it down passing through the cow. But on a dry matter basis it is high in protein.
Think of it as grass from a lot of small productive irrigated fields.
I just haven't figured out how to handle it in a high enough volume to make it worthwhile.


My thoughts exactly. Throw in the fact that there are people everywhere with horsebarns that would be happy to fill your spreader with their used bedding. Cattle will eat it. I have a neighbor who has wintered 50 cows through two winters on horse bedding, no supplements. There is your roughage.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby Bez+ » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:59 pm

I honestly can not believe I am reading some of this.

Clippings with potential unknown chemical additives. And you can be dammmed sure they are there - and most likely not used as described or instructed.

Feeding horse schitte to cows.

Might as well add the chicken schitte - some of you folks have seen posts here on this as well and it is commonly fed out to cattle in some areas of the U.S. of A.

Have to tell you that the average consumer hears this they will start to wonder about the so called "safe food grown in America".

Try telling your next customer that steak was raised on horse schitte.

Try telling your next customer you feed grass hay with unknown additives.

You guys need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you need to be in the business.

You may not have a wreck - but you could cause us all to be a little less trusted by this foolishness.

You might not like what I just said - but you are pulling the wool over the people who feed us - the consumer - without their confidence and their dollars we are all screwed.

So - please advertise this and see how it is received:

Beef! Cut to your specifications. Fed on horse schitte and potentially chemically laden grass clippings.

How many people will line up for this responsibly grown (sarcasm) beef?

I would rather eat imported beef from Australia than something grown and fed on the feed I am reading about here.

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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby dyates » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:34 pm

Geesh! Relax. I'm not talking about feeding turds. The stuff these thoroughbred people throw out is better hay than some people put up period. To put in perspective, these horses get $40,000 stalls and pretty girls to wash their private parts. You might be right about the lawn chemicals, this is just a discussion. We're all tryin' to get back to even, as you say, and that's gonna take some innovation.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby Bez+ » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:40 pm

dyates wrote:Geesh! Relax. I'm not talking about feeding turds. The stuff these thoroughbred people throw out is better hay than some people put up period. To put in perspective, these horses get $40,000 stalls and pretty girls to wash their private parts. You might be right about the lawn chemicals, this is just a discussion. We're all tryin' to get back to even, as you say, and that's gonna take some innovation.


Ok then lets change the advertisement.

Beef! Cut to your specifications. Fed on horse bedding with added horse urine (including any meds) and potentially chemically laden grass clippings.

I understand your "relax" statement - but you need to THINK!

We sell to the consumer - does not matter what you and I think - what they think determines how they perceive the beef they buy.

We are only as good as our last sale.

Our beef is only as good as what the consumer thinks about us.

Tell them what is being discussed here and what would the reaction be?

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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby TexasBred » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:49 pm

Lighten up Bez. You sound like a baptist preacher (Not picking on baptist) telling everyone they're all going to hel cept him cause he never misses church and reads his bible everyday and they don't. The man asked a question. Some said ok, some said no..I personally said no. But very few bales of hay rolled up that don't have some kind of foreign matter in it be a weed or a turd. You just hope your cow knows the difference unless you're gonna hand feed her. I wonder about a lot of USDA certified crap. Most times all that stamp means is that the container has been weighed to confirm the weight being accurate.

Personally, grass clippings ain't cattle feed. I try to mulch them back into the lawn. But I buy hay and I sometimes wonder what was put on it before it was cut. Just about everything that goes into a complete feed has had fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, defoliate etc. applied at some stage between sprouting to the mixing at the mill. If it came from Mexico or SA it probably even had some good ol' DDT put on it.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby hayray » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:25 am

I think Bez has some good points here. A lot of people will buy some beef from local producers - like myself because of the trust issue. I doubt I could get anyone to buy my beef if when asked what I feed that I stated, " left over hay from horse manure, lawn grass clippings, chicken litter, NPN, among other things". Sounds alot better telling them that I feed my cattle hay and corn. Remember us beef producers are in the food business.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby mnmtranching » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:21 am

I think it's funny that some think there are more of hazardous materials but on a residential lawn then a alfalfa field, how about the corn you feed your cattle, the wheat flour :lol: :lol: How about that head of lettuce you picked up at walliemart. How many times you think this stuff has been sprayed :???: And it's been sprayed with the stuff you can't buy across the counter. The commercial guys use the GOOD stuff. :help:

You want to feed lawn clippings, DO IT don't worry about it. Gonna be REALLY hard to dry it however.
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Re: Feeding Beef Cattle only on lawn grass clippings

Postby hayray » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:38 pm

I don't think of forage crops having as much applied chemicals as urban lawns but I could be wrong. I did some googleing on the topic and some studies were concerned, but I am not sure showed - a concern about chloroforms on some lawn clippings. I myself don't spray anything on my lawn and I end up grazing my lawn most of the summer, last year I only mowed once. But most of the subdivisions in my area I know spray a lot of stuff on the lawns, the only thing applied to my hay crops is fertilizer.
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