Range Meal vs cubes

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RunninB
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Range Meal vs cubes

Postby RunninB » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:45 pm

Hey there,

Been in the business now since 2015 and am always learning. Short background is I have 18 momma cows right now with 6 - 5 month old calves and 5 that are 3 months and younger. Our pastures are getting pretty thin as we live in the Hillcountry of Texas and have only received about an inch of rain spread over the last 3-4 months. I have been fortunate in that I have not had to break out the hay during the summer until now. I am wanting to supplement the hay with some feed on alternate days as it just isn’t cutting it. From what I have read/heard from some of the “experts”is to first remove and wean the calves that are over 100 days old to help with the consumption of the cows. When I talk to the local feed mill they tell me it’s really a matter of preference when it comes to feeding cubes to supplement vs. a mixed feed or range meal as its labeled. (I also have whole cotton seed available as well though it’s not that much cheaper than feed when I get it straight from the gin) From you guys that have been doing this a long time, what would your strategy be to work through the dry weather. I’m really not looking to sell off unless it’s absolutely necessary. This isn’t my main source of income and do have the ability to feed substantially if necessary. Let me have your two cents if you wouldn’t mind.
Thanks for your time and knowledge.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby Kingfisher » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:53 pm

How often would you be able to feed cubes?
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby callmefence » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:46 pm

I would say a GOOD cube is better than most range meals. But not necessarily the same thing. To me a range meal usually salt and cottonseed meal are put out free choice with the salt being a limiter. Cubes are fed at a number of pounds per day on the ground in the pasture. You can also get a loose mix pretty much the same as cubes but not cubed. For a little cheaper. Whole cottonseed is hard to beat. From the impression I got from your post. Sounds like your willing and able to feed them not to worried about the pennies......hay and cubes.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby wbvs58 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:52 pm

I think just straight cottonseed, it can be just trailed straight on the short grass. The advantage of cubes would be to trail onto the ground as well rather than risk getting trampled trying to put a meal into a trough.

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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby elkwc » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:02 pm

All of the above are good options. I've also used tubs with good results if they have free choice to hay. We usually don't wean that early even in a drought. Instead if needed we will creep the calves for 1.2 months on the cows before weaning. We try not to wean before 5 months unless we have no other choice.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby cjmc » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:18 pm

Supplements that are higher in protein and lower in energy do a good job of increasing low quality forage intake. Supplements that are higher in energy and lower in protein do a good job of offsetting forage intake.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby 1982vett » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:45 pm

I used to be a heavy user of range meal pre-2010. I started testing the hay I grew and results told me I didn’t need to supplement. My cows wintered on oats, ryegrass and hay. They held condition and by summer were fat.

Took this yesterday. Image We are in D1 drought conditions. My cows are still fat even though the grass is far from ideal. Can’t help but think with range meal they consume to much salt. If you have to supplement I’d consider other sources until convienence says rangemeal. :2cents:
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby JMJ Farms » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:18 pm

This is a good topic. I’m interested to read the posts. WCS is a an awesome feed. There is the issue of feedingbig to bulls long term. I’ve done it short term with no ill effects.

Vette, that’s a fine looking bunch of momma cows.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:13 am

1982vett wrote:I used to be a heavy user of range meal pre-2010. I started testing the hay I grew and results told me I didn’t need to supplement. My cows wintered on oats, ryegrass and hay. They held condition and by summer were fat.

Took this yesterday. Image We are in D1 drought conditions. My cows are still fat even though the grass is far from ideal. Can’t help but think with range meal they consume to much salt. If you have to supplement I’d consider other sources until convienence says rangemeal. :2cents:

When were in drought conditions I sure don't have grass like that. Everything looks good to me Vett.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby 1982vett » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:56 am

Doesn’t look all that bad does it? Other side of those trees look substantially different. Their are spots where the grass is pretty good. I definitly have better grass than I did in 2011. benefit of under stocking the past 7 years.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby callmefence » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:10 am

1982vett wrote:I used to be a heavy user of range meal pre-2010. I started testing the hay I grew and results told me I didn’t need to supplement. My cows wintered on oats, ryegrass and hay. They held condition and by summer were fat.

Took this yesterday. Image We are in D1 drought conditions. My cows are still fat even though the grass is far from ideal. Can’t help but think with range meal they consume to much salt. If you have to supplement I’d consider other sources until convienence says rangemeal. :2cents:


Nice looking bunch Vette.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby RunninB » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:32 am

Kingfisher-I can feed however often I need to. My original plan was/is to feed every two days alternating feed and hay. If I need to feed more often I can. Thought I would start with that rotation and see how things go. Let me know if you thing I’m pis@%ng in the wind with that schedule.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby BRYANT » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:42 am

I feed ''Range Meal'' and keep it out pretty much year around, when the grass is good they will not touch it but as the grass starts loosing its goods they start eating it more. My cows are on just a native grass pasture ,that's not been taken real good care of, and get fed poor grade grass hay. I will mix some corn, 50 lbs. of corn to 100 lbs. of meal if it gets real cold with ice and snow, seams to help these Brahman cross take the cold better ???? I will give them a small amount of cubes about one time a week just to keep them gentle and coming to the lot. I might would feed cubes over meal if I live close enough, but some of my cows only get checked once every 7 - 10 days. That's the way I do it not saying its right but it works for me.
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby callmefence » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:00 am

RunninB wrote:Kingfisher-I can feed however often I need to. My original plan was/is to feed every two days alternating feed and hay. If I need to feed more often I can. Thought I would start with that rotation and see how things go. Let me know if you thing I’m pis@%ng in the wind with that schedule.


Hay or pasture free choice. Enough cubes to keep the crap in pies not mounds
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Re: Range Meal vs cubes

Postby TexasBred » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:04 pm

Just my preference but if you have trough space and time, I'd feed whole cottonseed. More bang for your dollar, should see a bit of an increase in milk production and I think you're cattle will come through winter looking a little better. Do not be tempted to overfeed them but feed at recommended rate. At that rate the bull shouldn't be harmed either. They may look at your like you're crazy the first time you throw whole cottonseed in the trough but they'll adapt.
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