Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

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Frazier
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Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby Frazier » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:14 pm

Looking for thoughts on free feeding Alfalfa hay....My pastures are done..First drought then to much rain...Want to feed straight Alfalfa which is the most economical for me here in Florida..But getting mixed advise..I'm told alfalfa cause bloat..I'm told only Pasture grazed alfalfa cause bloat that bailed Alfalfa is safe... My Vet recommended a pasture block which I placed next to there roll of Tifton that they barely eat..But they spend the whole day chewing on the compressed alfalfa block.. Was thinking of removing the Tifton that they don't eat and loading up the feeder with a 800lbs loose bail of alfalfa..Thoughts opinions.
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Coosh71
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby Coosh71 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:41 pm

99% of all ranchers around me feed "cake" every other day and free choice hay or pastures. But there are a couple that feed the large square bales of alfalfa. They have told me they prefer that to the cake. I've not heard them say anything about any drawbacks to feeding the alfalfa at all. By the ton it is a cheaper protein.
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Redgully
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby Redgully » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:13 pm

Interesting i had a heifer recently bloating from too much clover in the pasture. I put her in a yard on oaten hay for a couple of days and was still up and down. Rang the vet and he told me to swap the oaten hay for alfalfa and she will be fine. I told him I thought being a legume it would make the problem worse but he said it is the best thing for them being in hay form and not fresh. So i did it and worked perfectly. She came good and has stayed good.
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elkwc
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby elkwc » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:49 am

I've fed alfalfa hay free choice to cows and horses for years. Have never had any issues.
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Frazier
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby Frazier » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:55 am

Just want to confirm.. I'm feeding the compressed alfalfa pasture blocks now.. Want to go to the loose alfalfa 3x3x8 bails to make it easier for them ...
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Silver
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby Silver » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:37 am

I've never had issues, but I've never fed 2nd or 3rd cut straight alfalfa hay. As I understand it there is a potential bloat problem there.
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TexasBred
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby TexasBred » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:21 pm

Silver wrote:I've never had issues, but I've never fed 2nd or 3rd cut straight alfalfa hay. As I understand it there is a potential bloat problem there.

Thousands of dairy cattle are fed free choice alfalfa every day with no problems. Bloat should be more related grazing alfalfa.
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TCRanch
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Re: Free feed Alfalfa Hay...

Postby TCRanch » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:28 pm

We used to feed alfalfa all the time, still have a few bales left since re-seeding with Bermuda. You'll initially get "alfalfa butt", which is the same as "wheat butt" and "brome butt". They'll get over it but may be a good idea to have a bale of junk or prairie hay for them to regulate because it's generally pretty high in protein. We never let ours graze the alfalfa but did have a bull get out, spent quality time in the alfalfa field & ended up with a nasty case of bloat.
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