Bull Winter Management

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jwimberly
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Bull Winter Management

Postby jwimberly » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:23 am

So I tried a search and didn't come up with much. Last winter my bull had free choice hay and he got way too fat. He was with the cow herd all winter but this year I seperated him into his own pen. One of the college studies recommended about 33 pounds of hay/day for his size which is 1750. Does this sound right? I'm sure it depends on the quality of hay but I need a good starting point. How are the rest of you managing your bulls diet over winter?
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5S Cattle
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby 5S Cattle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:21 am

Our hay sucks. So I generally just leave a bale out and a protein tub. Younger bulls I’m feeding right now
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jwimberly
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby jwimberly » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:38 am

So with free choice hay your bulls don't get too fat but pretty much hold their condition?
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Son of Butch
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:15 pm

jwimberly wrote:One of the college studies recommended about 33 pounds of hay/day for his size which is 1750. Does this sound right?

Sounds a tad low to me. 2% of his body weight is 35 lbs. I'd plan on 40 pounds to account for moisture and waste.
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jwimberly
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby jwimberly » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:43 pm

Ok, it's probably pretty hard to tell from this pic but he was starting to pack on weight in his gut pretty good. Hindsight I wish I thought ahead and got several square bales instead of robbing from the round bales what he needs everyday.
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby 76 Bar » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:19 pm

Google Body Condition Score. From the pic I wouldn't assess your bull as fat nor gutty. If indeed the latter is true I'd worm him with a quality product at least once and depending on your herd health protocol & mgt, perhaps a follow up treatment.
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jwimberly
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby jwimberly » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:37 pm

76 Bar wrote:Google Body Condition Score. From the pic I wouldn't assess your bull as fat nor gutty. If indeed the latter is true I'd worm him with a quality product at least once and depending on your herd health protocol & mgt, perhaps a follow up treatment.


I'm with you 76. It's more along the lines of he was headed that way. From last winters experience it seemed he never left the hay ring and packed on the weight as it got colder and colder. But it has been well over a year since he's been dewormed so it is passed due.
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby 5S Cattle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:28 pm

He’s no where near overweight. Give him a round bale and stop overthinking it. :2cents:
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby farmerjan » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:16 am

Our bulls have free choice round bales in front of them 24/7. They are made to clean up a bit by letting them run out for 24 hours. But in the bull lot there are anywhere from 3 to 7 bulls and we keep 3 round bales in there to minimize the fighting or one being a bully. The bulls are all ages, from 2 to 8 yrs, so want to make sure the younger ones can eat in peace. They get free choice mineral and a TM salt block so they don't get to slinging the mineral out of the feeder. A 5 gal bucket of pellets usually 15% once or twice a week unless it is really cold then maybe 3x a week. They do sometimes get a little fat, but I would rather a little fat than have them standing around being cold in the wet rainy/icy weather we often get. When they go to the cows in May/June they are on just grass and mineral by then. One thing I also like to see is if the bulls can get and stay in "very good" condition on just hay. The ones that don't often produce calves that don't.
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby jwimberly » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:09 am

farmerjan wrote:Our bulls have free choice round bales in front of them 24/7. They are made to clean up a bit by letting them run out for 24 hours. But in the bull lot there are anywhere from 3 to 7 bulls and we keep 3 round bales in there to minimize the fighting or one being a bully. The bulls are all ages, from 2 to 8 yrs, so want to make sure the younger ones can eat in peace. They get free choice mineral and a TM salt block so they don't get to slinging the mineral out of the feeder. A 5 gal bucket of pellets usually 15% once or twice a week unless it is really cold then maybe 3x a week. They do sometimes get a little fat, but I would rather a little fat than have them standing around being cold in the wet rainy/icy weather we often get. When they go to the cows in May/June they are on just grass and mineral by then. One thing I also like to see is if the bulls can get and stay in "very good" condition on just hay. The ones that don't often produce calves that don't.


That's the kind of info I'm looking for farmerjan. I'm only managing 1 bull though but I'm about to put a steer or 2 with him for company. I'm working towards getting my cows in 1 calving season from a year round schedule so this is the first time I've seperated him from the herd.
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:14 am

Easiest way is to run him with the cows till calving.
Don't see too many fat hay bulls in a MN winter.
What does your hay test for TDN?
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby Ebenezer » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:41 pm

jwimberly wrote:So I tried a search and didn't come up with much. Last winter my bull had free choice hay and he got way too fat. He was with the cow herd all winter but this year I seperated him into his own pen. One of the college studies recommended about 33 pounds of hay/day for his size which is 1750. Does this sound right? I'm sure it depends on the quality of hay but I need a good starting point. How are the rest of you managing your bulls diet over winter?
Fescue pasture.
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby Silver » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 am

Mine get free choice hay, TM salt and water. And I try not to give them the best hay. Bulls have a way of putting on condition without special rations. Maybe because they aren't carrying a calf. :dunce:
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby SPH » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Our herd bulls get free choice hay and never had issues with them getting fat off that. Like Stocker Steve who is 1 state to the north, our winters are going to be a lot different than a winter in Georgia or Texas so there is going to be some variance in how they are managed based off the environment they are living in depending on where you live.
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MtnCows93
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Re: Bull Winter Management

Postby MtnCows93 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:31 pm

i guess if your bull is getting fat off just hay then he has good genetics, if it is bothering you just give him crappy hay rained on or over mature. from the picture imo hes not fat hes just right
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