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Why do cows like crappy hay?


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#1 Richardin52

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:55 AM

Last year my cows were in a new field that I had just enlarged so I had the round bale feeder over there feeding a little hay. There was an old bale on the ground that had been there at least three years. I went over one morning and they had eaten the old bale completely while good hay set in the feeder.

I just moved my cows up to another field the other day where I have a round bale feeder with a bale setting in it that had been there about three months. They headed right for the feeder but did not stay long and went to grazing. I thought I would give them a good bale to nibble on when they were in the shade (tree near by) so I took the old hay out of the feeder and put a new one in. Last night I went down and they were eating on the old hay bale so I took some new hay over to them. They sniffed it and then went back to eating the moldy old hay.

I give up, I spend time putting up good hay and they want to old moldy stuff what am I missing or should I just leave round bales out side and save barn space?

#2 ForemanTX

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:30 PM

My cow hay has never been barn stored. And I dont put out a new one until they eat the other one down,then I move ring and put out a new and there are some cows that will finish up the old pile.....

#3 hog987

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:33 PM

There seems to be something about old hay or even straw they like. I dont know if it is broke down a bit more so it digests easier or one guy thought maybe they get acess to a mineral or something when its older. A few winters ago I had trouble keeping my cattle bedded. I had 3 year old straw and the cattle would eat that instead of some nice non rained on green hay.

#4 8gross

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

Had the same thing happen a few winters ago. -40C weather and never touched the hay for three days. Fed them 3 year old straw that was baled behind a combine. So not sure if it was the grain inside they were finding or the straw was broken down enough.

#5 mlappin

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

Well, when you say cows, I automatically think female, female means they are fickle and do things just to confuse you.
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#6 swmnhay

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:43 AM

Try feeding holstiens once,they like wood.Also most cattle will eat a lot of bedding put out for them.Cornstalks,beanstraw,etc.

#7 shortrow

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:09 PM

Last year my cows were in a new field that I had just enlarged so I had the round bale feeder over there feeding a little hay. There was an old bale on the ground that had been there at least three years. I went over one morning and they had eaten the old bale completely while good hay set in the feeder.

I just moved my cows up to another field the other day where I have a round bale feeder with a bale setting in it that had been there about three months. They headed right for the feeder but did not stay long and went to grazing. I thought I would give them a good bale to nibble on when they were in the shade (tree near by) so I took the old hay out of the feeder and put a new one in. Last night I went down and they were eating on the old hay bale so I took some new hay over to them. They sniffed it and then went back to eating the moldy old hay.

I give up, I spend time putting up good hay and they want to old moldy stuff what am I missing or should I just leave round bales out side and save barn space?

Last year my cows were in a new field that I had just enlarged so I had the round bale feeder over there feeding a little hay. There was an old bale on the ground that had been there at least three years. I went over one morning and they had eaten the old bale completely while good hay set in the feeder.

I just moved my cows up to another field the other day where I have a round bale feeder with a bale setting in it that had been there about three months. They headed right for the feeder but did not stay long and went to grazing. I thought I would give them a good bale to nibble on when they were in the shade (tree near by) so I took the old hay out of the feeder and put a new one in. Last night I went down and they were eating on the old hay bale so I took some new hay over to them. They sniffed it and then went back to eating the moldy old hay.

I give up, I spend time putting up good hay and they want to old moldy stuff what am I missing or should I just leave round bales out side and save barn space?



They're simple cattle like mine. They don't know better.

#8 jpritchett

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:58 AM

A few years ago we baled some 8' tall weeds behind the shelter belt that we calved around during the winter. Are cows just loved it. They would leave are good hay to go to those bales when we set them out for them.

#9 JD3430

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:48 AM

Reading this thread with great interest. My second cutting round bales may go to cow/cattle.
When you guys say "weeds", are you talking all kinds of weeds (milkweed, thistle, foxtail, canary grass, etc.)....?
I have just that type of pasture. looks like a lawn after it's cut, but then the weeds start to take over.

#10 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:13 AM

The good Lord put them here to eat up our mistakes. LOL
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#11 slowzuki

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:14 AM

Lots of what we call weeds are really nutritious plants. Not sure why cattle and sheep seem to like old hay. Hear all kinds of stories about cleaning out 30 year old hay from lofts and the cows eating it all up before getting it hauled off.

#12 JD3430

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:15 PM

Lots of what we call weeds are really nutritious plants. Not sure why cattle and sheep seem to like old hay. Hear all kinds of stories about cleaning out 30 year old hay from lofts and the cows eating it all up before getting it hauled off.


Would be great to know what "level" of weeds is acceptable. I don't know what weeds are the "good" weeds.

#13 urednecku

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:18 PM

There is a way to teach cattle to eat the weeds. Supposedly the ones that learn will teach the others, & they will look for weeds in a new pasture before they start eating grass. No, I haven't looked into it yet, it' one of those things I'm "gonna get to in a little while, when I get caught up."

#14 Texasmark

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:25 AM

Reading this thread with great interest. My second cutting round bales may go to cow/cattle.
When you guys say "weeds", are you talking all kinds of weeds (milkweed, thistle, foxtail, canary grass, etc.)....?
I have just that type of pasture. looks like a lawn after it's cut, but then the weeds start to take over.


Mine like the young and tender weeds like grow in the spring. On old hay, I think it ferments and turns to whiskey and they get drunk. Ha. I had 3 bales of sudan that were over 3 years old and not all that great to start with. Put them out and they scarfed them up like candy.

I give cows a lot of credit for having intelligence in addition to being good mothers. But when it comes to hay, I wonder. So I ask myself why should I bust buns to put up a quality bale of hay when they do things like this? Answer? Pride in a job well done. Can't think of anything else.

Mark

#15 JD3430

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:53 AM

Yeah I busted my hump to make some nice stuff for my neighbor. I probably busted my hump for nothing. His cattle seem like they like weeds more than the good stuff I made him..... lol




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