In addition to free choice hay and whatever feed you choose, every dairy cow should have access to loose mineral and salt. How much does it cost to feed a milk cow? While some classes of beef cattle do not need high quality alfalfa hay, there is a place for using high quality, or “dairy quality”, alfalfa hay. Feed alfalfa in conjunction with a higher fiber feed such as grass hay. But more important than the amount of food is that they get the right kinds of food to keep them healthy. One factor to consider when determining the price dairy farmers should pay for a forage is the ability of the forage to support milk production. Hi. High quality feed is important for a cow’s health and milk production. 2008-11-13 16:21:50 2008-11-13 16:21:50. How many pounds of alfalfa does the average dairy cow eat per day? Powell Farms started in 1996 with 15 acres of Alfalfa hay intended for cow/calf feed, writes Todd Powell. How much forage can one formulate into high-producing dairy cow rations? To start calculating a ration, 5 to 7 pounds of alfalfa a day would be a great starting point for any nutritionist. The grass in Montana is some of the best in the world. In fact, the whole romantic idea of cowboys and cattle drives began with trailing herds of cattle up from Texas into the rich prairie grasslands to fatten through the summer before being shipped by rail to markets in the east. allowed selected alfalfa hay at will were fed an average of 2,160 pounds of grain in addition, which was approximately at the rate of 1 pound to each 5 pounds of milk produced. The next time you see a load of alfalfa hay, don’t be so quick to dismiss the hay as dairy feed. Most dairy farmers work with nutritionists to create a feed ration (recipe) that is best suited for their cows. The quality adjustment would be 5 x 2.55 = $12.75, which is added to the nutrient value of $230 and makes the alfalfa hay worth about $243 per ton as-fed. Since it is organic and low-maintenance, that is what we feed our goats. Furthermore, cows that consume large amounts of feed have ruminal fluid pH values that are about 6.0, which also decreases ruminal degradation of protein from soybean meal. Maybe, think twice about it and have some alfalfa … A small farm tractor with a bucket can be used or a forklift. While some classes of beef cattle do not need high quality alfalfa hay, there is a place for using high quality, or “dairy quality”, alfalfa hay. Their production for the 4 years averaged 10,352 pounds of milk and 359 pounds of butterfat per cow per year. Alfalfa is recognized as one of the most nutritious forages available and is widely used as conserved forage (ex, hay, silage) in the diets of beef and dairy cattle. Top Answer. Both indices are related to the energy value of forage and attempt to account for effects on intake. In this case, reformulate the ration to see how much of that feed you can now use. Remove and sell animals that are chronic bloaters. There is no other forage that can constantly deliver 20% crude protein while producing 3 to 5 tons of dry matter per acre under energetic agronomic management. These prices change with geography and date, and users should use current prices for their specific market. Crude protein (CP) levels decrease as alfalfa ages, while fibrous components such as neutral and acid detergent fibers increase (Figure 1). Last Updated: 18.12.20 Whether you’re new to raising cows or you’ve gained some experience but you still need to learn more about cattle feed and the factors to consider when it comes to the quantity and type of feed to use, this post might be of help. High producing dairy cows consume much larger amounts of feed, which reduces the amount of time that the feed is exposed to the ruminal microbes and thus lowers the ruminal degradation of that feed. 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