By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Providing food for cows can sometimes be, costly especially if the rancher wants nothing but the best for their cattle. The feed can even cost more or less depending on the market’s price and even the season.
Luckily, there are several things that can be done in order to save an amount that usually goes to cow feed. Here are some of them:
- Know When to Give More or Less
There is a big difference in the food intake of cows between the mid-gestation and late-gestation periods. The calf’s growth is not critical during mid-gestation, which is why its feed intake and other needs are considerably low. Calves make up for their minimal consumption during late gestation.
- Test Your Hay
Not all hay is the same when it comes to its nutritional components. Despite its cheap price, if not fully tested, the lowest costing hay can also provide low quality nutrition to the cattle.
- Corn Stalks as Feed
One of the best ways to reduce feed costs is to feed cattle the remaining parts from a harvested corn plant. Cows will eat high protein portions so feed them the leftover grains, leaves, husks, and especially the stalks. Corn plants can also serve as a supplement that could meet the nutrient demands of cows.
- Use Baled Stalks as a Combo Feed
A mixed ration of baled corn residue and rains can be an appropriate cow feed ration. The limit-feeding is often a low cost option that still provides both energy and protein to the cattle.
- Ammoniate Corn Residue Bales to Add Nutrition
After baling corn stalks after harvest for cow feed, ammoniate it with anhydrous ammonia to add to its protein content. Cover the stalk bales with a tarp then inject the gas to permeate the bales. Its initial protein component can be increased up to nine percent.
When it comes to saving money for cow feed, these are only some of the things that farmers practice. But one thing’s for certain, the health of the cattle should never be compromised just for the sake of a few extra coins in the pocket.