Winter feed

We have always harvested round bales of dry grass hay for our Devons. As our herd has grown, however, it has become necessary to purchase additional dry forage. This year has been particularly cold and our feed supply dwindled rapidly. About 6 weeks ago we revisited the possibility of switching the cows and heifers over to bagged haylage. There’s a dairy just down the road that produces a large surplus every year and we’ve talked with the guys down there before about the pros and cons of switching feed in midwinter just before calving. A month ago we purchased two bales and began cutting the dry hay (less than 10% protein) with haylage (just over 20% protein). It took two full weeks to make the switch. The cows were slow to recognize the stuff as feed – but once they did, they were off-to-the-races. Six weeks out, rumenal flora and bowels have adjusted – and the cows say the new stuff is fine with them. The image shows the enthusiasm with which they tuck in.

%d bloggers like this: