Winter Feeding Tips to Get You Through

Whether you are grazing stockpiled forages, or feeding hay or other feed, some winter days are more challenging than others for both the producer and the livestock.  So here are a few tips we hope will make it easier for everyone. Snow, Ice and Quality Stockpiled Forage I’m sure the livestock might think that this forage or feed stuff with frost, snow, ice or combination, would have been nice a few days last August instead of now.  Still, it always surprises me how snow is usually no issue for them. If the quality of the stockpiled forage is good, then they will go after it...even if hay is provided. The quality of good stockpiled forage can easily be better than hay because too much hay is still cut and baled for yield, not quality. Given a choice, the livestock will choose the better of the two. Ice, or enough ice to prevent grazing, is probably the number one reason to pull up stakes and move to some hay or other feed. Deep snow is next. How deep is too deep? That depends on two things, the livestock grazing it and the amount of forage present. Experienced animals, those that have done it before, won’t even hesitate; they know where dinner is and go after it. If you watch the younger, less experienced animals, they tend to eat first where others have been eating and then they soon figure it all out. Smaller ruminants, especially sheep, tend to have

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3 thoughts on “Winter Feeding Tips to Get You Through

  1. Victor,
    This is an excellent article on feeding hay. In fact, one of the best I have read. Cows are capable if we let them do what is natural for them. If we baby cattle they lose their natural instincts. They don’t know the difference. It is just another day for them.

    Chip Hines

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