Nutritional Value of Stockpiled and Annual Forage

Grazing your herd through the winter on standing forages in pasture is one way to reduce costs and improve your bottom line. It avoids the expense of baling, moving feed and then feeding. But is the f

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3 thoughts on “Nutritional Value of Stockpiled and Annual Forage

  1. Great article; thank you. I would be interested to learn more about spring recovery of condition and impact on rebreeding when we are grazing forages that are inadequate to meet the needs of a dry or lactating cow. Obviously we all know you don’t starve a profit out of your herd, but we’ve also heard that moving to late spring or summer calving will allow sufficient recovery during the period of compensatory gain for low-input stock to rebreed well. Let’s keep this line of conversation and learning going.

  2. My sheep (in northern VT) were grazing stockpiled grass until last week, when the mud got too bad. The pasture was green, and ~8″ orchardgrass, meadow fescue and ryegrass, with paddock sizes gradually increasing since October. The sheep looked fine, but when I shifted them to good 1st-cut hay they ate like they hadn’t seen food for days. Now, after a week, their appetites finally start to drop. So, I probably should have given them even more area as the pasture quality declined, and taken some weekly forage samples. I think we ran this system about as far is it could go.

    1. We often can have too little fiber in fall forages. 20% intake or so from average quality dry hay goes a long way to keeping sheep and cattle content. They will self supplement for whatever level of fiber they need.

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