Feeding Cows After the Flood
The recent flood resulted in loss of feed stocks for herds. Currently, many fellow producers are stepping up to the plate and donating grass hay. For cows that had already calved, but lost their calf in the flood medium quality grass hay, fed free choice, will likely meet their energy and protein needs. However, cows that did not lose their calves in the flood and/or had not calved yet, their nutritional requirements will be much greater. To keep the cows and calves healthy and get cows rebred, meeting their nutritional needs is important. Medium quality grass hay cannot meet either the protein or energy requirements of a cow in early lactation. Below are some ideas of how to supplement these cows using feeds that may be available. If feeding a starch-based energy source like corn, supplementation needs to be done daily. If using distillers grains supplementation, doubling up the amount and feeding every other day is possible. It is a good idea to provide a free choice mineral with calcium (10%), especially if limiting the amount of hay being provided. Free choice minerals will also include salt which is important for magnesium absorption.
|Pounds of feed per cow in early lactation (30 to 120 days post calving)|
|Medium quality grass hay||free choice (32 lbs)||free choice (36 lbs)||1 bale unrolled per 50 cows (25 lbs)||1 bale unrolled per 50 cows (25 lbs)|
|Whole corn||3 lbs||6 lbs||5 lbs|
|Whole soybeans||4 lbs||4 lbs|
|Dry distillers||3 lbs||4 lbs|
Every producer’s situations may be a bit different, if you need assistance with diets or have nutritional questions, Nebraska extension educators and specialists can help, please give us a call.
Mary Drewnoski (402-472-6289), Travis Mulliniks (308-696-6707) and Karla Jenkins (308-632-1245) Nebraska Beef Extension Specialists