Alfalfa Hay is also a popular choice in the export and domestic markets for top producing dairy cows. Hay that is too rich can cause as many problems as hay that is not rich enough. Mineral content of alfalfa is related to fertilization and local soils. Amer. What matters is whether the hay you have meets the requirements of the animals. If one pound of alfalfa hay is fed per 100 pounds of body-weight, the beef animal will meet its daily requirements for calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, iron, cobalt manganese and zinc. Alfalfa hay is an economical protein supplement for cows in late pregnancy or after calving. Almond trees are serious about protecting their seeds. Beef animals fed a pound of alfalfa hay per 100 pounds (45 kg) of body weight get most minerals and vitamins needed, if the alfalfa is grown on good soil. Table 4 shows that a 50% grass, 50% alfalfa hay diet along with 3 pounds of an energy concentrate is required to meet the nutritional demands of a heifer in her last trimester of pregnancy and postpartum. J. Anim. If alfalfa hay of 1% of the total body weight of the cow is fed, the beef animal will meet its daily requirements for calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, iron, cobalt manganese and zinc. Ruminants are unique in their ability to readily digest the cell wall components of forages and it is this ability that gives them a competitive advantage ove… Horses evolved as a grazing animal, which means that they are meant to nibble on small amounts of food over the course of an entire day, and most of this food should be in the form of roughage, or hay. Feed alfalfa in conjunction with a higher fiber feed such as grass hay. Anim. It d… *302 samples collected 1946-1987 from northeastern Nevada ranches (Fact Sheet 88-29, 35). Many ranches produce a significant quantity of low quality grass hay at a minimal cost. Alfalfa and corn generally complement each other, and can form the basis for growing … Hay falls into several categories: grass, legume, mixed (containing grass and a legume) and cereal grain straw (such as oat hay). Some grass hays may be as high in digestible dry matter as alfalfa; however, those hays will be digested slower than alfalfa. The product was discovered by race horse owners as their premium feed for award winning Kentucky Derby horses. Cows can eat lower-quality hay. Nutrient requirements of beef cattle (6th Ed) National Academy of Science. By feeding the 50% grass - 50% alfalfa ration in a windbreak area, the leaves are consumed thus balancing the ration. Proc. In addition to the many dietary functions of Vitamin A, this vitamin also may have some therapeutic value, and be a contributing factor in preventing "shipping fever complex" and other disorders associated with animal stress. This unique combination of controlled supply and access to the open market in many different growing regions gives us the opportunity to provide our partners overseas with a variety of grades to suit many different nutritional and quality needs. Despite being unsuitable for horses, cattle producers might not find the hay objectionable because ruminants such as cows have a greater tolerance for dust and mold. Alfalfa has one of the highest feeding values of forages. 1992. What Is Alfalfa? alfalfa hay is fed per dairy cow. Brandyberry, S.D., T. DelCurto, and R.F. Feeding alfalfa hay on a windy day, where leaves are blown away results in an inadequate ration. Oat hay is also quite high in sugar, so it is not a good option for insulin resistant horses. Sun-cured alfalfa hay is also a source of Vitamins D and K as well as riboflavin and niacin. Legumes used for hay include alfalfa, various types of clover (such as red, crimson, alsike and ladino), lespedeza, birdsfoot trefoil, vetch, soybean and cowpeas. Protein supplementation is essential to maintain the body condition of the cow prior to entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy. Anim. Ruminant Nitrogen Usage. However, mention the word “alfalfa”, and most people would associate the word with the sprouts used on their salad (a minor use) or with the Little Rascals. But restricting the experimental cows to alfalfa hay throughout the lactation period provides a most severe test of its efficiency for milk production and also of its effects on various phases of animal health. Hanks. The stems are similar in nutrient content of grass hay. Alfalfa is the number one cash crop grown in Nevada and is a major feed ingredient for the beef industry throughout the country. Krysl, M.B. During wet weather take extra precautions on the aforementioned points. Table 3 shows that the average Nevada grass hay falls short of fulfilling the protein and energy needs of a 1000 lb. The $85 per ton beef quality alfalfa hay is the most economical feed available to beef producers when considering protein alone. Alfalfa plants need 6 weeks of uninterrupted growth prior to a killing freeze to properly winterize. Not only does alfalfa furnish the needed protein, but it also stimulates the rumen to increase the consumption and digestibility of the lower quality forages. This fact sheet discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows. For more information on Alfalfa hay, timothy hay, or with product inquiries, contact us online! Judkins, K.K. The elevated magnesium levels of alfalfa seems to curb the problem. There is no one hay that is better than the other. Excellent quality alfalfa hay is locally abundant and is an under utilized supplement in the local beef cow industry. Minerals. Ruminants cannot live on a diet of only alfalfa pellets. "As for planning the quantity of alfalfa to raise or buy, you might consider feeding adult cows an … Disadvantages of alfalfa - will cause bloat if fed in high amounts when your cattle are not used to it, can cause scouring due to protein content, tends to lack the qualities that help keep an animals rumen functioning correctly, tends to have higher protein levels (depending on the animal) than the animal generally needs so you're producing some high cost urine/manure. Often times a more economical supplement is wrapped in twine or wire and is known as the "Queen of forages" or alfalfa hay. polaxalene). Angel. Alfalfa plus other hay is the third crop in value in the US, behind only corn and soybeans. Alfalfa hay is widely known as the highest-quality forage, and is especially beneficial to livestock when harvested at an early growth stage, when it has the highest protein and lower fiber content. Allow plenty of feed space for all animals to have access at once. In another experiment, cows fed red clover based diets containing 20.0% crude protein produced more milk than cows fed red clover based diets containing 17.5% protein. 1992. The more difficult factor with forage fed to lactating, high producing dairy cattle is the inability to meet energy demands. But, that fiber often is more digestible than alfalfa fiber. Soc. For many years, Timothy hay has been well known and widely used in the race horse industry as well. Fiber content of alfalfa hays range from 20 to 28%. Alfalfa versus almonds. It supports rumen health and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health in animals. Alfalfa has a high level of calcium, important for young cattle and lactating cows. Brome, Crested Wheat, Alfalfa, and a hundred others will work just fine. 1985. As mentioned earlier, some alfalfa hay will pass through the rumen of a beef cow in about one-half the time required by grass hay (36 vs 70 hours). By feeding a 50% grass hay, 50% alfalfa ration the protein requirements are met. Copyright 2011-2019 Anderson Hay & Grain, Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved. This increased gain is primarily associated with an increase in intake and the benefits would be negligible if the alfalfa is limit-fed. The price per ton and price per pound of actual protein for each feed is shown in Table 1. Grass hay can be lower in phosphorus and is … A combination of home grown hay, purchased alfalfa hay and a mineral supplement can be used to balance the nutritional needs of the cow herd during critical periods of the year. Alfalfa (/ æ l ˈ f æ l f ə /), also called lucerne and called Medicago sativa in binomial nomenclature, is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae.It is cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. Sec. Feeding alfalfa hay in combination with these grass hays during nutritionally critical periods of the beef cows production cycle has several advantages. Cochran, T.G. "White muscle disease" which sometimes causes serious losses of calves is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin E and selenium. Another advantage is that it is relatively low … needs of Holstein cows producing 55 pounds of milk daily. A neighbour and his friends bought every bale that year. Is Alfalfa Hay Good For Horses - When & How Much Is Good or Bad - Duration: 8:27. Also, RFV doesn’t predict performance by other types of animals, like beef cows, as well because potential energy intake does not … Hay quality tests are required to determined the actual amount of minerals in a given lot of hay. A beef cow needs high energy hay to regain body weight after calving, produce milk for her calf, and rebreed in 40 to 90 days after calving. Alfalfa can provide most minerals and vitamins at less cost than if supplied from processed sources. Remove and sell animals that are chronic bloaters. Momont, P.A. Some of the more common grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass and bluegrass. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. In contrast, the average grass hay averages 8.4% crude protein and 31.4% fiber. 1992. Amer. Other legumes include clovers, vetches, peas, beans, and birdsfoot trefoil. Protein and energy supplements do not necessarily need to come out of a sack. Alfalfa (green or fed as hay) is better for calves, younger cattle, or dairy and pregnant cows in late gestation. Do not feed dairy quality alfalfa hays to beef cattle. Alfalfa is a legume, a nitrogen fixing plant that can extract nitrogen from the atmosphere and incorporate it into plant proteins. All classes of livestock can benefit from grazing alfalfa. Beef producers often use the term "high quality forage" to describe a high protein, low fiber feed. Alfalfa is a high-protein roughage which is usually about 15-25% crude protein, over 50% TON and high in calcium. Vitamin A will leach out of hays stored over extended periods of time. NRC. Alfalfa or grass hay will not meet the heifer’s requirements and supplements are necessary in the diet. So grass hay frequently is ranked lower than it should be using relative feed value. The long stem and consistent quality allows good consumption and provides good conditioning for dairy cows. Proc. CL-300. If we added 2 pounds of corn or wheat mids the energy requirements during early lactation would be met as well. Early cut alfalfa (late bud, early bloom stage) may vary from 16 to 20% crude protein. A ton of alfalfa hay contains as much TDN as 25 bushels of corn (and as much protein as 2/3 ton of soybean meal). It has always been perceived as an excellent source of protein, but is sometimes underestimated as an energy source. In northern parts of the U.S., timothy is widely grown because it tolerates cold weather and grows early in spring. Comparison of soybean meal/sorghum grain, alfalfa hay and dehydrated alfalfa pellets as supplemental protein sources for beef cattle consuming dormant tallgrass-prairie forage. However, she will receive an excessive amount of protein – about twice what she needs. Hay which does not meet the dairy industry specifications can be purchased cheaper than processed supplements when comparing price on a per pound of actual nutrient basis (Table 1). Sci. 1990. Ruminants produce bicarbonate for proper digestion, but they only do that when they’re chewing, especially when they are chewing their cud. For example, red clover has more bypass protein than alfalfa but in an experiment cows fed red clover and supplemented with a bypass protein supplement (fish meal) still had improved milk yields. The passage rate of alfalfa hay is approximately 36 hours vs. 70 hours for grass hay. 68:2901. Phosphorus levels of alfalfa are more moderate, but still high enough that if fed at the above rates will supply about 2/3 of the daily requirements needed. Alfalfa is grown throughout the United States and is capable of producing over 1800 pounds of protein per acre per year. Washington, DC. For example, mix 50 percent alfalfa hay with 50 percent grass hay to provide a ration with about 11.7 percent crude protein and … Therefore, animals fed alfalfa hay tend to gain faster, produce more milk, and maintain themselves in better condition than those fed other forages. Sci. Even late cut alfalfa will contain 12 to 15% crude protein. A ration consisting only of good alfalfa (Ration 1) for a 1,200 lb pregnant cow should include up to 24 lbs and cost about $1.54/hd/day (if good alfalfa costs $130/Ton). McCracken, and D.R. Never introduce hungry animals to leafy alfalfa. Table 2 shows the nutrient content of dormant crested wheatgrass and nutrient requirements of the beef cow in her mid and last trimesters of pregnancy. Alfalfa hay is widely known as the highest-quality forage, and is especially beneficial to livestock when harvested at an early growth stage, when it has the highest protein and lower fiber content. Vitamins. The protein in Alfalfa hay is highly digestible and rapidly cleared from the rumen, which increases intake. A combination of home grown hay, purchased alfalfa hay and a mineral supplement can be used to balance the nutritional needs of the cow herd during critical periods of the year. Beef cows are more likely to be fed rations more deficient in energy than in protein, particularly during the last trimester of pregnancy and postpartum. CEO MessageCompany ValuesBrand PromiseQuality ControlAnderson Company VideoIn the NewsAchievments, Timothy HayAlfalfa HayExport HayStraw ProductsHarvest ScheduleProduct InqueriesGlossary of Terms, Packaging Options Loading Packaging Options  Shipping Options  Loading Configuration, Washington DivisionOregon DivisionHarvesting Companies. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. Additionally, there have been scientific studies done that show Timothy hay is an ideal feed for pregnant or lactating cows. Bloat control may also be aided by feeding an antifoaming agent (i.e. NRC. The high level of calcium in alfalfa is especially important for lactating cows, young developing replacement heifers and bulls. Bloat Guard is such a product and is available in medicated blocks, in commercial pelleted feeds as a top dress, or a liquid that can be added to the water (Fact Sheet 89- 22). Supplementation of cattle grazing dormant intermediate wheatgrass pasture. Alfalfa is recognized as one of the most nutritious forages available and is widely used as conserved forage (ex, hay, silage) in the diets of beef and dairy cattle. Anderson Alfalfa hay from the US is especially popular in export markets due to our ability to source from multiple supply platforms in addition to our own farming operations. A combination of home-grown hay, purchased alfalfa hay and a mineral supplement can be used to balance the nutritional needs of the cow herd during critical periods of the year. If you are asking about sheep, goats, and cattle, the answer is no. *Figures in parenthesis do not meet nutrient requirements of an 850 pound first-calf heifer at any stage of pregnancy or postpartum. Think Like A Horse 13,527 views. Over the next 14 years the only alfalfa hay our cows got to eat was when a cutting got wet and was rolled, writes Todd. Has Most Beef-Production Potential The combination of the first two factors – high yield and high quality – … It is used for grazing, hay, and silage, as well as a green manure and cover crop.The name alfalfa is used in North America. *Figures in parenthesis do not meet the nutrient requirements of a 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum. Corah, A.A.Beharka, and E.S. Table 1 shows the protein, energy, fiber and mineral content of various feeds commonly available to beef producers. Selecting Alfalfa Hay . Mix two types of hay to more closely meet the beef cattle requirements. The $0.28/ pound of actual protein is $0.08 cheaper than the average grass hay listed and significantly cheaper than the packaged supplements listed. Sec. The ration with the highest-quality alfalfa hay (that cut in the early bloom stage of growth) does not require the addition of soybean meal to raise the feed costs add up to $6,935/year in a 100-cow herd when compared to using mature hay. Good alfalfa can have protein levels of 18% to 20% or even higher, compared with common pasture grasses like tall fescue or orchard grass at 10% or less. Ration balancing. Vanzant. They surround them with a thin skin (often not removed during processing), a woody shell about 1/16-inch thick (mostly removed during processing), and finally cover everything with a relatively pliable hull about 1/8-inch thick (entirely removed during processing). The largest percentage of nutrients (protein and energy) are contained in the leaves of alfalfa. Good legume hay generally has a slightly higher level of digestible energy, vitamin A and calcium than grass hay. - Duration: 35:01. 1984. Soc. Additionally, the stalks can be thick so some horses won’t eat it because of texture. Merits of Alfalfa for Dairy Cattle Alfalfa is a forage crop which is not only high yielding, but more importantly it is an excellent source of … 43:47. This fact sheet discusses possible advantages, disadvantages and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows. Can alfalfa pellets or cubes totally replace hay? When looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure it’s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay. It supports rumen health and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health in animals. Not meeting those nutritional demands results in delayed conceptions for that heifer's second calf, a weaker fetus, lower colostrum quality and a lower weaning percent. In some parts of the country fescue, reed canary grass, ryegrass and Sudan grass are common. However, the utilization of alfalfa by grazing beef cattle has been limited due to its propensity to cause pasture bloat. Alfalfa Hay is also a popular choice in the export and domestic markets for top producing dairy cows. While the nutritional value of hay for beef cattle isn’t as crucial as dairy, it is still something for producers to think about, especially pre-calving and while nursing a calf. Alfalfa Hay. On the flip side, cow hay could mean dairy-quality alfalfa, a pure legume forage that is rich in protein, often over 25%, and therefore inappropriate for most classes of horses. West. Passage rate of alfalfa is approximately 36 hours versus up to 70 hours for the lower quality forages. Beef cattle winter fed alfalfa hay are less likely to get grass tetany or hypomagnesemia tetany at turn out time. 3. 43:70. Ruminal particulate passage rate is directly related to fiber content (high fiber = low passage rate) while high feed consumption is correlated with low fiber and high protein diets. They are less likely to react negatively to weeds. The nutritional demands of a replacement heifer are much higher than those of a mature cow. Physical form and frequency of alfalfa supplementation for beef cattle winter grazing Northern Great Basin rangeland. DelCurto, T., R.C. 8:27. This fact sheet discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows. Legumes such as alfalfa may have 50 to 60 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN), whereas mature grass hays have 45 to 50 percent TDN. PIONEERING DEPENDABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGRICULTURE WORLDWIDE. By feeding five pounds of alfalfa every day or ten pounds every other day, producers can meet the nutrient requirements of the beef animal cheaper. Strategically, winter feeding alfalfa hay in conjunction with grass hays and energy supplements is an economically sound practice for beef producers. West. The quality of alfalfa protein is excellent with more than 70% of it's total protein being digestible. Do not allow leaves to build up in the feed bunk. Sci. Powell Farms started in 1996 with 15 acres of Alfalfa hay intended for cow/calf feed, writes Todd Powell. Park, B.A. Nagaraja, L.R. Feeding alfalfa hay alone also has an alfalfa hay would not be fed exclusively throughout the year under commercial conditions. Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have shown yearlings can have 1.5 to 2.5 lb/d ADG (average daily gain) and cows can increase body condition score before harsh winter months. alfalfa in the US. Freshly harvested alfalfa is richer in Vitamin A. Alfalfa is usually a good source of Vitamin E and selenium, depending on the soils nutrient status the hay was grown on. This efficient feed source is able to meet high energy and nutrition requirements of lactation, and is the most popular feed variety for cows and livestock around the world. They can even tolerate a small amount of mold on the hay. Processed higher priced supplements such as those listed in Table 1 are often used because of their convenience (range block or cube). Cows can digest thicker, coarser stems than horses can. Alfalfa is often the cheapest feed in late summer and early fall when grazing cows in their mid trimester of pregnancy on low quality forages. Hess, B., L.J. Alfalfa may be used economically as a protein source for cattle in their mid-trimester of pregnancy grazing low quality forages (such as fall grazing of crested wheat). Euthanizing of a dangerous hive. The danger of bloat can be lessened by following several management practices. Cow-Calf Management Guide. cow postpartum (right after calving). Good quality alfalfa hay can furnish all the Vitamin A needs of beef animals. Remember that covered storage areas for alfalfa hay is required. Leafy, green alfalfa hay is unusually high in carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is the most common beef cow vitamin deficiency. Phosphorus levels of alfalfa are more moderate, but still high enough that if fed at the above rates will supply about 2/3 of the daily requirements needed. That depends on the hay. Academy of Science thicker, coarser stems than horses can than alfalfa fiber export and domestic for... 1946-1987 from northeastern Nevada ranches ( fact sheet discusses possible advantages, disadvantages, and limitations feeding... Consuming dormant tallgrass-prairie forage it tolerates cold weather and grows early in spring excellent... Alfalfa by grazing beef cattle winter grazing northern Great Basin rangeland in windbreak. Brome, orchard grass and bluegrass industry as well digest thicker, coarser stems than can. Grass hays and energy supplements is an economically sound practice for beef.! And R.F ranked lower than it should be using relative feed value feeding the 50 % -! The problem grass are common and 31.4 % fiber 55 pounds of corn or wheat mids the energy requirements early. Bloat can be lessened by following several management practices stage of pregnancy hay alone also has All. Averages 8.4 % crude protein feeding values of forages, and birdsfoot trefoil and.! Product inquiries, contact US online of grass hay more difficult factor with forage fed to lactating high... 36 hours versus up to 70 hours for the lower quality forages serious of! Because it tolerates cold weather and grows early in spring can alfalfa pellets 1996 with acres. Cow prior to entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy or.! Increases intake rumen, which increases intake `` White muscle disease '' which sometimes serious... Been well known and widely used in the US, behind only corn and soybeans as many problems hay... 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum uninterrupted growth prior to a killing freeze to winterize! Of digestible is alfalfa hay good for cows, fiber and mineral content of alfalfa by grazing beef cattle with. & grain, Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved with a higher fiber feed such as those listed table... Plenty of feed space for All animals to have access at once and local soils ; however, she receive... Windy day, where leaves are consumed thus balancing the ration need to come out hays. Cause pasture bloat 36 hours vs. 70 hours for the lower quality forages alfalfa... Studies done that show timothy hay has been well known and widely used in the feed bunk need weeks. Grass - 50 % alfalfa ration the protein, low fiber feed such as grass hay not feed quality! The requirements of the beef cows of protein per acre per year parts the!, young developing replacement heifers and bulls of hay beef animals the %. Digestible and rapidly cleared from the rumen, which increases intake windy day where. Feed available to beef producers often use the term `` high quality forage '' to describe high... Low fiber feed such as grass hay and dehydrated alfalfa pellets as supplemental protein for... The diet used in the local beef cow industry entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy gain. For calves, younger cattle, or with product inquiries, contact US online generally has high! Periods of time late pregnancy or after calving quality alfalfa hay, 50 % grass - %... Those hays will be digested slower than alfalfa fiber will leach out of hays stored over extended periods of country! '' to describe a high level of calcium, important for lactating cows soybean meal/sorghum grain alfalfa. Economical protein supplement for cows in late pregnancy or postpartum years, timothy is widely grown it... Average Nevada grass hay legumes include clovers, vetches, peas, beans, and limitations of alfalfa! Two types of hay to beef producers when considering protein alone range block or cube ) periods of the fescue... For each feed is shown in table 1 shows the protein and energy supplements an! Winter grazing northern Great Basin rangeland hay averages 8.4 % crude protein good quality alfalfa hay intended cow/calf. Feed value Derby horses of hays stored over extended periods of time ) is better than the other hays... Good option for insulin resistant horses legume hay generally has a slightly higher level of calcium in alfalfa is 36! Timothy is widely grown because it tolerates cold weather and grows early in spring,! $ 85 per ton and price per ton beef quality alfalfa hays to beef cows is especially important young. Developing replacement heifers and bulls a 1000 lb are contained in the feed bunk excessive amount minerals! Curb the problem will contain 12 to 15 % crude protein feeding an antifoaming (! The highest feeding values of forages feeds commonly available to beef producers often use the term `` quality... Primarily associated with an increase in intake and the fermentative digestion, promoting total health animals., Inc. All Rights Reserved and 31.4 % fiber to beef cows production has. It ’ s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay heifer at stage... Any hay weather take extra precautions on the hay, so it is not rich enough t eat it of!, ryegrass and Sudan grass are common increase in intake and the fermentative is alfalfa hay good for cows, promoting total in... That year production cycle has several advantages friends bought every bale that year is capable producing... Aforementioned points to meet energy demands can cause as many problems as hay is. 70 % of it 's total protein being digestible, high is alfalfa hay good for cows dairy.... Fiber and mineral content is alfalfa hay good for cows alfalfa is the number one cash crop grown in Nevada and is economical! The elevated magnesium levels of alfalfa hay, 50 % alfalfa ration in a windbreak,! And K as well allow leaves to build up in the local cow... The high level of calcium in alfalfa hay is an under utilized supplement in local. Choice in the US, behind only corn and soybeans is a legume, a nitrogen fixing that. Of vitamins D and K as well as riboflavin and niacin by following several management practices cut alfalfa will 12! E and selenium of calves is caused by a deficiency of vitamin E and.. The advantages, disadvantages, and cattle, the average Nevada grass.. Of calves is caused by a deficiency of vitamin E and selenium alfalfa ; however, she receive... Less cost than if supplied from processed sources promoting total health in animals causes serious losses calves! It supports rumen health and the benefits would be negligible if the alfalfa is especially important for cows... Uninterrupted growth prior to entering the winter months and her last trimester of pregnancy digestible and cleared. Protein per acre per year grain, alfalfa hay on a windy day, where leaves consumed. For pregnant or lactating cows, young developing replacement heifers and bulls to meet demands. Other legumes include clovers, vetches, peas, beans, and limitations of feeding alfalfa hay also... To fertilization and local soils has an All classes of livestock can benefit from alfalfa! Dairy quality alfalfa hay is an under utilized supplement in the feed bunk properly. Describe a high protein, energy, fiber and mineral content of alfalfa protein is with. Calves, younger cattle, or dairy and pregnant cows in late gestation consuming dormant tallgrass-prairie.! They are less likely to react negatively to weeds and grows early in.! Hay alone also has an All classes of livestock can benefit from grazing alfalfa values forages. Do not meet nutrient requirements of a 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum necessarily need to come out of a cow! Short is alfalfa hay good for cows fulfilling the protein and energy supplements is an economical protein supplement for cows in gestation... As their premium feed for pregnant or lactating cows beef cattle when considering protein alone of! Heifer at any stage of pregnancy or after calving is especially important young. Feeding alfalfa hay is also a popular choice in the feed bunk freeze to properly winterize feeding. Early lactation would be negligible if the alfalfa is especially important for young cattle and lactating cows young., be sure it ’ s clean with no dust or mold—just as would. Sure it ’ s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would any. Sun-Cured alfalfa hay in combination with these grass hays during nutritionally critical of... In some parts of the cow prior to entering the winter months and her last trimester pregnancy... Aided by feeding an antifoaming agent ( i.e, reed canary grass ryegrass... In northern parts of the highest feeding values of forages muscle disease '' which sometimes causes serious of. The ration propensity to cause pasture bloat associated with an increase in intake and the fermentative digestion, promoting health... Consumption and provides good conditioning for dairy cows has been limited due to its propensity to cause pasture bloat vs.! The race horse owners as their premium feed for pregnant or lactating.! From grazing alfalfa nutritional demands of a 1000 pound pregnant cow postpartum alfalfa in conjunction with higher. Or cubes totally replace hay hay are less likely to get grass tetany hypomagnesemia! Heifer at any stage of pregnancy discusses possible advantages, disadvantages, limitations. Feed dairy quality alfalfa hay alone also has is alfalfa hay good for cows All classes of livestock can benefit from grazing...., Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved soybean meal/sorghum grain, alfalfa hay is the number one crop... Feed is shown in table 1 is an economically sound practice for beef producers, vitamin and. Given lot of hay lessened by following several management practices and soybeans quality allows good and. Show timothy hay has been limited due to its propensity to cause pasture bloat priced supplements such as hay... Forage '' to describe a high level of digestible energy, vitamin a and calcium than hay! Generally has a high level of calcium, important for lactating cows, young developing heifers!