Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hay...it's what's for dinner for our beef cows tonight

These pictures were actually taken on Sunday, but I've been swamped and haven't had a chance to post until now.

Most of you have probably heard me talk about my brother, the hay farmer, on here before. He now owns our family's small herd of beef cows and is responsible for feeding them and caring for them. Grandpa helps out when my brother isn't around.

 

However, Grandpa was a bit preoccupied this weekend and my brother ran off to a Mariner's baseball game.

As you can see from the picture below, the cows (mini moos as I call them) were not pleased with this.

I wasn't even out of the truck and they were already mooing loudly.


"Hey you! Yes, YOU!! I see you! You're late. We're hungry!"

I headed over to the manger where we feed the cows and the cows beat me there.


"What took you so long?!? I see the hay! I want it NOW!"


"Much better! Now what is with the pictures? Enough already!"

 

This white face cow has a sense of humor and is sticking her tongue out at me.

Okay, enough with the fun. I'm easily entertained, especially by cows.

Our beef cows are out on pasture year round, but we supplement their diets with local grass hay, much of which is grown either on our farm or in our town. Pasture is plentiful in the late spring and summer. We feed more hay in the winter to make up for the lack of grass.


The cows sleep in what we call the loafing shed. It's essentially a pack barn located directly behind where the cows are eating. There they are sheltered from the weather and it's comfortable. They also like to lay in the pasture when it's not raining, and sometimes even when it is.

Diets for dairy cows have a lot more ingredients than what we feed the beef cows. Dairy cows often get corn silage or corn in some form or another, a forage like hay, and other feeds like cottonseed, soybean meal and byproducts. Some Washington dairies feed apple pomice, a byproduct of our plentiful apple industry in central Washington. Talk about recycling! Cows take feeds that have no other use other than to be thrown away and turn it into nutritious milk and beef.


I love being home and getting to be out with the cows. I miss having my dairy show cows out in the field, but feeding the beef cows is always nice too. There's definitely no place like home, or the cow barn! I love it.

3 comments:

  1. What a great explanation of how and why we feed hay to our cattle in the winter. Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party this month!

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    1. I always have a blast looking at what everyone posts...thank you all for inviting me each month! It's been a crazy few months, so I'm way behind with commenting back to people.

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