How to Feed Less Hay To Livestock

How to feed less hay to livestock

You might want to reconsider asking yourself ‘How to make good hay’ There are many things that will help you reduce the amount of hay you are feeding. The biggest one? Watch the video below for my answer.

How to feed less hay resources:

***NEW*** Hayless Winters DVD now for sale

 

The Grazing Book – How to feed less hay and dramatically improve Grazing Management

 

My interview with Jim Elizondo on how he stockpiles forage and his suggestions on how to feed less hay

 

Audio Transcription

Hey Ag Insights, listeners, and viewers. Chris Stelzer here. Just wanted to
do a quick video for you guys on something I noticed, actually, driving
down the highway recently. You know, just saw some cows, got to thinking
about cows, as always. The topic I want to talk about though is how to feed
less hay. It’s a really, really big expense for most farmers and ranchers.
I mean, huge, more often times than not if you’re a conventional farmer-
rancher, that’s going to be your biggest expense as far as livestock is
concerned. So, huge, huge deal.One of the ways to reduce your hay bill is grazing management. Now that’s
complicated, but it’s doable to make those changes and I talk about those
changes at agriculturalinsights.com with all the people I interview, with
my eBook The Grazing Book. But the next best thing is to have flexibility
in your grazing or ranching program. So what that means is, let’s say you
normally run 300 head of 300 cows year-round, and you’ve got to feed them
hay every winter, sometimes less sometimes more, depending on how good
spring, summer, and fall growing seasons are for you. Well, one of the ways
to reduce the amount of hay that you feed is to incorporate some
flexibility into your grazing plan or your management for you ranch.
Whatever you want to call it, okay?

And an example of that would be maybe sell a hundred of your cows,
depending on the year, in the spring time, and in the early summer you can
bring in 50 to 100 to 150, maybe 200, stockers. Or you can custom graze,
you know, up to that many amount of animals per year for someone else. So
what that does is it’s going to lower your feed bill because you have less
animals to feed during the winter time. But you’re also going to be able to
make that money which you are dependent upon during the growing season by
bringing in someone else’s cattle or buying stockers and selling them in
the fall. Or hey, if you’ve stockpiled a bunch of forage in the winter
time, or in the growing season for the winter time, you might be able to
take some of the stockers through and fatten them up and then sell them for
more money.

So if you want to reduce your hay or feeding bill, there’s so many
different components of that. Grazing management is that biggest.
Incorporating flexibility into your herd or your grazing management program
is second, in my opinion, because you can fluctuate your animal numbers
constantly. And third is genetics. Now, genetics could be just as important
as the flexibility aspect, but I think that’s pretty much the right order
of importance.

And one thing, one resource I want to point you to is the Hayless Winters
DVD that just came out at Agricultural Insights. It’s taught by
internationally experienced rancher Jim Elizondo. It’s a four-disc DVD
sets. It’s packed, absolutely bursting with this type of information. I’ve
given you a very, very brief synopsis of what’s in this DVD. And Jim talks
about grazing management. He talks about stockpiling forage. He talks about
genetics. It’s just all there. He talks about supplementation for cattle in
the winter time, even in the growing season, the how, what, and why of all
that.

So, I’d encourage you to follow the link below this video, or just check
out agriculturalinsights.com. You go there, I got a free [mountain] grazing
eBook for you. I also interview real farmers and ranchers. There’s over 100
interviews now. So, if anything, if you want any information on sustainable
agriculture, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, ranching, and grazing,
head over there. That’s your resource. Thanks guys. I hope you can take
some of these tips into consideration on how to feed less hay. Take care.

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  • Rich

    Have you ever ran a stocker operation?

    You need to make sure that you have an awful sharp pencil to figure out if selling some of your cows and buying stockers will actually save you money compared to feeding hay in a cow/calf operation.

    I’ve made money and I’ve lost money grazing stockers, it can be a risky proposition if a drought hits, that load of stockers has some health issues, or the cattle market goes down significantly.

    • ChrisStelzer

      Rich I’m familiar with Stocker operations. It’s a suggestion. Like I said, you can always custom graze someone else’s livestock, which is the way I would go. Very little risk while still providing you with income.