Journal of NACAA

Evaluation of Grazing or Reduced Feeding Frequency Supplementation Systems for Wintering Cow-Calf Pairs

ISSN 2158-9429

Volume 14, Issue 2 - December 2021

Editor: Executive Director

Abstract

In a 2-yr study, grazing and reduced feeding frequency winter nutritional management systems for cow-calf pairs were evaluated in Shorter, Alabama. Diet treatments included (i) rotational grazing (RG) of a winter-annual mixture of oat (Avena sativa L.), ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), (ii) 50:50 soyhull/corn gluten feed pellets, fed every other day at 1% BW per day, plus free-choice bermudagrass hay (reduced frequency – RF), and (iii) free-choice (FC) whole cottonseed and bermudagrass hay. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of winter diet on cow body condition score (BCS) and performance, and compare economic inputs for each nutritional management system. Cow BCS was greater for RG; calf ADG was not different among diets. Treatment RG was more digestible and had greater crude protein concentration than other diet treatments. Treatment RG was the costliest nutritional management system and would require additional calendar grazing days (>104 total grazing days) to decrease costs relative to the other feeding options evaluated in this study. 

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