A cow does not know the difference between a Monday or a Sunday or the difference between a normal day or Christmas Day or Easter Monday! Therefore, each and everyday during this time of year we have to be out feeding our cows. This time of year forages are non existent because they are either still covered in snow or minimal because the snow has just left and they have not yet had time to develop and grow. This means cows do not have options for grazing and getting feed on their own, so it is up to their caregivers, the ranchers, to take care of their nutritional needs. There are many different methods of feeding cattle that depend on the ranch’s location and production practices. Our ranch puts up our own hay during the summer months when the cattle our out on crown range land. In our hay fields we grow alfalfa and grass mix hay which consists of timothy, orchard grass and brome grass and feed this to the cattle all winter long. We also grow oats that we feed to the bulls. This is only fed to the bulls or cows that have already calved because in the oats there are naturally occurring nitrates and if fed to a pregnant cow they can abort their calf. Some weekends when you have to get out of bed just as early as every other day sour thoughts about the lifestyle you chose and those darn cows start swirling around in your head, but once you get your butt out of bed it usually feels good to have been outside and got your day started.
Enjoying their breakfast!