how much to feed pregnant heifer? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

hi i was wondering how much hay we should be feeding a pregnant 2yr old heifer?she gets about 2lbs of grain a how much hay would you all recomend feeding her?we also have a yearling bull. how mch for him? he also gets grain daily.they both have shelter from the weather. we are in northernlower mich. she is due to calf in may. thanks in advance cindy

-- cindy young (, March 17, 2000


Is this your first experience with cows? We have a few white face and one is also due this summer. What we have been doing is watching what they eat vs. what they waste. Can you put it up off the ground so they're not laying and messing in it? I would suggest to feed out half a bail at a time to the heifer (or even a third) and see how much is gone come time to feed her again in the evening. If it's all cleaned up and not much on the ground, maybe increase it a little. Do they have an area they can get exercize so they're not just getting FAT? I would suggest doing the same thing with the bull. Do you keep them seperate? As for the grain, I would ask your local vet on the amount. You might have to increase it especially the last month. What kind of grain are you feeding out? Is it mixed or straight corn? The readers will want to know. Also, what type of cow? Of course the larger the cow, the more she's likely to eat. This is just my experience - wait and see what the other pros have to say. Good Luck !

-- Pat (, March 17, 2000.

hi yes she is in a small pasture she has plenty of space to excersize.her grain is mixed corn oats.she is a herford limosene x.she seems to be awfully fat! she always has been.any answers would be helpful. thanks cindy

-- cindy young (, March 17, 2000.

cindy, I would recomend that you cut way down on her feed. If she is over seven or eight months breeded I would cut it out all together , in the last two months all she eats goes to the calf, and it being hwe first calf you may have trouble with it to big and hve to pull it, just make sure she gets plenty of hay.

-- david jackson (, March 17, 2000.

Hello Cindy, Pat, & David. I finally found the forum here and thought I'd post the message I sent directly to each of you, so any others might join in.

I don't know anything (yet) about this forum, but the question is very relevant to our situation right now. I would sure appreciate hearing from any of you regarding this issue.

We are novices dealing with our first cow. From the comments I fear we're not feeding our pregnant heifer nearly enough.

Our two-year-old pregnant heifer is due in May. We are not feeding her any grain and are only giving her three flakes of alfalfa a day to supplement what she grazes. We take her out of her pen each day to graze in a grassy area fenced with electric wire. She has been jumping out of her pen (literally). I now wonder if we're starving her (I'm embarrassed at my ignorance). I had no idea she should eat more.

If I understood Pat's comments above a pregnant heifer her age might eat a full bale of hay daily (two feedings of a half bale each). Am I understanding this correctly?

From David's comments I conclude we're possibly doing the right thing in not feeding her grain. Is there a time when we should begin feeding her grain? If so, what type of grain (4-way cob?) and how much?

The heifer is a holstein bred to a jersey. ================

Pat responded to my direct post, including suggestions that I check with folks at a feed store, and that I provide vitamins. I'm just realizing how we have failed to utilize the knowledge of the feed store folks. I'm a slow learner. Thanks for the reminder. Vitamins too? Lots to learn.

Pat also said, "I don't see any cow needing much more than a bail of hay a day. A happy cow will not try to get out of your fence either."

A bale a day? Wow! I still can't get over that. That'll be a major change from one flake in the morning and two in the evening. And this is going to get much more expensive than we anticipated.

God bless you all.

-- Jonathan Lindvall (, March 19, 2000.

glad you found us, to your question about how much to feed your breed cow and why she is jumping the fence. if you could find someone with a different type of hay it would be less expense, say fescue or coastal. dont know what is avalable in your area. you could talk to some area farmers and get some tips from them. sometimes cows get out for no other reason than they can. check to see if any dogs are chasing her and you not around. as for vitiams we use a trace minerals that you can find at any feed store this you need to keep out at all times.

-- david (, March 20, 2000.

To Jonathan Lindvall who has a bred holstien heifer. She does'nt need alfalfa hay untill she freshens. It is too high in calcium. It would be better to feed her a bale of grassy hay a day and cheaper too.If she is too thin, you could give her some grain,also, but otherwise grain isn't necessary. Then, when she has her baby, alfalfa hay is the best.

-- Jeanette Springer (, March 21, 2000.

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