Moving cow to pasture,need transition advice : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hey neighbors, I have a cow thats been fed hay and grain. He's abouta 9 month old Brown Swiss. I've got too much time and money in him to take a chance with bloat. He's the beef for my family next year. I have the opportunity to take him to a friends and put him in her pasture. What steps & precautions should be made to make the transition safely? How long should it take before he can be turned out to graze all day? There isn't much clover in these pastures, they're mostly a variety of stuff. (Grass, mallow, plantain, etc..)So far, I've been told to keep him confined in a small area and feed oat hay in the am, then allow him to graze about half a day. Should I discontinue or cut back on the grain, too? All help appreciated! Thanks.

-- Nancy in NoCAL (, March 24, 2001


Spring is the time for bloat. Lush green spring pastures hold a lot of moisture. The advice you received is correct. For a week or so let him eat hay in the mornings to help balance the succulent grass. I'd cut back a good bit on his grain but not all at once. Gradual is the key. I'd give him free access to hay if the grass is really succulent. Where I grew up in east Tx we had acres and acres of beautiful red clover in the spring...looked like a rippling red carpet. Papa would provide the cows hay if the pasture was really rich in clover.

-- Amanda in Mo (, March 24, 2001.

Don't stand too close to the tail end after he's been out there...

-- Diane (, March 25, 2001.

I've learned that there is a thing called "bloat block" that's like a salt lick. I'm planning to do that. And my friend mowed the first section so it will be mostly dry. Thanks for the input.

-- Nancy (, March 27, 2001.

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