Legumes in cow pasturegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
My pasture is currently strictly grass. I'm thinking about introducing some legumes.
Since cows are going to be grazing here, I have some concerns about bloat. My understanding is that there are only two legumes that are non bloating: birdsfoot trefoil and crownvetch. Anybody have any experience with these?
I've also heard something along the lines of "grow all the bloat stuff you want and use the non-bloat salt block". I'm trying to do the organic thing - can anybody clue me in on the ingredient that releives bloat?
-- Paul Wheaton (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2001
Paul - I am definately not a cattle expert. I have a question... what is in that salt block besides salt, trace minerals and iodine????
Just from the way you wrote your question it would seem that this particular method of treatment would be out of the question... I'd like to know, because I am very ignorant on this subject.
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), April 12, 2001.
Hi Paul, this is going to be a regional answer, so hopefully everyone will post where they are from. Here (East Texas) legumes like red clover are seeded to improve the grass hay pastures only. In fact the cattle are fenced out of the fields while it is blooming, dieing and seeding itself back from its flowers, then the cattle are let back in. The clover fixes the nitrogen right up at the soil level so the grasses can utilize it, making for excellent forage for the cattle, and a higher protein hay. Any other legume seeded on pasture is done for hay, alfalfa etc. I have overseeded my pasture area's with mixes from Premier I am fairly certain it is just premierfencing1.com don't have the catalog handy. They have mixes that include the chickory that is now naturilized out in my pens. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2001.
I'm fairly certain that all legumes, ie. alfalfa, bird's-foot trefoil, clovers, lespedeza, and vetches will cause bloat, colic, and/or laminitis if over eaten.
I don't have any experience with cows but I don't think I'd rely on a non bloat salt block. I have mixed grass pasture and hayfield, and if the animal is started on it as the grass is growing I've had no problems. If an animal is turned out on lush grass, or legumes, that's when the trouble starts.
Stacy Rohan in Windsor, NY
-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), April 12, 2001.
I don't know what is in the non-bloat salt block. I would like to know too!
I'm in Zone 5. Eastern Washington state. Near the pan handle of idaho.
-- Paul Wheaton (email@example.com), April 12, 2001.
An older gentleman in our area that I depend on for a lot of advice recommended that I plant turnips to fill in the pasture. I bought a large envelope of seeds for $6.00 and it should do two acres. Mix the seed with grass or some oher seed (I bought a cheap K-Mart mix) so you can spread it more evenly. The cows eat the tops as they grow, slowly introducing it to their system. If they happen to pull the turnips out of the ground the can eat them with no harm. The greens are higher in protien than alphapha or timothy and is easier to digest. Horses can eat this mix also. Good Luck, Joanie
-- Joanie (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2001.
Where I live, Coastal grass is what's grown for pasture EVERYwhere! No seeds, tho, it has to be sprigged. It grows all year 'round, and stock can be put on it at any time of year. Many feed nothing else to maintain healthy critters.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), April 20, 2001.