Dry Stalks and Cattle Don’t Mix

Do not wait till you have only dry stalk to start supplementary feeding. When the leaf falls from the stalk the pasture value is too low to support production and you realistically only have a few options.

The stalky pastures are severely short in protein and energy however, if there is enough stalk left in the paddocks this can be used as a valuable roughage source if in good supply. It is too late to feed dry licks and most low feeding rate supplements.

The options you have are:

  • All lactating breeders should be dried off and fed a maintenance ration.
  • Early weaned calves will need a palatable roughage source such as good quality grassy hay and a high protein calf pellet.
  • Growing stock should have been sold and if not already will need a feedlot pellet in a self feeder with abundant stalk (or bought in roughage) to finish them off.
  • Dry cows & bulls will need to be fed at maintenance levels. Use a feedlot pellet in self feeders with slides adjusted so they just maintain weight. Prior to breeding dry cows will need to be spike fed at least 60 days before bulls are introduced to improve fertility.
  • Growing bulls should be semi feed lotted with a high roughage diet and a bull/stud pellet. Select good quality grassy hay which will supply some additional energy and protein while keeping the rumen functioning well.