Dry Stalks & Cattle Don’t Mix

Posted June 28, 2016

Don't wait 'til you have only dry stalk to start supplementary feeding. When the leaf falls from the stalk, 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. At this point 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, if not they will need a feedlot pellet. This should be administered 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-feedlotted 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.

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