Cows on snowed on wheat - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Cows on snowed on wheat

Anyone done this? Concerned beards might be potential prob same as barley, are wheat beards softer when damp? Bale it wet try to silage?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:21 AM
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Be careful with wheat. We have fed to high a wheat diet and have had the cows burn out and cause a thiamine deficiency in them, and that caused some very bad things to happen.
Just be sure to more than just the wheat in their ration.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:39 AM
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I baked durum this time of year last year.. Cows loved it. Fed them 2 durum bales & 4 alfalfa/crested wheat. No problem with the beards, although we fed through a bale processor.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 12:38 PM
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Anyone done this? Concerned beards might be potential prob same as barley, are wheat beards softer when damp? Bale it wet try to silage?
If you make silage, does it not have to be warm and wet? I was curious about that and asked a neighbour who bags grain. He says grain sometimes comes out of bag with a sweet smell!

If you bag grain at high moisture, why doesn't it turn into silage? I am thinking if it goes into the bag cold, it can't as it needs heat to start the reaction? Lots of people bag grain at 18% moisture? What keeps it from turning into a sweet mess?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 12:44 PM
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If you make silage, does it not have to be warm and wet? I was curious about that and asked a neighbour who bags grain. He says grain sometimes comes out of bag with a sweet smell!

If you bag grain at high moisture, why doesn't it turn into silage? I am thinking if it goes into the bag cold, it can't as it needs heat to start the reaction? Lots of people bag grain at 18% moisture? What keeps it from turning into a sweet mess?
I've bagged a lot of wheat at 20 to 22% and it stays the same unless you get holes in it then it starts heating, but I've never had a whole bag spoil just a small area by the holes
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 12:46 PM
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In early 90s we turned cows in standing wheat that had froze. Nothing would come in the combine hopper but the cows did great.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 01:48 PM
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If you make silage, does it not have to be warm and wet? I was curious about that and asked a neighbour who bags grain. He says grain sometimes comes out of bag with a sweet smell!

If you bag grain at high moisture, why doesn't it turn into silage? I am thinking if it goes into the bag cold, it can't as it needs heat to start the reaction? Lots of people bag grain at 18% moisture? What keeps it from turning into a sweet mess?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 03:23 PM
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If you make silage, does it not have to be warm and wet? I was curious about that and asked a neighbour who bags grain. He says grain sometimes comes out of bag with a sweet smell!

If you bag grain at high moisture, why doesn't it turn into silage? I am thinking if it goes into the bag cold, it can't as it needs heat to start the reaction? Lots of people bag grain at 18% moisture? What keeps it from turning into a sweet mess?
Our nutritionist and I were just talking about this kind of thing last week, specifically about corn silage, but I bet the principles still apply

His experience has been that when clients put up "frozen" corn silage (wait for a frost to get it to dry down a bit, but it stays cold so it gets chopped cold instead of warm) it doesn't actually start ensiling for quite a while. It won't necessarily spoil either, depending on the outside temps, but if you are banking on the ensiling process to make the grain more easily absorbed and the fibre more digestible, then that won't happen. It basically feeds like fresh chop

The way you store it would likely influence this a bit as well. A tower or bag of silage would likely freeze and stay inert a lot quicker than a big bunker or pit, might see some microbial activity start at the centres in those scenarios?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:27 PM
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if you get a chance to swath that wheat and leave it in a windrow for the cows I would...... then when they grab a mouthful out of the swath they get a bunch of straw with it too (not just selectively grazing the heads)


if I am baling for green feed I usually go just when the kernel is starting to form so no risk of grain overload but I have baled up mature slough bottoms and such in the past and never had trouble feeding to old cows. I am told to keep replacement heifers far away from high energy grain like wheat though. apparently it can cause bad feet farther down the road.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, just throwing ideas around better than burning it. Would free choice hay to them also, wanted to bale graze on that field anyway (after taking the grain off but Mother Nature had other ideas). Not sure could get swather to field let alone around it. Prob put couple horses there too if the snow stays deep. We are supposed to have couple weeks of warmerish weather ideally would melt snow then freeze solid but who knows.

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