Ron Metz wrote:Hi Tommy,
Cows carry calves for 9 months. If your heifer calved at 13 months she would have been bred at 4 months. That is not possible. Your heifer had to be older than the 10 months you were told when you bought her. I assume she is not registered. Yes cows will eat 2.0-2.5% of their body weight on a dry matter basis per day. Example, a 1000lb cow will eat 20-25lbs of hay on a dry matter basis. Dry matter basis means you have to take into consideration the moisture content of whatever forage you are feeding. Good quality dry hay would be closer to the 2.0% of body weight number while silage which contains more moisture would be closer to the 2.5% of body weight. The cow has to eat more of the silage to get the same amount of dry matter because of the higher moisture content of the silage.
It’s hard to advise you on how to feed your heifer other than keep good quality hay in front of her and supplement with range cubes. If she is really young(which you don’t know her real age)she herself may still be growing, she just finished growing a calf plus she is now nursing that calf. If this is her first calf, typically first calf heifers don’t produce as much milk as a more mature female. Any way you look at it, her nutritional needs right now are extremely high.
Thank you for your response. But I do have to respectfully disagree with your assessment that my cow was to young to become pregnant. She was a bottle baby and no mother to watch over her. I've asked many people last night, after your response, many of which have had the same issue. A heifer at 4 months CAN become pregnant and is VERY possible to happen. Heat cycles can begin then. My heifer is the age stated and confirmed by a veterinarian and owner through paperwork.
I appreciate what you do for this site, very informative. My only question was about how much daily and divided grains and hay to be given to my cow throughout the day.
Marlon Jugl wrote:Hi, my Name is Marlon and I am from Canada, Saskatchewan. I am still searching for the right breed and I like pretty much what is written about the Dexter.
Can you please tell me how cold hardy Dexter are?
The Winter where I live is about 5Month long and it went down to -42 C this year.
Zeek McGalla wrote:Hi Ron, I am in Ohio about 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh. For some reason, this area isn't really demanding Dexters, but we manage to sell our calves each year. In fact, we have never sold a Dexter to someone who already owned them....well one time in the past 8 years. Our goal was to raise quality breeding stock and that sent me to Nashville to buy our bull.
Ron Metz wrote:Gray had a question about feeding grain to a Dexter to increase marbling.
It is a fact grass finishing takes longer than grain finishing. The reason is grain provides an abundance of higher energy feed in a short period of time(60-90 days)which in turn is deposited as “finish”in a maturing steer as fat cover, kidney, pelvic,heart fat as well as intramuscular marbling. The down side....grain is an unnatural diet for cattle and fat from grain finishing is not as healthy for humans as fat from grass finishing. The short answer is yes you can grain feed your Dexters and it will increase the fat content of the beef. There is another component to types of deposited fat in cattle and that is a genetic one. Some cattle breeds and some individuals within cattle breeds “finish” better than others. Overall, Dexters produce excellent beef. If you are grass finishing your Dexters, be sure and let them go longer because it does take longer.
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