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Hay shortage ... now what?

 
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Raye Beasley wrote:I have Belties as well. Your cow is not typical of a Beltie....

If you look at the hind quarters of your cow, she has a dairy build rather than a beef build. Belties were bred dual purpose and I have come to the conclusion that most lean towards being beef types but a select few lean stronger to the dairy. These cows are just as tough as a typical Beltie, but they also produce much more milk than the beefier type. The problem is, they look so much worse than the chubby ones that you cannot help but worry.



Well thanks, that's helpful. These are minis, BTW.
She's pure bred but can't be registered because her mother had a broken belt. Her calf from 3 years ago had a little white on the legs but the others have been fine. I know my cows have more hair than others I've seen but maybe it's because they only have a 3 sided shelter.

During the warmer months I try to give the Pat Colby mineral mix that Geoff Lawton recommends.
 
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Beltie hair coats can be quite varied. I have cows who are short and woolly, long and straight, thick (short or long) and curly. They all do the same job although long and straight doesn't shed water as well as the others. I did notice that your skinny girl has the same long and straight hair that my skinny girl has right down to the shaggy neck and bangs. More food for thought.

I have both registered and non-regegistered. I have a non-r who is the other extreme of our scrawny girls. Her normal look is like a bloated weiner dog; all middle with short sticks where the legs should be. When she is full on prego like now, you pray she doesn't lay down at the top of a hill because you are sure she might not stop rolling till she goes through the barn wall.

I have a great bull that puts a full band on anything he gets near. He has bred my pure Jersys and most of the calves are full on beltie. Same if he gets to the angus cows. I have two angus cows with beltie calves. One was born unexpectedly in Jan at -26C during a storm outside next to a feeder. She was up and running like a pro. Never could get them inside although they had full access.

I feed a mineral mix suited to the hay I produce. My milk cows get an additional dose of kelp in their milking snack; alfalfa pellets with a cup of molasses. The snack is so they come running when I call.
 
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Location: Boyd, Texas
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Cj Verde wrote:As luck would have it, I've got a photo from October, before the super cold weather & before the hay shortage & just after she gave birth:


So, I guess she looks about the same now and she could be due next October.
Clearly not a modern dairy cow but... her calf is probably still drinking a bit and like I said she's probably pregs.

I think she's fine. I try to keep my neurotic Jewish mothering tendencies at bay while farming but they do sneak out on occasion.

The good news is, the pond is now ice free and I saw my first willow leaves open up today.



I saw one that looked just like that go through the ring Monday at the auction. I almost bought her to feed up on the ryegrass we have now. She went for $0.87/lb and weighed about 810 pounds.
 
Cj Sloane
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I bought her in 2008 for $800 but that may have included transport. Live weight is probably 750-800 lbs. This has translated to 250 lbs meat back from the butcher.

She's had 4 calves & has been a bit easier to handle than the much more expensive mini that wound up in the freezer. The mini's 1 calving experience wasn't quite as trouble-free and being a little smaller she was more prone to escaping.

I hear they do well in Texas due to being insulated from the heat & the cold.
 
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