Leader follower feed system

I like seeing things content and in the condition that fits the situation best.

Horses are made to eat a little all the time, and cattle do best when they eat small amounts often. I was at the Grey Summit, Missouri research farm for Purina/Land O Lakes and they showed the value of cattle “snack feeding” on Accuration. It kept the stomach bugs going because the PH balance stayed constant and you didn’t have a big kill off of the stomach bugs when they got empty and then overate.

Many good grazers us a lead/follow system of grazing. The highest value gain animals get the first crack, then are followed up with less valuable gain animals.

I bought some real nice grass/alfalfa hay this year. I let my calves have it first and they get the best of it. Then my horses come in and clean it up. They are happy because they get to eat all they want, but it is not hot feed so they don’t get to fat on it.

Before green grass started I would feed calves then move them to new feed. I would feed in four or five different places, move the calves to fresh, and bring horses in to follow. This makes real nice manure distribution and they are on clean ground to eat.

Now that green grass is starting, I have to lot em up to let the grass get a good start, and they won’t eat hay if they are out where the grass is trying to grow. So the horses are in during the day without feed while I am working them, and then they clean up in the evening and night.

I have some swampy pasture that the grass is early but I don’t have to worry about grazing it to hard that I put my calves out on for a couple hours each day. The calves get feed, my dogs get to learn to gather in the brush, and I get a couple horses some good real jobs so it’s a win win and win.

For me, I like to really work at creating an appetite for my cattle and by the way you manage I think you can get the calves to feeding those stomach bugs all they can eat.

Just like all things the more effort you put into thinking about creating the best situation, the better it will be.

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