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As we wrap up fall harvest and hay making, it is important for all livestock owners to evaluate their hay supply and make certain they have enough on hand to last through the winter. Following is a method of calculating the amount of hay you will need.
Cattle and horses need to consume about 2.5 percent of their body weight in hay each day. Multiply the number of head of livestock you have times their average weight times 2.5 percent to get an estimate of the daily feed requirement. Add to this an estimate of feeding loss to get a total hay requirement per day. These losses can be as high as 50 percent if feeding hay that has been stored outside. For example if you have one 1,000 pound horse it will need about 25 pounds of hay per day. If you assume 20 percent losses add another five pounds for a total of 30 pounds of hay to be provided each day. Next calculate the number of days you expect to have to feed hay. As an example, if you feed from Dec. 1 to March 31 you would be feeding approximately 120 days. For our one horse example this would mean you would need 30 pounds per day times 120 days or a total of 3,600 pounds of hay. Weigh several bales to get an average weight. Let’s say you are feeding square bales that average 50 pounds each. You would need a total of 72 bales of hay to get through the winter.
If you find you are short of hay, start looking now! Call us at the extension office, we frequently have farmers tell us they have extra hay for sale. Also the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has a Hay Hotline at (502) 564-4983 and a Hay Search function online at http://www.kyagr.com/buyky/hay-search.aspx. Let’s make sure we don’t have any chance of having under nourished animals this winter.
For any farmers looking to add quality breeding cattle to their herds, this is an important time of the year. Many heifer sales are held throughout Kentucky, and one of the best is held right here in Marion County. The Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale will be held Saturday Nov. 3, at the Marion County Fairgrounds. Cattle will be available for inspection in the morning and the auction sale will begin at 1 p.m. Approximately 185 head will be available for sale. All cattle have been through a complete health, vaccination and breeding soundness program and are screened by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for quality standards prior to the sale. All heifers are bred to Heifer Acceptable bulls and are guaranteed by the consignors to be bred for a period of 30 days after the sale.
All cattle at the sale meet the requirements for the CAIP cost share program. If you are looking to replace older cows or add to a herd this is an excellent opportunity to acquire quality breeding stock.
The next meeting for those participating in the Master Stocker Series of Classes will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Nelson County Extension office in Bardstown.
The Central Kentucky Goat and Sheep Producers Association will meet Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Extension Office. This is the association’s annual holiday meeting. All attendees should bring a dish for the event. Please call Joyce Cardenas at the extension office at (270) 692-2421 if you plan to attend in order to coordinate your portion of the meal. New members are encouraged to attend. Membership fees are $15 per year.
Editor’s note: Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.