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How often have you heard that you need to feed your beef cows a high-quality diet? Probably quite often. But there’s a misconception in the agriculture world: you don’t need to feed your beef herds the same quality diet as you would a dairy herd.

A lot of beef ranchers swear by feeding their herd alfalfa; however, alfalfa can create a few problems for your herd and its overall health.

Beef cattle need protein, but not nearly as much as dairy cows do. For beef cows, it’s recommended you feed them a diet that’s 11-12% protein. The problem with alfalfa is that it’s incredibly high in protein. Alfalfa hay that’s too rich can cause health problems for young calves who are still drinking momma’s alfalfa-rich milk.

Grass hay is a great way to ensure that your beef herd gets the protein it needs – but not too much. However, if you buy alfalfa hay for other reasons than just your beef herd, then it’s recommended that you supplement your dry pastures with second-cut alfalfa, on an every-other-day basis.

Ensuring the health of your beef herd isn’t the easiest task in ranching, but it’s definitely one of the most important. If you have any questions, or need equipment to help feed your herd, don’t hesitate to call us here at D-S Livestock Equipment today. Our number is 800-949-9997.