Important Factors When Training Cattle for Winter GrazingBlog | May 14th, 2017
When winter rolls in with its snowfalls, you may feel that you need to bring out the feed wagon each day to provide nourishment to your cattle. You are mistaken in this, though, since you can train cattle to find the grass by digging in the snow. By understanding the following key facts, you can successfully teach your cattle to participate in winter grazing, even with snow being on the grass.
Understand That Cattle Are Capable of Winter Grazing
You first must understand that cattle have the right survival instincts and skills to dig through the snow for the pasture grass when they know it is there for grazing. The cattle are just as capable of grazing through the snow as moose, deer and bison are, thanks to their ancestors, the wild auroch, which survived in Europe during numerous ice ages by digging in the snow to reach the grass for nourishment.
Provide Tall Pasture Grass
Cultivate tall grass in your winter pasture areas to ensure that the tips of the grass will poke through the snow. These tips help attract solar energy to the area to keep the snow loose while at the same time, they entice and encourage the cattle to dig deeper to discover the tasty tidbits beneath the snow.
Train Cattle Not to Expect the Feed Wagon Daily
Teach the cattle not to depend on the feed wagon each day. The more you make them rely on grazing, the less they will cry at the gate for feed.
Turn to a Livestock Nutritionist for Guidance
Rely on the guidance of a livestock nutritionist to ensure that your pasture grass is providing sufficient energy and protein to be worth your cattle’s efforts in grazing. You need to provide a monthly sample of your pasture grass to the livestock nutritionist for a thorough analysis. Once the results come in, this nutritionist can recommend the proper supplements if any are necessary for the cattle’s health. Add any essential supplements to the mineral feeder.
Provide the Cattle with a Fresh Pasture Section Each Day
To ensure constant success with your cattle training in winter grazing, continue rotating the cattle on a regular daily schedule. By doing this, you will provide the cattle with a fresh pasture section. You should perform this rotation at the same time each day.
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