Saturday, June 27, 2009
Too much of a good thing
As I continue to read thru Andre Voisin’s classic, I am convinced that this year we had too much highly digestible protein in our forages. The cool, wet spring produced a tremendous crop of ladino clover (we had over 70% in some pastures…we only planted 1.4#per acre) and it looked like the perfect year for stockers. They were knee deep in ladino for most of the spring. On top of the ladino/fescue pasture, we supplemented 3# of pelleted ddg (about 28% protein). Ddg is supposed to be a very complementary supplement to fescue grass. The stockers didn’t crap solid for weeks. As I mentioned in a previous post, the stockers gained a little over 1.6# per day in the first 88 days…good, but not great, and I was hoping for great given the quality of our pastures. I now think we simply had too much lush, rich forage. Now that the hot weather has set in, the clover is drying up and the warm season grasses are starting to come on….all the forage is quite a bit drier now than earlier during the wet, wet spring. I haven’t been supplementing ANY ddg….the stools have firmed up to pumpkin pie consistency (right where you want them) and I think the cattle are doing well. We will ship them out in 20 days or so and I am anxious to see how they performed the last 25 days. Stay tuned.