Friday, April 1, 2011
Grass slow to grow; cattle cubes to the rescue
I have about 25 head of commercial does in one pasture where the grass just doesn't want to take off. There is some clover in the pasture, but otherwise it's mostly warm-season grasses. The few days of 70-degree weather that we had recently helped the grass some, but for the past week we have had below normal temperatures. There's not much left of nutritional value in the pasture, so when kids began arriving before the grass did, I thought I had better add a little supplement to the diet. After shopping around, I found that cattle range cubes were one of the cheapest and best feeds available. The range cubes are 20% protein. They can be fed on the ground (No feed troughs in this pasture!) and because of their size, it takes a little while for the goats to eat them. I feed about one pound per doe each day. At $8.50 per 50-pound bag, I can feed 25 does for $4.25 a day or 17¢ a head per day. At the price goats are selling for today, I think I can afford to keep this regimen up for a couple weeks until the grass gets a little higher or until I get ready to move the goats onto better pasture.