While we know that chopping hay while baling, making baleage, and feeding it to your cows with a TMR mixer increases your operations feed value, the true triad of nutrition includes all three of these techniques. By combining all three of these practices you can achieve optimal feed value resulting in more pounds of beef and more pounds of milk. Let’s define why each of these techniques individually helps your operation, then discuss what combining all three can do for you.
Choosing a baler that has a chopper unit on it will make a tighter, chopped bale. These bales will be easier for the cows to eat and your cows will waste less because it gives them a smaller particle size to chew on.
Making baleage has been proven to preserve the feed value of your hay for cows. If you wrap high moisture hay, your rate of gain will improve on a straight hay ration (ie. you only need approximately 8lbs of baleage for a cow to gain 1 lb, whereas for them to gain that same 1lb you would need to feed them 25 lbs of dry hay.)
How do these machines complement each other?
Chopping your hay will create the palatability needed if you put that bale in a TMR mixer when ready to feed. Having a chopped bale will always make your TMR mixer run faster, as the bale will take less time because it is pre-chopped. Adding silage to your TMR mixer immediately increases the value of the mix because of the added nutritional value of the bale. Add this with your other ingredients like grains, remixes and feed additives, and your cows will produce more weight and more milk because they get all the ingredients you want them to have, not just the ones they have picked through.
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