The Benefits Of Using Alfalfa Hay As A Supplement

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Keeping weight on beef cattle can become quite a struggle during the winter time for most farmers. Grazing is very limited during this time and cattle will need supplements to stay healthy and remain at a proper weight. Alfalfa is a supplement that will keep your livestock in great shape throughout the winter season. Some farmers believe supplementing with this variety of hay is too expensive, but it actually serves as a positive investment. The benefits of using alfalfa hay as a supplement can be extended to livestock and to cattle owners.

What alfalfa hay can do for your livestock

Feeding alfalfa has been proven to help cattle gain weight during the winter. This variety of hay is full of nutrients, with nearly 60 percent of them being digestible. About 20 percent of alfalfa is crude protein. This number is about double the amount of protein that grass hay contains. The nutrients in the alfalfa will help the digestive process and allow your cattle to absorb nutrients easily.

Alfalfa is a great option for more than weight gain. The University of Nevada conducted research which found that cows who ate alfalfa as a supplement were generally healthier. A problem many beef cattle encounter is a deficiency of Vitamin A within their diet. A healthy amount of green alfalfa hay has the Vitamin A your livestock needs to thrive, along with many other minerals. The nutrients contained in alfalfa make it more effective than alternative supplements.

Tips for switching to alfalfa hay

The high amount of protein in this hay can cause a digestive upset in your cattle if their diet is switched too quickly. It is best to gradually transition your livestock over to a diet rich in this supplement. Specialists suggest feeding about four to five pounds of this supplement a day during winter, but only after you have transitioned your livestock properly.

Be aware that prices are quite competitive during peak haying season. Hay from the first cut is richer, making it ideal for nursing cattle and young calves. Also, you will need to have covered storage to protect your alfalfa.

How alfalfa hay can benefit livestock owners

The nutritional benefits of giving livestock alfalfa as a supplement are why most choose this type of hay. Feeding this supplement also has benefits for livestock owners, as many consumers are looking for grass fed beef. Switching your traditional supplements with alfalfa will put your cattle in the very in-demand market for this beef.

If you would like to learn more about hay and feed for your cattle, contact the professionals at SB Hay & Feed today. You can call us at (800) 652-3036 or Contact Us by email for more information. You can also see the hay we have available to buy or sell your own!