Thursday, June 13, 2013

Feeding the Rye Grass...

Do you remember this post about baling rye grass from a few weeks ago? We've now been feeding these bales since the middle of May.

Here, Jim is putting a new bale in place, upstairs in the barn.

The first thing he does is...make sure that the barn floor is swept clean of debris, and open the big barn doors.  Next, he spears the bale with the forks on the back of the tractor, and backs the bale into the barn...

He puts it just where he wants it on the barn floor.  The hay hole is just on the other side of the bale...

He cuts off the plastic wrapping...

...unwraps the netting...

...and there you go, beautiful rye grass!  It smells wonderful...and the cows love it!

We pull the bale apart in big armfuls, and toss it down the hay hole into the feed cart.  Each cow gets an armful, several times throughout the day. We've been feeding it in place of all but one "serving" of the dry hay or balage that they would normally be eating.  For those of you who might find it tested at 16% protein and 50% moisture.  Jim's been very pleased...and so are the cows...



  1. the last photo made me smile. good looking hay! great quality and very few weeds (unlike the mixed rye baled in my front pasture right now...)

  2. The hay sure looks nice and tasty to the cows. I'm sure that they are very pleased.

  3. I can almost smell it! What moisture is it coming out of the wrapper? It looks green...doesn't look like it fermented much, so pretty dry?

    1. Ray, it's right around 50% moisture. It does look pretty green in the picture...that bale might have been opened a bit early, because we needed it...the pictures were taken May 21st. Most of the bales are coming out really nice!

  4. Looks good. It was too wet here to make the rye into hay when they wanted. It was so tough it was breaking the blades. Glad you got yours with that percent of protein.

  5. Oh my cows are drooling as I tell them about your lucky cows. We have talked about planting Rye grass but have not done it. Sorghum is now something we are talking about. Never know at least it does not require a ladder to do:) Hug B

  6. Thanks for sharing your stories! I am not familiar with rye grass, nobody does that around here. Our cows get fed alfalfa and ditch grass.

  7. Oh, yummm! Wonderful milk producers. I sure miss our cows!


  8. ¸.•°✿✿⊱彡

    Esplendida é a vida no campo!!!
    Mais calma.

    º°♪ Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos .♫º
    Brasil ✿⊱彡

  9. What a nice picture of that cow eating her hay. It sounds like such nice hay.

  10. That is some good looking hay and nice protein level for the dairy girls! :)

  11. Interesting. I thought that would be like fermented dark brown stuff in the bags. We had no experience with anything other than standard big squares of alfalfa when we milked which we placed in large feeders in the pastures and they could free-choice 24/7.

  12. So interesting to see how you do things, Alica. I enjoy reading about how you feed, how you make the hay, etc..

  13. Your cow is giving a full mouth look of approval. Lol

  14. This is fascinating. I love the inside information and details. Is the rye grass related to rye as a grain as people use it?


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