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Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?
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wfbvcf
Posted 12/21/2010 13:38 (#1498812)
Subject: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Vermont
Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground? If so at what age?
Displaying my own ignorance. Grain here comes from a bag.
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Jim
Posted 12/21/2010 13:41 (#1498819 - in reply to #1498812)
Subject: RE: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Driftless SW Wisconsin

Mine are eating ear corn by grazing and doing the harvesting themselves as discussed in the thread just below. I start them a month after weaning (now) or at about 8 months of age. Let them start gradually so the rumen can adjust. I leave hay out for them also.

Jim at Dawn

By the way, where is "here"? A simple general location would make your post/question much more useful. Here is a picture of a steer grazing earcorn from last March. The cob and husks give them some roughage also. It looks like I will be able to get the steers quite a bit bigger by this 3/28 picture date this year.



Edited by Jim 12/21/2010 14:02




(IMG_3027_Steer in corn 032810.jpg)



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Attachments IMG_3027_Steer in corn 032810.jpg (73KB - 61 downloads)
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wfbvcf
Posted 12/21/2010 14:19 (#1498894 - in reply to #1498819)
Subject: RE: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Vermont
I am in Vermont. If there was any flat ground near home the idea of grazing corn is quite interesting. We usually have 2 feet of snow from December through March. Not this year. Something to graze three feet above the ground would definetly be a plus in the winter.
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Jim
Posted 12/21/2010 14:25 (#1498899 - in reply to #1498894)
Subject: RE: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Driftless SW Wisconsin

Thanks - adding Vermont to your byline as you have done is interesting as we don't have a lot of posters from Vermont here.

I have the same problem with snow depth in Wisconsin as in my thread below. Just don't give too much corn to cows or retained heifers or bulls you plan to keep.  Grazing unharvested corn is for animals being processed or sold as fats only, in my experience.

Grazing combined harvested stalks is fine for all cattle except it is now mostly snow covered.  

Jim at Dawn

edit: are you talking about grazing for beef or dairy cattle?



Edited by Jim 12/21/2010 14:27
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wfbvcf
Posted 12/21/2010 14:32 (#1498905 - in reply to #1498899)
Subject: RE: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Vermont
I raise dairy heifers. Pastured all summer. Outside on hay + grain in winter.
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Joelt
Posted 12/21/2010 15:02 (#1498952 - in reply to #1498812)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


perryton, tx
That's a real good question that i have wondered myself. My cows are on milo stalks and they are real good at cleaning up any grain that is on the ground. However, if you look at their poop it is full of grain- it appears to me that most of it is going right through them. I would assume the same holds true for corn or any other solid grain. In my opinion grain that is ground has to be way more digestible, after all they only feed ground grain in the feedlots. Cattle will definitely eat the unground corn but i can't say how well they digest it.
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johnwayne360
Posted 12/21/2010 15:20 (#1498975 - in reply to #1498952)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


near dyersville iowa
It is(or was) taught in animal nutrition class that whole corn will pass through the digestive system of a cow too fast if they are fed more than a couple pounds at a time. Mixing whole corn with silage or hay makes for better digestion. However, Jim seems to be showing some decent numbers on adgs, as i have read in his posts. Kind of goes against what i was taught. Maybe the cows naturally balance themselves for better digestion? I dont know, but it is interesting.
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Jim
Posted 12/21/2010 18:12 (#1499152 - in reply to #1498975)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground? - the corn pass-thru question


Driftless SW Wisconsin

Doesn't the husk and cob count? I do have hay out for them at all times when on corn also. They can tell when they have a tummy ache coming on. I think feeding or grazing ear corn or whole corn plants is a different ballgame than feeding straight shelled corn.

There is also the recurring matter of the appearance of whole corn in the manure.  Several knowledgeable folks have told me that even thought the corn kernals in the manure LOOK whole and untouched, the nutrients have actually been removed from them.  These folks tell me that grinding just makes the corn less visible in the manure.

I don't want to get in the middle of that one, just passing along what I have been told.

Jim at Dawn



Edited by Jim 12/21/2010 18:41
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Markwright
Posted 12/21/2010 18:33 (#1499187 - in reply to #1499152)
Subject: Re: The cob is so good for em that


New Mexico
any supposedly wasted corn kernals are over compensated from a great ration stand by the cob.

Keep in mind...those pass thru kernals are SOFT.
That means there was some digestive microbial benefit derived from those too.

Edited by Markwright 12/21/2010 18:34
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billonthefarm
Posted 12/21/2010 20:03 (#1499415 - in reply to #1499152)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground? - the corn pass-thru question



Farmington IL
Cattle can get accidosis from eating whole ear corn. We treated a cow for it last winter. Once the corn has passed from the cow the most of the nutriets are gone. Grinding the corn makes a small difference in nutrient uptake and there are many studies on this subject.
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Jim
Posted 12/21/2010 21:56 (#1499728 - in reply to #1499415)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground? - the corn pass-thru question


Driftless SW Wisconsin

From what I read, cattle can get acidosis from a wide variety of too-rich, starchy, mostly grain diets including feedlot rations.

Basically on heavy grain the rumen gets too acidic.  This is why I also have hay out for them while grazing corn and limit the grazing area.

Ear corn has been fed out of cribs to cattle in Wisconsin for many years. We just need to remember that cattle are ruminants.

Jim at Dawn



Edited by Jim 12/21/2010 21:58
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billonthefarm
Posted 12/22/2010 07:01 (#1500242 - in reply to #1499728)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground? - the corn pass-thru question



Farmington IL
I suppose as long as your cattle know when they are getting a "tummy ache" you will be fine.
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PTO
Posted 12/22/2010 08:08 (#1500324 - in reply to #1498975)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


Northeast Misery
What school is teaching that?

Dad used to finish cattle on whole shell corn and a little protein supplement.

When a cow eats something it enters the first stomach compartment(abomasum?). Before passing to the next three compartments(omasum, reticulm, rumen) it must pass through a hole approx. 2 milimeters. The cow regurgitates and re-chews (chews her cud), until dinner will pass through the hole. The larger the material, the slower it should pass through.

That's what I was taught anyway. fwiw
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garvo
Posted 12/21/2010 21:49 (#1499700 - in reply to #1498812)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


western iowa,by Denison
yes,thats why we graze the cornstalks,but if you grind earcorn they will get about 10% more feed from the cob,at $5 bushel its really worth $5.50-of course I'm a little whack-o- spent my childhood grinding ear corn for cattle feed-Christmas vacation was spent behind a scoop shovel and rake!!!
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squish
Posted 12/21/2010 21:52 (#1499709 - in reply to #1499700)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?



NE Indiana
Dad bought me and my brother each a scoop shovel for Easter when we were kids. Semi showed up Monday to haul ear corn. Dad didn't believe in letting us sit in the house on spring break.
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Funacres
Posted 12/21/2010 21:59 (#1499738 - in reply to #1499709)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


North Texas

Hey squish,

Makes me wonder what you have bought your wife for Christmas?

You know about the chip of the ole block story, don't you?

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squish
Posted 12/21/2010 22:03 (#1499747 - in reply to #1499738)
Subject: Re: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?



NE Indiana
Thinking about buying her a plastic wheelbarrow. It breaks my heart watching her push around that heavy metal one.
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NoTill1825
Posted 12/22/2010 07:39 (#1500279 - in reply to #1498812)
Subject: RE: Can cows eat ear corn that is not ground?


NC Indiana
We have cows that if you hold up an ear of corn, you had better be quick w/ your hands or they'll be up to your wrist before you know it.
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