More on Volume of Hay Fed Post Weaning
All of us have gotten the message about not overfeeding hay at the time of weaning. A research group at Penn State University set out to calibrate the percentage of hay in the ration that would give the best average daily gains. Rations varied from percentage of dry grass hay included from a low of 10 percent to increasing amounts of 17.5% to 25%. The work was done by Lucas Mitchell under the supervision of Jud Heinrichs.
Monitoring these heifers from 9 to 16 weeks of age they found as the percentage of grass hay increased the average daily gain, intake and metabolizable energy intake went down. More hay equals poorer performance.
Take home message: "Levels of grass hay greater than 10% may reduce intake and growth before 16 weeks of age. Too much forage to soon can limit intake and performance."