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Drought downgrades hay quality, alternative livestock feed available

POSTED: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Keeping their horses and cattle alive is a daily struggle for Texas farmers.

Water is scarce and hay is not only expensive but the quality is low.

"Any drought grown hay is, the quality is not there. The fertilization that the men put down early in the year, wasn't able to retrieve it," said Danny Bostick, owner of B and S Farm and Ranch.

Alfalfa hay is going for about $22 a square bale, which is too expensive to consistently feed full herds.

"It's hard for, uh, a farmer to pay more money for worse hay. and so that's what a lot of people are facing."
however there is an alternative option for farmers," said Chris Bloodgood, of Arabians Limited.

Bostick said however there is an alternative option for farmers.

"Purina meals do have some products out that, through the research farm, they have came up with some horse products and cattle products that we can take to livestock and feed 'em without any hay," said Bostick. 

This feed, usually only sold during drought years, not only keeps your animals alive, but keeps them healthy too.

When you use hay to feed your livestock, you're not always guaranteed the amount of protein that your animals are getting. So the good thing about this alternative feed is your guaranteed protein, vitamins, and minerals all in one package.

And using a supplemental product can help avoid future health issues.

"A complete feed keeps a diet consistent and so that will help eliminate the, chances of a colic," said Bloodgood.

But beware changing your feed too quickly can also cause colic.

So if you do make the switch, whether it's hay or grain, be sure to do so slowly over a two week period.

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