Green Acres

Using Straw in Cattle Rations- Frequently asked Questions

How much straw can I put in my cow winter ration?

It is important to know that straw is a low energy, and low protein feed. It is not as digestible as hay or green feed. Generally, a cow can consume 1.25% of her body weight in straw dry matter (DM). Therefore, a 1400 lb cow could consume 17.5 lbs on a DM basis, or 19.9 lbs on an ‘as-fed’ basis if the straw was 90% DM (17.5/0.9 = 19.9 lbs, this calculation is to adjust for the moisture content of the straw). Near the end of gestation, the capacity of the rumen is reduced by about 12 to 1...