Among the many duties of a rancher is to provide supplemental feed in the winter. Just when the cows need good nutrition for themselves and their fetal calves, winter hits, cold and snow can be brutal… or not. Some winters are mild with little snow and enough sunshine that days are entirely pleasant. Other winters have blowing and drifting snow. The coldest I’ve seen here has been -55˚.
Since no one knows the weather… being prepared for a bad winter is standard procedure… though we always hope for a mild season. That’s why we spend our entire summer growing hay. But we’ve usually added something as a “side dish”.
Over the years it’s changed. Molasses tubs used to be the cool thing… We used to grow our own grain (barley and oats) to feed the cattle. But we were using an ancient combine and it eventually was just retired. Yearling heifers are now sent to a feedlot in Worland where they get a great mix of extra feed to keep them healthy and warm and growing. We’ve bought grain, loose corn, cob corn, and now… Dakota Gold.
This supplement is made from corn distillers grain pressed into small 3/4″ cubes. Our first delivery came this week.
Vernon made a big bin out of hay bales to protect the cubes from the weather. The trucker told us how to modify it a bit for better success… so it doesn’t look like this now, but we had to start somewhere!
You can see the semi backed into the “bin”, getting ready to dump the load.
A couple of buttons pushed, and the Dakota Gold comes pouring out of the back.
It doesn’t take long, and the load is delivered. We will get a couple of more loads. We will cover it with tarps to protect it from the weather and deer and raccoons…
At 28% protein, a scent reminiscent of beer, and non bad tasting… hopefully, this will be our cattle’s new favorite “side dish”.Find me here!