Most livestock producers will make hay all summer to feed it all winter, and being so dependent on hay for winter feed means proper storage is important as well.
Hay is the most common winter feed option, and while it is less risky than the other available options and requires the least amount of planning, it can also be the most expensive, according to Oklahoma State University Extension forage and pasture management specialist Darren Redfearn.
"During a four-month hay feeding season, a 1,200-pound cow will consume approximately 30 pounds of hay each day. This means that each cow will require between three and four round bales weighing at least 1,100 pounds," he said. "Therefore, proper storage is important to be sure the cows are getting the nutrients they need from the hay."