Robert D Bard wrote:
The only place I have found that does grinding on a large scale basis is dairies. I used to work dairy cows with my horse on week ends and the guy that did the feeding ground up the hay and grain and put in bunkers. They did alfalfa this way, but I don't know if they ever did bermuda this way.
Cows are resourcefull in their eating habits - why do you to grind up their hay? This seems like extra expense.
Robert D Bard
It IS extra expense, and the extra costs of grinding hay can offset resulting intake and rate of gain increases. The primary use for grinding is to aid mechanical mixing and feeding and to reduce waste, but people with grinding capability will/can/try to do it to utilize coarser, cheaper hay. Under the right conditions, cows can be very efficient at wasting hay, as anyone who has run or kept cattle through a winter with heavy snow or through a spring after such a winter can attest. Grinding can make sense in high waste conditions when hay is scarce (when isn't it scarce?) or the quality/palatability is poor, and it's not unusual to see it used in backgrounding calves. Feeding hay that is ground too fine can cause digestive problems, though. Alfalfa and stemmy/coarse hays, such as maybe a poor bluestem, are grinding candidates, but I doubt if Bermuda is ground very much. I also doubt that Bermuda is very available or prominent in the areas where much non-alfalfa grinding is/would be done. Obviously, alfalfa is ground to generate pellets and meal, which is not far from how dairies tend to use it. "Grinding alfalfa" tends to be a coarser cutting, maybe a field-edge cutting, that is less suitable for feeding whole, and it's quoted as a "grade" in hay market reports.