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Cow in the Hole Facts

Cows behind a fence with snow on the ground

Cows behind a fence with snow on the ground (View larger version)

Photograph by Authentic Entertainment Inc


  • Hay is often fed to animals when they're unable to graze on grasses in the pasture.

  • Hay is made up of grasses and other plants that are cut while they're still green, then dried, and baled to feed animals. The contents often depend on the weather and availability of the grass.

  • Hay commonly includes plants like orchard grass, rye grass, timothy, oat, barley, legumes, wheat plant materials, etc.

  • Hay production involves cutting, drying/curing, processing, and storing.

  • Silage is "pickled" pasture grass – grass that's been cut and fermented to preserve nutrients. Like hay, silage is often fed to animals when natural pasture is unavailable.

  • Making silage involves the following steps; preparing the grass (cutting the grass at its highest nutrient level), fermenting the grass (grass is cut into smaller pieces and oxygen is removed, so special bacteria can convert sugars in the grass to lactic acid), and sealing the compacted grass with plastic.

  • It's important to remove as much oxygen as possible while making silage for the correct type of microorganisms to grow.

  • Corn silage is corn taken from its stalk, fermented, and turned into a high-moisture feed.

  • Corn silage is popular because it's high in energy and easy for cows to digest.

  • According to the American Boxwood Society, boxwoods are also known as "Man's Oldest Garden Ornamental".

  • Boxwoods were introduced to North America in the mid-1600s from Europe.

  • Farmers castrate bulls to shift their concentration from mating to eating.

  • Cold weather can create stress on cows, causing them to lose weight and get sick more often.

  • It is the temperature below which animals like cattle must burn extra energy to keep warm.

  • Cold stress can have lethal consequences for calves.