Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science


The tendency during the last few years has been to use more and more of the legumes for feeding dairy cows. Just a few years ago (1)”Dairymen near the Yakima Valley, Washington state, fed their cows nothing but alfalfa hay during the winter. The cows received 40 to 50 pounds of alfalfa per cow per day and produced from 6,000 to 7, 000 pounds of milk per year. A Guernsey cow gave 20 pounds of milk per day, four and one-half months after calving and have received no feed but alfalfa hay for two months previous to that time. The Todd herd of Holsteins, said by many to be the best producing herd in the state of Washington, is fed on corn silage and 25-30 pounds of alfalfa hay per cow per day. Mr. Price, formerly dairy specialist for Washington State Agricultural College, and who is familiar with dairy conditions, said that cows had produced as high as 10, 000 pounds of milk in a year on alfalfa hay alone.” Although alfalfa is used more widely than any other of the legumes as dry roughage for feeding dairy cows, soy bean hay is rapidly coming to the front in the southeastern and central states. This increase in the use of soy bean hay seems to be natural and healthy condition, for legume hays are our cheapest sources of protein for winter feeding. Furthermore, soy bean hay is better adapted to those sections of the country where it is more difficult to grow the maximum yields of alfalfa hay. The average percentage composition of American feedings stuffs, table (2) shows soy bean hay to be 1.1 percent higher protein, 3.3 percent lower in crude fiber, 2.2 percent higher in nitrogen- free extract, and 0.5 percent higher in fat than alfalfa. The table for digestible nutrients shows soy bean hay to have 1.1 pounds more crude digestible protein, 0.2 of a pound more carbohydrates, 0.3 of a pound more fat and 2 pounds more total digestible nutrients per hundred pounds than does alfalfa hay. It is probable therefore, that soy bean hay may proves to be a desirable and profitable legume hay for feeding dairy cows. With this probability in mind, the experience discussed in this thesis was planned. Carried out, and the data tabulated for use in determining the feeding value of soy bean hay as a legume roughage for dairy cows.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dairy cattle--Feeding and feeds
Soybean as feed
Alfalfa as feed


Includes bibliographical references (page 28)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College


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