Ryan Healy – Beef Nutrition Specialist
With spring upon us, some are beginning to wrap up calving season, and it is now time to look at if it is profitable to creep feed those calves. I am confident in saying that this year will be another great year to creep feed. With today’s genetics, cattle need that extra supplementation to express their potential, and we cannot get the gain on mother’s milk and grass alone. A question I often get is, “Can I get my calves too fleshy?” It all comes down to how you manage your herd and what you are using for creep feed.
I recommend starting calves out on our pelleted, forage-based creep feed, Rangeland Calf Creep 14 B90. Calves typically have better results on this when compared to a regular grain-based ration because when calves are out on pasture, they are consuming forage. When they are eating the Rangeland Calf Creep, they are also eating forage, meaning the microbes in the rumen are breaking down the same bacteria. When calves start to eat 1.5-2% of their body weight, this is when we can run into calves getting fleshy. I like to see farms switch to our Purina Accuration® Creep Feed program which helps modify their intake, so cattle consume more meals in smaller quantities. This technology makes it superior to other grain creeps because we can make their rumen a more stable environment for the microbes while not getting them fleshy. There are many benefits to creep feeding calves; it saves on available grass, keeps cows in better condition, makes weaning easier and calves are typically bigger at weaning.
Also, I want you to keep in mind, we offer rent-to-own creep feeders, along with carrying feed train creep feeders too. You make payments on these feeders for 3 years while continuing to buy creep feed from us. If you are interested in this program, I would be glad to talk more with you to help you find the best solution for your operation!