Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by WarEagle73 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:01 pm

Tried creep feeding this year for the first time. We had some health issues at weaning last year, and I felt like some of it might have been due to the stress of weaning. This year we provided creep for the calves starting 5 weeks prior to weaning and then they stayed on the self feeder 8 days after weaning. At that point we pulled the heifers and bigger steers off and started hand feeding, but left the smaller steers on the feeder. Trying to limit stress due to the nutritional change. We retain ownership on everything that isn't a replacement, so we think this might get the steers ready to head west at a bit heavier weight and maybe improve our quality grade 1/2 to a full marbling score.

In the 5 weeks prior to weaning, we were running a rough feed conversion of 3.21# Feed per # of gain for a CoG of $0.42, but that doesn't take into account milk or grazing, or the fact that even without the creep they still would gained. From a purely gain perspective, it didn't pay in my mind. We will lower our cost CoG to at least $0.35 after we get our feed bin out up and start buying feed in bulk, but still that won't make it profitable if we only think about gain. For us, I think the value is getting the calves transitioned at weaning faster. Don't know how to quantify that, but it seemed to be effective and worth it for us.



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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:32 pm

Good points. Not having to treat sick calves saves a lot of MONEY & TIME. And sick calves, generally have poorer performance on the feedlot.
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by skyhightree1 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:48 pm

I generally creep feed and start at 300lbs and will do it for a month then sell
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by LJCB » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:19 am

We have creep fed for the past 3 years and our weaning weights the first year went up 50 pounds the first year. That year we started in September and weaned end of October and sold late November .

Second year we started in July and we were 100 pounds on avg higher than non creep feed.

This year it’s been out since May . Really trying to see if it’s worth the extra money to feed them.

Been feeding accuration 80/20 and we do let the feeder go empty in between filling it. But right now with alittle over a month before weaning grass is getting short and have been dry they have been hitting the feeder alittle harder.

We let our heifers eat as much as they want soon as they weaned we choose our replacements and they go to a cracked corn protein pellet ration with free choice hay. Never had a problem with them breeding after we slow them down over the winter. Goal is to have them 900 plus at AI then out to pasture with the bull.

If I could find a readily available creep feed that cheaper than accuration I would switch but at the moment it’s to easy to have delivered.

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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:35 pm

Have you calculated what the pound gain is costing?
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by LJCB » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:14 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:35 pm
Have you calculated what the pound gain is costing?
2 ton delivered cost 450

450/4000 = .1125 a pound

Say it takes 6 pounds to put 1 pound of weight on
.675 per pound of gain.
.675 x 100 = $67.50

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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:44 pm

Creep feed conversion is complicated.
6 to 1 is almost best case for me
10 to 1 is a safer estimate for me
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by WarEagle73 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:19 am

Just looking back at some post weaning gain data to update my above post.

Steers that stayed on the creep feeder after weaning gained 3.93#/day for 42 days.

Steers and heifers that stayed on creep for 8 days then transitioned to 1% BW Corn gluten feed and crabgrass grazing gained 2.04#/day for 42 days.

The steers that stayed on the self feeder gained way too fast and got kind of fat. We have pulled those off and will hand feed them 1% BW Corn gluten for another 45 days or so before they hitch a ride to the feedyard. Good news is that it caught them up with the heavy steers, so we can send them all in one group. Conversion on this feed was really good, so our cost of gains will be sub $0.50. More importantly for me, the calves didn't go backwards at weaning. Best we can tell, they really never checked up at all. We may cheapen up the ration some next year, but I think we will be creep feeding again next year.

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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:25 am

Sounds like it worked out well for you. That's good gain. What average weight were the lighter group that you kept on the creep? (at weaning time)
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by WarEagle73 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:07 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:25 am
Sounds like it worked out well for you. That's good gain. What average weight were the lighter group that you kept on the creep? (at weaning time)
They average 590#. Big steers were 687# and the heifers were 548#. After 42 days, the little steers were 750#, big steers were 784#, and the heifers were 630#. The steers will head to Kansas in about 30 more days, and I think they will be averaging 825-850.

We got a little concerned with the amount of feed they ate and the cost, but when we look at it from a Cost of Gain standpoint, I think we are being pretty profitable. Plus they transitioned really well at weaning.

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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:16 pm

Yes, if you can keep them gaining thru the weaning process, I think you are money ahead. Good job. Those are great weights.
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Re: Anyone Creep Feeding Calves?

Post by TexasBred » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:31 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:44 pm
Creep feed conversion is complicated.
6 to 1 is almost best case for me
10 to 1 is a safer estimate for me
6 to 1 is excellent
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