Home Crop Monitoring Making calves comfortable: strategies for feeding light cattle

Making calves comfortable: strategies for feeding light cattle


The drought throughout a lot of the Prairies has compelled loads of cows to “come to town” lengthy earlier than the rancher had supposed resulting from a scarcity of feed.

Early weaning creates a problem for the rancher, as they try to get these calves to a heavier weight earlier than promoting.

With regards to feeding light calves, there are a number of concerns to bear in mind. Darryl Gibb, of Gowans Feed Consulting, says one of many largest challenges is getting a calf that may not be accustomed to a feedlot used to feed.

“Obviously the younger the animal, the more attached they are to mama, so it can be a bit of a challenge getting their head into the bunk and eating feed that they aren’t used to eating. The biggest challenge is getting the intakes up, which is an art and a science onto itself,” Gibb explains.

Getting that consumption up is essential, however it needs to be finished within the right means as problems can happen in a short time.

How will we make sure that consumption is finished in a profitable method? For the brand new calves, says Gibb, it’s all about them feeling comfy sufficient to stay their heads within the bunk and consuming the feed.

“I’ve seen practices from people going out in the pens and walking with the cattle, and making sure they are aware of where the water trough is. As well, spreading hay out, and doing a sloppy job of it — so maybe some spills out over inside the pen, just so the cattle are more likely to see that the food source is near the bunk,” Gibb explains.

Different strategies embrace rising the frequency of feed deliveries so the cattle acknowledge the feed truck as a supply of meals, and ensuring the ration is high-quality and full so that every mouthful is offering nourishment.

Study extra about feeding light calves, together with the correct supplementation program, potential ailments to look out for, settling calves, and extra:

For extra studying on the subject, go to the Beef Cattle Analysis Council’s useful resource on the subject right here.


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