Butcher calves not eating

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fnfarms1

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I've got 4 steers growing out to butcher. Weigh 650 each, my own calves. Ate a 4way feed great. My newest load of feed I ask them to up the protein alittle to help them gain weight faster. The new feed is same 4way but more pellets ie. corn gluten I believe. Now they barely touch it. Thoughts?
 

kenny thomas

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Most times when you change feed you take a chance of them not liking it. Usually in a few days they decide it's ok.
My thought only but I don't like to use gluten in feed for a beef. To me it gives it a bad taste
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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As your calves grow, they do NOT need more protein. They need more carbs, like CORN. I don't know what "4-Way" is supposed to be, but every "batch' of feed will taste different.
They either pigged out on the first feeding and made themselves sick, or they are refusing the change. I hate to add molasses to my feed, because once you do, you pretty much can't stop. It's like a little kid that got the taste of sugar.
I would give them all some Probias. Back off on the amount of feed until they are cleaning up again.
 

greggy

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fnfarms1 said:
I've got 4 steers growing out to butcher. Weigh 650 each, my own calves. Ate a 4way feed great. My newest load of feed I ask them to up the protein alittle to help them gain weight faster. The new feed is same 4way but more pellets ie. corn gluten I believe. Now they barely touch it. Thoughts?

They do not like the smell
They do not like the new taste
They are not hungry

I would think a combo of above, so wait and see if they get into it when hungry, hold them somewhere with no feed and just water and put some pellet in a small tub....once one starts, they will prob all go for it.....that is what i would try anyways.....
 
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fnfarms1

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I'd say you guys hit it. They started eating this evening, backed them off until cleaning it up. But eating. Thanks guys
 

sstterry

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kenny thomas said:
Most times when you change feed you take a chance of them not liking it. Usually in a few days they decide it's ok.
My thought only but I don't like to use gluten in feed for a beef. To me it gives it a bad taste

I am also on the non-gluten for my freezer beef wagon. I am straight corn (for my personal beef). For an example of the change in feed thing, I am feeding out a steer now. He was being fed cracked corn. One of the workers for my feed guy accidently gave me ground corn instead. He would not touch it. I am now taking Jeanne's advice and feeding him shelled corn. It took some time but he will now eat all three (I started out mixing it to use up the ground corn).
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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In NY, everything is geared for a dairy. Dairy's want a very FINE feed. It is impossible for me to get good cracked corn. Total dust!!! If you pour a bucket outside on a windy day, they have nothing in their feed trough LOL.
Seriously, WSC is the most economical way to finish out a steer. But, if they start out on a sweet feed, you play heck switching them over without always having to add a little molasses.
None of them like CHANGE. You need to save some of the old feed and add it to the new feed to get them adjusted.
 

greggy

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I feed the young ones a bit of everything, they seem too just take anything I put in a trough now, sometimes if they are a bit full or over something, I just pile some hay or something else they like on top....in the morning everything is always gone...they are prob 6 months now, it is great if you want to measure and ration something...

I find the older heifers the same, they are held away from feed, when I put whatever feed out and let them in, they clean it up. If I put a lot of feed in with them so it is self serve, they pick and choose and drag it out, they may leave something I want them too finish.

Not unlike dogs, leave the bowl there, they know they can do what they want when they want, only get the bowl out at feed time, and they clean it up or miss out.

Good to see they did not trick you into going to get what they want :)
 

greggy

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sstterry said:
kenny thomas said:
Most times when you change feed you take a chance of them not liking it. Usually in a few days they decide it's ok.
My thought only but I don't like to use gluten in feed for a beef. To me it gives it a bad taste

I am also on the non-gluten for my freezer beef wagon. I am straight corn (for my personal beef). For an example of the change in feed thing, I am feeding out a steer now. He was being fed cracked corn. One of the workers for my feed guy accidently gave me ground corn instead. He would not touch it. I am now taking Jeanne's advice and feeding him shelled corn. It took some time but he will now eat all three (I started out mixing it to use up the ground corn).

Is there merit on feeding them up on whatever, say something with gluten.....then have a period, say 60, 90 days or whatever on say your corn to allow the meat to be the way you prefer ?

Hell knows what mind would taste like, they eat so much variety, moot really, job is to drop calves for most :)

I guess you do this diet just for the animal/s you will use yourself ? or do people do this for commercial sales to provide a certain product ?

I remember here they used to use slogans to promote grain feed beef, now they are doing the grass fed beef thing....my big mac tastes the same, albeit long time between tries for me :)
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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greggy - I am sure not an expert on feeding out for carcass - but I do believe the taste of the meat can be altered in the last 90 days of feeding (ie grass vs corn or the potential gluten problem)
I feed WSC to ALL my replacement heifers from weaning to breeding, and to my show cattle (along with other ingredients), and to my steers to be finished for harvest. I only sell 3 or 4 steers each year by the halves (keeping one half for myself of course). the steers get WSC from weaning to butcher - which is usually at 12-13 months of age with an average 750# carcass.
Edit: and all the hay they can eat. I feed WSC because it is the most economical, great flavor and marbling.
 

sstterry

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greggy said:
Is there merit on feeding them up on whatever, say something with gluten.....then have a period, say 60, 90 days or whatever on say your corn to allow the meat to be the way you prefer ?

be nice knows what mind would taste like, they eat so much variety, moot really, job is to drop calves for most :)

I guess you do this diet just for the animal/s you will use yourself ? or do people do this for commercial sales to provide a certain product ?

I remember here they used to use slogans to promote grain feed beef, now they are doing the grass fed beef thing....my big mac tastes the same, albeit long time between tries for me :)

I will leave it to those more experienced than I to give a complete answer on this. But the whole grass-fed nonsense is just a marketing ploy in my opinion. What would be the benefit of no corn? No fat = no flavor.
 

greggy

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Arghhh.... 😀

I do not think you can get it here, but is it dry...or wet...

If dry, do you soak it to feed out, or is it not that hard and they chew it...

I ask as I got whole lupin once, so darn hard I was sure some sheep would be breaking teeth, then was told soak it...
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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WSC is dry, That's how it is fed. Cattle love it. Dry corn is probably the number 1 grain used for cattle. It is cracked, flaked, rolled, ground, etc. Lots of process choices. If the kernel is cracked, there is supposed to be 8% more efficiency - but the process generally costs more than 8%, so it is cheaper to feed WSC. This is what I feed to my show string and replacement heifers. I get it delivered 3-4 ton at a time blown into a bin in my hayloft.
 

Bcompton53

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Jeanne - Simme Valley said:
WSC is dry, That's how it is fed. Cattle love it. Dry corn is probably the number 1 grain used for cattle. It is cracked, flaked, rolled, ground, etc. Lots of process choices. If the kernel is cracked, there is supposed to be 8% more efficiency - but the process generally costs more than 8%, so it is cheaper to feed WSC. This is what I feed to my show string and replacement heifers. I get it delivered 3-4 ton at a time blown into a bin in my hayloft.

So, I have an issue right now with a steer eating whole corn as well. Maybe you can help! It's a dairy/angus cross 16 month old steer. He's been on a 1% of bw corn diet (plus SBM) for several months (free choice hay also). We have been trying to bump him up to 25 pounds of corn to finish him out. We got him up to eating about 16 pounds regularly for a couple weeks. To get him there however, we had to top dress the corn with dry molasses, otherwise he would eat about 12 pounds then go back to the hay stack. We eventually got him up to 25 pounds for a week or 10 days. Now he is back down to only eating 12-14 pounds. He licks all the molasses off the tub, then kind of stands around eating corn slowly for a bit, but for the past 4-5 days he wont eat more than about 12 pounds of corn. He has never acted sick, he eats lots of hay, gets mineral, water tank is right next to the feed. I just can't figure him out! Do you have any ideas on how to get his intake up? I thought about wetting the corn so that the molasses is harder to lick off. Starting today, we do have a way to feed him separately from the hay, so I thought about shutting him out of the hay first thing in the morning, then feeding him corn and letting him back into the hay in the evening. Sound like a good idea??
 

mwj

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Cut back on the hay! A finishing diet only needs enough forage for rumin function. A lot of dairy steers are finished on whole corn and a protein pellet with no roughage in the ration.
 

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