• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Keeping calves past weaning?

Aggie Farmer

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
I have about 30 calves that are 400-500 pounds and I would like to hang on to them till next spring. I have never kept them this long past weaning and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on a feed program. My idea is to keep hay free choice and try feeding them 3% of there body weight of corn gluten and soybean hull pellets per day. Is this what I need to be doing, or is there something I could do that would be more cost effective? I would put them on wheat pasture, but it has not rained for the past two months.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
We're wintering ours just like the cow herd. Thwy're on stockpiled fescue pasture and when that's gone they'll be getting hay. No grain. Any growth they miss out on over the winter they'll catch up on when the spring pasture comes on.
 

Aaron

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Messages
5,218
Reaction score
1
Location
Stratton, ON, Canada
Free choice hay and 1-2 lbs/head/day of some ration mixture at about 12% protein. Will put the frame on them without making them lardy. :cowboy:
 

hillrancher

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
0
Location
Arkansas
Aaron":2y3gam4n said:
Free choice hay and 1-2 lbs/head/day of some ration mixture at about 12% protein. Will put the frame on them without making them lardy. :cowboy:

Aaron agree. If temp. drops and stays below freezing we kick in another Lb or two per day until temp worms up again.
 

bigbull338

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
16,565
Reaction score
0
Location
texas
free choice hay an 3 to 4lbs of grain will keep the calves growing an gaining weight.3% feeding will get you alot of fat heavy calves come spring.an itll cost you a pretty penny to feed like that.unless your getting some cheap feed.
 

Bez+

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
0
Location
Still trying to get back to even.

We pull the calves at around 500 pounds and use a scale to determine accurate weights.

We send the majority down the road.

If we are simply holding them to put on grass the following year they get hay and nothing more. Unless we have some of the free corn fines I get for running a combine - then they get whatever we have until it is gone. We run it out on the snow and they eat it.

Add in free choice mineral.

We never buy grain to feed anymore.

They go on grass and leave the following Aug - Sept time frame.

Hay testing at over 8-9% will still allow them to gain some frame and the spring grass puts on the meat.

I think it unlikely that we will ever hold and feed grain for gain anymore.

Zero input other than hay and some mineral has actually put us in the black.

Bez+
 

cowsrus

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
247
Reaction score
0
Location
N E Oklahoma
We are doing the same thing. we're wintering 34 calves that we bought last may that weigh now about 350-500 lbs. were feeding hay and about 3 lbs of corn gluten and soybean hull pellets. we had planned on selling them before winter set in, but the low calf prices plus the fact that the didn't have the size we wanted yet made us keep them over. feed costs are making us think about cutting down to 2 lbs plus hay. we don't have any pasture left for them. we do have plenty of decent ( i think) hay left.
 

Central Fl Cracker

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Messages
727
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Florida
I just weaned 31 calves that weighed an average 450 lbs and took them to another pasture. Prices were at 70 cents a lb and we sat on them until the price hit 90 cents. For the first 28 days we fed them about 2 lbs of calf feed, Hay and mollasses. They hit the 90 cents price last week so we shipped them to the market(Not Auction)
 

Alberta farmer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
376
Reaction score
0
I think anyone who keeps calves past weaning should have a good idea what market they are targetting and what the costs are going to be? Sure we all get lucky once and awhile and hit a rising market, but it can also go the other way?
Say in general your calves weigh 500 lbs. on Nov. 1st. You want to sell them on April 1st. What weight will bring the money you need to make a profit?
Now in my world a 650 fairly lean steer is what the grass market wants. They do not want a lardy animal. At 650 lbs. the feedlot doesn't want him. Today they actually prefer an animal over 900 lbs.
So what do you get April 1st for your 650 lb. steer? Lets say he is worth 95 cents or $617.50? What was he worth on Nov 1st at 500 lbs.? Lets say 98 cents(you can add your own numbers) or $490? So you have $127.50 to work with.
You are feeding him for about 150 days so to break even you need to feed him for 85 cents a day while gaining about 1 pound a day.
If he is eating 15 lb. hay at 3 cents a pound then it costs you 45 cents a day or $67.50 for 150 days...so you can make some money! He could probably be around that one pound gain if the hay is fairly good?
If you are feeding 5 lbs. of grain a day and about 10 lbs. of hay what will that cost? Now I'm not sure about corn but barley would be around 40 cents and hay another 30 cents so now you have less to work with($105) and he would probably be fatter than the grass market might like.
Of course we all know feed isn't the only cost? You will have interest costs on both the calf and the feed?
Probably in that $15 range? And he needs salt/mineral...say $4? How about yardage and feeding/bedding costs? Another $10? Throw in a few bucks for vet costs and death loss and we are getting a cost besides feed of another $33?
Okay he's sold. You get your check. $617.50. You pay your expenses, hay diet $67.50 +$33=$100.50. Grain diet $105+$33= $138!
You made $27 on the hay diet. You lost $10.50 on the grain diet!
Of course we never accounted for labor or anything because we all enjoy being out in -35 weather doctoring calves and beating the heck out of the tractor! And we never figured in a management profit because we just like to do this stuff for free!
I'm not sure how many calves one person could over winter? If it was 100 why you could make $2700! If it was 400 you could make $10,800! For 150 days of work. Why that works out to $72/day...I guess thats why people would rather get a job at Walmart or something?
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,195
Reaction score
3
Location
Central Minnesota
Bez+":208m2zya said:
***We send the majority down the road.***
If we are simply holding them to put on grass the following year they get hay and nothing more. Unless we have some of the free corn fines I get for running a combine - then they get whatever we have until it is gone. We run it out on the snow and they eat it.
Add in free choice mineral.
We never buy grain to feed anymore.
They go on grass and leave the following Aug - Sept time frame.
Hay testing at over 8-9% will still allow them to gain some frame and the spring grass puts on the meat.
Bez+

I think genetics are a huge huge factor here. I held back a couple shinny high capacity stockers for freezer beef and left them to eat hay with the cows. They are are good flesh and growing well at 20 below. I have a couple dairy cross heifers on the same diet and they need grain.
 

Rod

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2003
Messages
457
Reaction score
0
Location
N.w. Arkansas
We're using hay ,mineral, and protein tubs. Any gains are going to be on minimal expense inputs. I didn't like the market 45 days ago so I decided to wait it out and try not to lose my a$$ and all my fixtures while keeping these varmints around a little longer than i intended.
 

cowman30

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
289
Reaction score
0
Aaron":3qgevpht said:
Free choice hay and 1-2 lbs/head/day of some ration mixture at about 12% protein. Will put the frame on them without making them lardy. :cowboy:


This is how I develop my heifers I keep over to breed and sale as yearlings. Aint to fat just in real good condition when they calve as 24 month olds.
 

Latest posts

Top