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Newbie is feeding grain; how much?

ny_grass

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Many members of forum have chimed in on my problems with my skinny cows (this thread: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=52911); the upshot was that I need to begin feeding my beef cows some grain to help them gain back their condition.

So, here are some pictures of the feeder I just built. I can already see that it's not ideal (the bottom board should have been 10" or 12" instead of 6", but that's all I had. It probably should be off the ground too (since I've already seen them step in it). But they had their first grain yesterday. This morning I fed about 18 lbs (as measured by weighing a 4/5 filled 5 gallon bucket). I'm going to try to work them up to about 4 lbs/day. Given that the calves will finally be separated from them by Wednesday, I think 4lbs/day per cow will be enough to help get them back in shape.

Anything I'm missing? Is 4lbs/day not enough?

Here's the breakdown of the grain I'm feeding them:
grain products
processed grain products
cane molasses
soybean meal
vit. A palmites
vit. D2 supp

They told me, at the mill, that this 16% mix contained: corn, oats, distillers by products, molasses.





Here's the analysis:
min crude protein: 16%
min crude fat: 3.5%
max crude fiber: 9%
 

SRBeef

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Here are the dimensions you should be using. If I understand the tough you made it looks like you will be wasting a lot of grain.

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/publist/Leaflets/Beef/314-22.pdf

You can also just buy a trough at a farm supply store or use concrete precast.

http://www.wieserconcrete.com/guide/fence_bunk.html

As far as amount, with the weather we are having and you are likely to get, I would give them 6-8lb a day for awhile, especially with the waste you will see. They can't clean out that trough. Behlen has a simple one with a plastic liner that works well, surprisingly strong. Probably will cost less than your wood to do it right.

Good luck.

Here's a picture of the Behlen 10 ft

View attachment 1

Here's a picture of the concrete fenceline bunk. This has the advantage that you can fill it from the outside of the corral or fence.

 

donnaIL

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We bought some of those big blue blastic tubs..(think they are 50 gallons?), husband cut them in half long ways with a chain saw, then punctured a couple holes in the side, pulled hay twine through them and tie them to the panels at our walk way where we feed. We pour the feed over the panels into tubs and it works good, don't have to worry about being trampled. Usually 2 animals share a tub, sometimes 3. The only thing I don't like is that they sometimes want to stand in them, I have seen people post pictures on here where they have put them in wooden frame. I would feed atleast 6lbs , probably 8 like SRBeef said. Also worm them, you can get safeguard wormer usually from the feed store and mix it with the feed if you don't have a way to catch them to do a pour on.

The link below has a picture of the barrels, they cost alot new...we have bought ours at auctions for $5-$7 each. There is a farm near us that sells them for $7 ea.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/produc ... t%5Fid=312

Here is a good source for feed requirements. It is for IL, but I expect anywhere with cold snowy winters it would work. I use this to calculate my hay requirements.

http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/~vista/abstracts/abeef.html
 

dun

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They should be eating a minimum of around 1% of their body weight in grain per day. 4 lbs would be 1% of a 400 lb animal (I may be wrong since my math skills aren;t the greatest)
1% of a 1000 lb cow would be 10 lbs. Even if you feed them the amount you're planning twice a day you would still be bewlow the 1%. My opinion only, but I think they should be getting a minimum of more like 12 lbs a day split into 2 feedings.
The feeder needs to be higher, they'll end up loading that thing with crap and stepping in it and breaking it in pretty short order.
 

ny_grass

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grannysoo":veyesrvg said:
ny_grass":veyesrvg said:
Anything I'm missing?

Have you wormed them already?

You received a lot of good advice on the other thread. I'm glad that you are listening. :nod:

I gave them shaklee again this weekend. I know that everyone says I should worm them with ivomec but I'm just not sure I want to do this yet for these reasons:

- someone in that thread mentioned that they wait 9 months between worming and slaughter; someone else mentioned that I'd still be able to sell them as "natural" even though I drenched them (with ivomec). There are many things that I don't know yet. I don't know that if, after being weaned and with a month or two on some grain, they recover nicely and are more meaty, that I might not want to go back to the original idea and make hamburger (out of at least the nicest looking one). I don't want to have to worry about the worming agent. If the first person knows that ivomec stays in the system for 9 months then I no longer have the option grass-fed, natural hamburger.

- I'm not convinced they are wormy. Remember, the history is that they really started losing condition in the last month and a half; when they got on hay and when their calves were 5-7 months old. I'm hoping that I'll see some improvement shortly with grain and no calves. If I don't then I'll worm with ivomec.

- I'd like to watch the effect of each of the actions I'm taking and be able to say, "yup, it was X that made the difference." Want as few variables as possible.

Of course, if they don't respond fairly quickly, I'll worm.

Thanks,
JR
 

ny_grass

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dun":14yemlr0 said:
They should be eating a minimum of around 1% of their body weight in grain per day. 4 lbs would be 1% of a 400 lb animal (I may be wrong since my math skills aren;t the greatest)
1% of a 1000 lb cow would be 10 lbs. Even if you feed them the amount you're planning twice a day you would still be bewlow the 1%. My opinion only, but I think they should be getting a minimum of more like 12 lbs a day split into 2 feedings.
The feeder needs to be higher, they'll end up loading that thing with crap and stepping in it and breaking it in pretty short order.

I'll work up the amount in the next week.

Yup, I think my feeder design is flawed. On the other hand, I had it built and installed in an hour or so (get 'er done!).
 

dun

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ny_grass":1ikfspzk said:
grannysoo":1ikfspzk said:
ny_grass":1ikfspzk said:
Anything I'm missing?

Have you wormed them already?

You received a lot of good advice on the other thread. I'm glad that you are listening. :nod:

I gave them shaklee again this weekend. I know that everyone says I should worm them with ivomec but I'm just not sure I want to do this yet for these reasons:

- someone in that thread mentioned that they wait 9 months between worming and slaughter; someone else mentioned that I'd still be able to sell them as "natural" even though I drenched them (with ivomec). There are many things that I don't know yet. I don't know that if, after being weaned and with a month or two on some grain, they recover nicely and are more meaty, that I might not want to go back to the original idea and make hamburger (out of at least the nicest looking one). I don't want to have to worry about the worming agent. If the first person knows that ivomec stays in the system for 9 months then I no longer have the option grass-fed, natural hamburger.

- I'm not convinced they are wormy. Remember, the history is that they really started losing condition in the last month and a half; when they got on hay and when their calves were 5-7 months old. I'm hoping that I'll see some improvement shortly with grain and no calves. If I don't then I'll worm with ivomec.

- I'd like to watch the effect of each of the actions I'm taking and be able to say, "yup, it was X that made the difference." Want as few variables as possible.

Of course, if they don't respond fairly quickly, I'll worm.

Thanks,
JR

Rahter then screwing aorund with things you don;t know the affect of, why not take a fecal to the vet and have it checked for worms and maybe coccidiosis as long as it's being done. Why not find out what the requirements are for "natural" the way/place you plan on marketing? That at least would give you the informaiton in black and white what is allowed and what isn;t. Check a jug of ivomec and see what the withdrawl period is. Different manufacturers variations may have different withdrawls
 

Nesikep

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the Behlen looks like a stretched bathtub, in a pinch, if you can find a coupe old bathtubs laying around it might do the trick, we scavenge every old bathtub we find to use as waterers
 

dun

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I wouldn;t jack them up to a full 1% very fast, gradually over 3-5 days would be better.
 

donnaIL

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I had one of those behlen feed troughs...I think I paid $70 at auction...our cows tore the thing up in a few months...they constantly tossed it around the yard, stood in it ect...had to reinforce the tub with screws to the frame and finally the frame was broken into pieces, now it is just a piece of junk. Our tubs are kinda set up like the concrete set up, those plastic tubs seem to be indestructable..the bathtub idea sounds like a good idea.

The safeguard wormer has a short withdrawal time (13 days), only thing it I think its expensive $5 a lb, a little cheeper if you buy a bigger bag. Takes 1lb per 1000 lbs. Our feed store was selling it in lick blocks, never heard of that said if the cattle needed to be wormed they would eat/lick it.
 

ny_grass

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donnaIL":fsm3bts6 said:
I had one of those behlen feed troughs...I think I paid $70 at auction...our cows tore the thing up in a few months...they constantly tossed it around the yard, stood in it ect...had to reinforce the tub with screws to the frame and finally the frame was broken into pieces, now it is just a piece of junk. Our tubs are kinda set up like the concrete set up, those plastic tubs seem to be indestructable..the bathtub idea sounds like a good idea.

The safeguard wormer has a short withdrawal time (13 days), only thing it I think its expensive $5 a lb, a little cheeper if you buy a bigger bag. Takes 1lb per 1000 lbs. Our feed store was selling it in lick blocks, never heard of that said if the cattle needed to be wormed they would eat/lick it.

13 days! Well, that's great news! Googling "safeguard wormer" I find this: https://www.enasco.com/product/C23688N.
People here seem to like the pour ons. Anyone used these kind of pellets? I guess the problem with them is ensuring proper dosage (what with multiple animals eating from the same trough).

Here's a nice doc that summarizes withdrawal periods for various wormers:
http://www.cabnr.unr.edu/AB/Resources/N ... ges/09.pdf

There are a number of products that claim to have fairly short withdrawal periods and that come as pour-ons (I'd assumed that a pour-on and a drench were the same thing; the above chart seems to use them as different things.
 

Bez+

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Been avoiding the other thread - but pic number two on this thread bothers me - she missing a big patch of hair on her @ss?

You got a pile of money in a nice facility and some starving cows. Not a good thing for you - the cows - or us folks who are in the business - what is happening - what you are doing - gives us all a bad rap.

The cows need all the advantages they can get right now - so - put some Ivomec on them - asap.

And yeah - there are lots of us with similar climates - and our animals do not look like yours.

Many of us do not feed grain on a regular basis - but we do not have starving and sickly looking animals.

Test your feed - get a nutritionist to custom grind a feed for the animals

Get all the calves off of them and if necessary sell them asap

Get a vet to come out and hit them with whatever vitamins and minerals they might need.

Or - and probably a better idea - which you will not likely take - get rid of those cows until you are ready to do it right.

Forget the "natural beef" stuff - what you are doing - despite chatting about trying your best and having the best interests at heart - is close to criminal.

I saw your cows in that condition - I would run from buying from you. So will others. Fast as possible - folks want to buy from people who have fat and sassy animals - animals that look like they are well CARED for.

Seen a lot of good advice here and on the other thread - but the fact remains you and the animals are in trouble - because YOU are not ready to do the job right.

Let someone else take care of those animals - would you do this to your dog or your wife or your kids?

Probably not.

Then why cows?

Start when you can do it right - after you actually know how to care for them. Just because stupid and dumb looking farmers and ranchers (like me and many others here) with old clothes and rattle trap vehicles can do it does not mean you can.

Sell them - even at a loss - step back and take the time to do it right.

That is what any truly responsible person would do. We will see how responsible you are.

Bez+
 

KMacGinley

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Nesikep":12yqt3ya said:
the Behlen looks like a stretched bathtub, in a pinch, if you can find a coupe old bathtubs laying around it might do the trick, we scavenge every old bathtub we find to use as waterers

They will stand in it.
 

backhoeboogie

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ny_grass":2716uc9d said:
People here seem to like the pour ons. Anyone used these kind of pellets?

I use either pour on or injection. We have a heck of a time with flies most summers. Parasites will eat up all your investment if you let them. They'll also compromise the health of your cows. Wormer is cheap compared to feed expense.

You seem to be listening to folks in this forum. I applaud you.

Find a method that works for the cattle, works for you, and stick with it. We all do things a little different, live in different climates, and work with different breeds. Animal health is pretty much the same from all perspectives, regardless of the other differences.
 

KMacGinley

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Bez+":37w3vbhr said:
Been avoiding the other thread - but pic number two on this thread bothers me - she missing a big patch of hair on her @ss?

You got a pile of money in a nice facility and some starving cows. Not a good thing for you - the cows - or us folks who are in the business - what is happening - what you are doing - gives us all a bad rap.

The cows need all the advantages they can get right now - so - put some Ivomec on them - asap.

And yeah - there are lots of us with similar climates - and our animals do not look like yours.

Many of us do not feed grain on a regular basis - but we do not have starving and sickly looking animals.

Test your feed - get a nutritionist to custom grind a feed for the animals

Get all the calves off of them and if necessary sell them asap

Get a vet to come out and hit them with whatever vitamins and minerals they might need.

Or - and probably a better idea - which you will not likely take - get rid of those cows until you are ready to do it right.

Forget the "natural beef" stuff - what you are doing - despite chatting about trying your best and having the best interests at heart - is close to criminal.

I saw your cows in that condition - I would run from buying from you. So will others. Fast as possible - folks want to buy from people who have fat and sassy animals - animals that look like they are well CARED for.

Seen a lot of good advice here and on the other thread - but the fact remains you and the animals are in trouble - because YOU are not ready to do the job right.

Let someone else take care of those animals - would you do this to your dog or your wife or your kids?

Probably not.

Then why cows?

Start when you can do it right - after you actually know how to care for them. Just because stupid and dumb looking farmers and ranchers (like me and many others here) with old clothes and rattle trap vehicles can do it does not mean you can.

Sell them - even at a loss - step back and take the time to do it right.

That is what any truly responsible person would do. We will see how responsible you are.

Bez+

Old clothes and old trucks are comfortable :)
 

KMacGinley

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I think the withdrawal on my ivermec is 45 days. You just pour the right amount on their back. You can do it while they are eating.

With the other feeding type wormer, you have to be sure that they all get some and in the proper amounts.
 

1982vett

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donnaIL":lwfdjrr3 said:
I had one of those behlen feed troughs...I think I paid $70 at auction...our cows tore the thing up in a few months...they constantly tossed it around the yard, stood in it ect...had to reinforce the tub with screws to the frame and finally the frame was broken into pieces, now it is just a piece of junk.
Lag screw 2 pieces of treated 4x6 across the bottoms on a 5 footer, 3 or 4 pieces on a 10 footer. Adds weight and height to the trough, makes it less likely to be turned over, pushed around, and trampled. (Just watch that you don't trip over the 4x6's) :oops:
 

Angus Cowman

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The generic ivomec I have says 45 day slaughter withdrawal and yes you can still market them as all natural
All natural means no antibiotics and no implants I have marketed cattle this way in the past
with the all natural you can give the vaccinations they can have grain and they can be wormed with Ivomec or any other commercial wormer they just can't have implants or antibiotics

as far as organic you really can't sell organic beef without first having your herd and facilities certified organic by the state
 

ny_grass

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Angus Cowman":2izhzzo9 said:
The generic ivomec I have says 45 day slaughter withdrawal and yes you can still market them as all natural
All natural means no antibiotics and no implants I have marketed cattle this way in the past
with the all natural you can give the vaccinations they can have grain and they can be wormed with Ivomec or any other commercial wormer they just can't have implants or antibiotics

as far as organic you really can't sell organic beef without first having your herd and facilities certified organic by the state

Great to know! 45 days is doable; I'm sure it'll take more than 45 days to get them back in shape. Thanks for your help.
 
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