Pushing calves

Help Support CattleToday:

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
I followed the steps advocated by the UK ag professor on accelerating the growth and development of calves. I started halter breaking at a month old. I followed last falls setup of exposing them to grain and high quality hay in an area isolated from the cows. I like the results. My calves are consuming more hay and grain. Growth looks excellent.

The tenets of his plan are as follows:

1. Allow calves to access an area isolated from the cows.

2. Put out high quality grain and hay. At first they just lick at the grain but it puts them on track.

3. Provide fresh water that they can access

These steps will accelerate the evolution of their rumen.

1ou59h.jpg


Even Little Queer Gimli is growing:
206k2zl.jpg
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
Stocker Steve":2z4t0j6z said:
How old were the calves when you started this creep feeding?

One month. That is when they learned they could get away from mom, access feed and hay. They start eating noticeable amounts at about 6 weeks.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
Not all HPF Optimizer calves have chrome. This is not a good picture because he was tense but I really like this calf. Going to have great EPDs. Dam is a Fire Sweep MONTECITO.
2lcp44h.jpg
 

Silver

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
3,490
Reaction score
1,871
Location
BC Peace River country
We've always kept our replacements separate and fed them the best hay. The last few years we've also been feeding a high quality grain mix ration of about 4-5 lbs per day from shortly after weaning to spring. Improved conception and retention are the obvious pay offs, as well as a calmer gentler animal going forward. Those heifers that don't calm down generally get culled out before they become a cow.
Your calves look great btw.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
Silver":99ewcw45 said:
We've always kept our replacements separate and fed them the best hay. The last few years we've also been feeding a high quality grain mix ration of about 4-5 lbs per day from shortly after weaning to spring. Improved conception and retention are the obvious pay offs, as well as a calmer gentler animal going forward. Those heifers that don't calm down generally get culled out before they become a cow.
Your calves look great btw.

Out of 14 fall calves, only 2 are too shy to walk up to and put your hands on them. The fun and joy I get from my calves is why I love this. They make me happy.
 

poorfarmer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
119
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern Indiana
I don't know how I feel about creep feeding calves especially, spring born calves. I think there are several factors to consider. First when will you be selling. If you are selling straight out of the pasture then yes it will add some extra pounds. If you will be holding them and backgrounding, then the pounds can be gained back in the winter when there isn't cheap grass for them to eat. I was always told a calf will go for milk first, then feed, then grass. I did creep feed years ago but I can get them to the same weight more economically by waiting until after they are weaned. On another note your calves do look nice.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
poorfarmer":2dzzgfnn said:
I don't know how I feel about creep feeding calves especially, spring born calves. I think there are several factors to consider. First when will you be selling. If you are selling straight out of the pasture then yes it will add some extra pounds. If you will be holding them and backgrounding, then the pounds can be gained back in the winter when there isn't cheap grass for them to eat. I was always told a calf will go for milk first, then feed, then grass. I did creep feed years ago but I can get them to the same weight more economically by waiting until after they are weaned. On another note your calves do look nice.

Background:

This is a very small operation. I have no reservations about calling it a hobby. I have 16 cows and 5 replacement heifers, all AI breed going into 2018. All calves will be born in Sept/Oct. I have 14 calves still on cows. Those are some shown in the pictures. I will sell at least 7 to 9 of those as seedstock cattle. I will keep at least 2 heifers as replacements. I develop all my calves with the assumption they will go somewhere to be used as breeding bulls or replacement heifers.
 

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
They look good! I too creep fed my calves this summer up until weaning. I'm too green to know how much a difference it makes but my calves look fat and happy. I'd love to hear how you halter train them? I've got a month old bull calve that I'd like to halter train.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
NonTypicalCPA":1dni3ld7 said:
I'd love to hear how you halter train them? I've got a month old bull calve that I'd like to halter train.

Refer to diagram below:
9usm8n.png

Cows are fed round rolls in hay rings in Area A.

Calves can pass under a wire into Area B. Area B has a two feed troughs. The area also is provided with hay. By age one month, they have learned to enter area B to enjoy feed and escape the confusion of Area A.

When all calves are in Area B, access back to Area A is closed. Calves are moved from Area B through Area C to the Sweep (Area D). The sweep gate is shut and the alley to the chute is blocked. The calves are haltered in the sweep and tied to the railing.
kbvwaq.jpg
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,410
Reaction score
1,387
Location
Central Upstate New York
You are doing a great job. How many pounds of grain are they consuming (each) in a day?
We won't touch our Sept/Oct calves until maybe first of March. All barn areas are being utilized for "spring" calving. They are getting some corn in their calf sheds, but no human contact yet, other than our walking around them. We have 6 fall calves, 3 heifers, 2 steers & 1 bull.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
Jeanne - Simme Valley":12vxd0ff said:
You are doing a great job. How many pounds of grain are they consuming (each) in a day?
We won't touch our Sept/Oct calves until maybe first of March. All barn areas are being utilized for "spring" calving. They are getting some corn in their calf sheds, but no human contact yet, other than our walking around them. We have 6 fall calves, 3 heifers, 2 steers & 1 bull.

Thank you. I appreciate that from you! They are eating at the rate of 5 pounds per calf per day.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,410
Reaction score
1,387
Location
Central Upstate New York
I don't think I need to warn you, but don't let them show any fat pockets. Watch your udders on those heifers. Every cell in the udder that develops fat in it, will NEVER produce milk. You can easily ruin them to being good cows.
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
Jeanne - Simme Valley":1qjzl9vv said:
I don't think I need to warn you, but don't let them show any fat pockets. Watch your udders on those heifers. Every cell in the udder that develops fat in it, will NEVER produce milk. You can easily ruin them to being good cows.

Jeanne,

I am watching. There are 9 bulls and 5 heifers. The bulls eat more. So far the heifers are not showing too much fat.

These are Sept/October calves. Do you think 5 pounds might be too much?
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
6,005
Reaction score
1,237
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
TennesseeTuxedo":3iq6nn7p said:
Pampered babies.

I wouldn't say pampered, just domesticated to a bit higher extent. I think cattle lend themselves to being domesticated very well, in many countries they are part of the family.

I don't think it hurts them and to keep them going forward is important when selling them at 13-15mths for breeding. I am trying to get people to buy my bulls at 13mths as opposed to traditionally at 2 yrs, very hard to change habits but benefits all round.

They do look good Ron.

Ken
 

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
Thanks for the diagram! But being a cpa I’d have numbered mine - makes more sense. :)

Is it much trouble getting the halters on? Or are they packed pretty tight in the sweep?
 
OP
B

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
8
Location
Kentucky
NonTypicalCPA":3gdso53l said:
Thanks for the diagram! But being a cpa I’d have numbered mine - makes more sense. :)

Is it much trouble getting the halters on? Or are they packed pretty tight in the sweep?

No problem. First 3 or 4 times maybe, now, it is easy. Halter training is easy. Leading is what separates the men from the boys.
 

Similar threads

A
Replies
2
Views
907
Anonymous
A
A
Replies
1
Views
870
Anonymous
A
A
Replies
3
Views
990
Anonymous
A

Latest posts

Top