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Q about creep feeding

Keren

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I creep feed my kids (four legged, not two legged) and in drought times I creep feed the MG calves (as I am doing at the moment).

I had a gentleman say to me today that you should never creep feed young stock, because they learn from a very early age to squeeze through small gaps in the fence and get to better feed, so they will always be bad on fences.

Now, I dont have a problem with my animals being bad on fences, but I wondered what everyone else thought of this opinion?
 

novatech

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Simply a calves nature to squeeze through anything they think they can. A curiosity thing I guess. Just like the 2 legged kind. They seem to get into everything. Both out grow it. On the other hand, any animal hungry enough will spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get to the feed they want at any age.
 

Caustic Burno

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If the cow can't feed and raise the calf I don't need the cow. If you are feeding because you don't have the forage you are overstocked this is like having an ARM on your herd. What ever little profit you may have made on the calf is now in a sack in the burn pile. You are increasing your cost on average the cow is costing 1.35 a day to upkeep at current prices leaving a profit of 85 dollars a calf.
 

Jim62

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I never have studied much on the economics of creep feeding, but I did try the "creep grazing" thing once. I think the guy has a very valid point about the fence crawling. The calves that I creep grazed were impossible to keep in any kind of a normal enclosure. I'll never do it again.
 

mobgrazer

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I found its fine to let them creep feed. When they first get into padlocks with out a creep grazing part they will do anything to get out. I have one monster charger that I use to break them of creep feeding. It’s not a simple slap that they get it’s a base ball bat that hits them. Most of the time only 10 or 12 needs to test the fence out of 190 or so I wean at a time.

I just weaned my first round of 3 last night. I pulled the moms about 11:00 am. At noon I took down the creep feeding line. The first one tested it at 12:20 and he shot sh!t about 2 feet. The next one got it at about 12:30 she hit it on her back leg and it put her on her side; she just laid there looking up at the fence till we helped her back up. 12:35 another one got it and just took off running in circles about 10’ form the fence. I went to move one this morning and one was out and no one had touched anything with in 5 feet of the fence.
 

nap

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mobgrazer":369gxzrj said:
I found its fine to let them creep feed. When they first get into padlocks with out a creep grazing part they will do anything to get out. I have one monster charger that I use to break them of creep feeding. It’s not a simple slap that they get it’s a base ball bat that hits them. Most of the time only 10 or 12 needs to test the fence out of 190 or so I wean at a time.

I just weaned my first round of 3 last night. I pulled the moms about 11:00 am. At noon I took down the creep feeding line. The first one tested it at 12:20 and he shot be nice about 2 feet. The next one got it at about 12:30 she hit it on her back leg and it put her on her side; she just laid there looking up at the fence till we helped her back up. 12:35 another one got it and just took off running in circles about 10’ form the fence. I went to move one this morning and one was out and no one had touched anything with in 5 feet of the fence.

How much voltage does your charger put out? You don't want to cause cardiac arrest.
 

mobgrazer

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It’s a 50 mile charger on a 100 acre field with 2 hot strains. I take it off a 200 acre field when I wean calves. I have been “hit” with it before it’s not that bad unless you barely touch it. There used to a 25 mile charger on 100 acres is what it is. The shock sticks are a little worse the fence.
 

Limomike

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Keren":wy1iwj6w said:
I creep feed my kids (four legged, not two legged) and in drought times I creep feed the MG calves (as I am doing at the moment).

I had a gentleman say to me today that you should never creep feed young stock, because they learn from a very early age to squeeze through small gaps in the fence and get to better feed, so they will always be bad on fences.

Now, I dont have a problem with my animals being bad on fences, but I wondered what everyone else thought of this opinion?
As far as creep feeding young stock; I dont have a problem with it, but I use a creep feeder if I am going to do it. That way the calves know where the feed is going to be (if I put some in it), and dont go looking elsewhere for it.
But, I do think young calves always have a tendency to get out of a fenced area, whether or not there is better feed on the other side or not.Some young calves just lay down really close to a barbed wire fence, and when they wake up, they find themselves on the other side! That is why it's important to have good fencing. :nod:
 

backhoeboogie

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Limomike":3calfte5 said:
As far as creep feeding young stock; I dont have a problem with it, but I use a creep feeder if I am going to do it.

I bought a whole bunch of lightweight heifers cheap. 6 weights and up were very expensive last summer if they had ear. These I got were young and needed feed. They were kept at the house until backgrounded and healthy enough to go on pasture. This is the only time I have used creep. I'll probably cull half in the late spring.
 

Frankie

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Keren":3us622h3 said:
I creep feed my kids (four legged, not two legged) and in drought times I creep feed the MG calves (as I am doing at the moment).

I had a gentleman say to me today that you should never creep feed young stock, because they learn from a very early age to squeeze through small gaps in the fence and get to better feed, so they will always be bad on fences.

Now, I dont have a problem with my animals being bad on fences, but I wondered what everyone else thought of this opinion?

I don't think that's true. I think calves are naturally curious. Once we had a fall born heifer that was out on the road all the time. We fixed fences and fixed fences, but she'd go through them at will. Finally we moved her where the cows weren't near the road and she wasn't a problem. She stayed here until she was 8 years old and she was not problem to keep inside the fence. In fact, she spent some time on lease pastures with sorry, sorry fences and was never a problem.

We don't creep feed. In drought times, we weaned the calves early. I think the calf gets all he can from momma before he goes to the creep.
 

hillsdown

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Keren":vy6jws89 said:
I creep feed my kids (four legged, not two legged) and in drought times I creep feed the MG calves (as I am doing at the moment).

I had a gentleman say to me today that you should never creep feed young stock, because they learn from a very early age to squeeze through small gaps in the fence and get to better feed, so they will always be bad on fences.

Now, I dont have a problem with my animals being bad on fences, but I wondered what everyone else thought of this opinion?

I think this is another Rubbish thought Keren as 99% of the bulls raised by seed stock producers would be finding every nook and cranny they could to get through ;-) . The "gentleman" doesn't know what he is talking about.

I also think some people should do a little research on Australia and the horrific drought conditions that the country endures before answering about creep feeding.
 

TexasBred

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I keep a creep feeder full year round. Have it set for the small calves so they can begin eating as soon as they want. They gradually grow themselves out of the feeder. Only time I've ever had anything to get out was when "I" left a gate open. I've always felt like "feed" keeps them at home...well that and a good fence.
 

Keren

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Caustic Burno":2nw7uwcr said:
If the cow can't feed and raise the calf I don't need the cow. If you are feeding because you don't have the forage you are overstocked this is like having an ARM on your herd. What ever little profit you may have made on the calf is now in a sack in the burn pile. You are increasing your cost on average the cow is costing 1.35 a day to upkeep at current prices leaving a profit of 85 dollars a calf.

I appreciate the comments Caustic and I understand your viewpoint.

However, I asked quite a specific question about creep feeding in regards to teaching the calf to be a fence crawler, not whether it was 'right' or economical to creep feed.

2008 was our 10th year of below average rainfall. We are not overstocked; in fact, we are down to 1/4 of the mature cows that we used to have. We have been through every drought management method: sold off old cows, anything slightly inferior, plus all the young stock. We have held the cows empty at some points because there's not enough nutrition for lactating/pregnant cows, but we want to keep the genetics we have developed. We have pushed heifers back to calve at 2.5 yrs instead of 2.

We do wean early - the calves are being weaned at 6 to 7 weeks (some are as young as 4 wks) - there are two creep gates in the paddock, one leads to the set of yards so that I can drive there, dump the pellets into the yard every day and the calves come in to eat without the cows pinching it. The other creep gate leads to the crop paddock (which we just cut for hay so thats kindof unimportant at the moment). The cows dont get any supplement, they get oaten hay though, the calves yes they get the creep feed and it helps us to be able to wean so early.

We are just hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

But we have some of the best MG genetics in our part, and I'll be dammed if I let them go through the saleyards and off to the abbatoir.
 

angus9259

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Keren":19kgylev said:
But we have some of the best MG genetics in our part, and I'll be dammed if I let them go through the saleyards and off to the abbatoir.

Yup. Short term it could be a bad plan but, as you say, we also have to look at the long term when making business decisions. I had a chance this fall at some really nice first calf heifers at the right price. It's arctic cold here right now so I'm creeping the kids so everyone keeps it together through the winter. It will cost more now, but rules like "always" and "never" "always" have exceptions.

Re the post. I don't think it'll make a difference, though, as I said, this is the first group I've creep fed.
 

Caustic Burno

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Keren":3e1qe0mi said:
Caustic Burno":3e1qe0mi said:
If the cow can't feed and raise the calf I don't need the cow. If you are feeding because you don't have the forage you are overstocked this is like having an ARM on your herd. What ever little profit you may have made on the calf is now in a sack in the burn pile. You are increasing your cost on average the cow is costing 1.35 a day to upkeep at current prices leaving a profit of 85 dollars a calf.

I appreciate the comments Caustic and I understand your viewpoint.

However, I asked quite a specific question about creep feeding in regards to teaching the calf to be a fence crawler, not whether it was 'right' or economical to creep feed.

2008 was our 10th year of below average rainfall. We are not overstocked; in fact, we are down to 1/4 of the mature cows that we used to have. We have been through every drought management method: sold off old cows, anything slightly inferior, plus all the young stock. We have held the cows empty at some points because there's not enough nutrition for lactating/pregnant cows, but we want to keep the genetics we have developed. We have pushed heifers back to calve at 2.5 yrs instead of 2.

We do wean early - the calves are being weaned at 6 to 7 weeks (some are as young as 4 wks) - there are two creep gates in the paddock, one leads to the set of yards so that I can drive there, dump the pellets into the yard every day and the calves come in to eat without the cows pinching it. The other creep gate leads to the crop paddock (which we just cut for hay so thats kindof unimportant at the moment). The cows dont get any supplement, they get oaten hay though, the calves yes they get the creep feed and it helps us to be able to wean so early.

We are just hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

But we have some of the best MG genetics in our part, and I'll be dammed if I let them go through the saleyards and off to the abbatoir.


You can't fight mother nature, tough spot your in sometimes it is best to sell out. You can always buy back in and find genetics when times get better. Its not about keeping cows it's about the cost of the cow you keep per year.
Made this mistake in a drought here once that went on for couple of years never again. Held on to too many to long I virtually gave cows away.
 

Keren

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It has taken fifty odd years to get this stud where it is; over that time the MG breed has taken some directions which we are not comfortable with, and resulted in an animal that doesnt portray what the original greys were all about.

As I said, we have done nearly every drought management strategy and that includes thinking about selling up. We have come very close several times, but in the end, we decided we will never be able to get the same sort of herd together. Yes, we could get some good cows, yes we could even make money but we couldnt find the things we have with this herd now.

Being in the stud game, its not just about cows that wean off heavy calves, breed back etc. and calves fetching good money in the saleyard (although many of our calves do go to the saleyard, and those qualities are among the things we select for in our females). There is a reputation to develop and people who know the name Moorabinda in our breed, well the name is like a trademark and conjures up an image of a certain type of animal. Yes, if we sold up we could get back into the breed at a later date, sure we could get some really good cattle but we wouldnt be able to get that typical Moorabinda Murray Grey back, not for a helluva long time anyway.
 

TheBullLady

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We also creep feed routinely.. and I've never noticed a marked problem with calves going through a fence. As mentioned previously, the more curious ones will get in places you'd never consider, but I don't think being able to get into a feeder makes any difference.

And I totally understand your pain, as we are also in a horrible drought. And we've also spent a lot of years getting our herd where it is, so "selling them off" is not an option. Seedstock producers are a generally producing something totally different than terminal crosses, and have a lot more invested. And frankly, what does it matter how much a producer wants to spend on maintaining his herd? That should be the producers personal decision, not something to ridicule.
 

dun

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Keren":eosuzj7l said:
It has taken fifty odd years to get this stud where it is; over that time the MG breed has taken some directions which we are not comfortable with, and resulted in an animal that doesnt portray what the original greys were all about.

As I said, we have done nearly every drought management strategy and that includes thinking about selling up. We have come very close several times, but in the end, we decided we will never be able to get the same sort of herd together. Yes, we could get some good cows, yes we could even make money but we couldnt find the things we have with this herd now.

Being in the stud game, its not just about cows that wean off heavy calves, breed back etc. and calves fetching good money in the saleyard (although many of our calves do go to the saleyard, and those qualities are among the things we select for in our females). There is a reputation to develop and people who know the name Moorabinda in our breed, well the name is like a trademark and conjures up an image of a certain type of animal. Yes, if we sold up we could get back into the breed at a later date, sure we could get some really good cattle but we wouldnt be able to get that typical Moorabinda Murray Grey back, not for a helluva long time anyway.

What about flushing them and freezing the embryos until better times then implant them in a bunch of recips?
 

TexasBred

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TheBullLady":1l3qjb61 said:
We also creep feed routinely.. and I've never noticed a marked problem with calves going through a fence. As mentioned previously, the more curious ones will get in places you'd never consider, but I don't think being able to get into a feeder makes any difference.

And I totally understand your pain, as we are also in a horrible drought. And we've also spent a lot of years getting our herd where it is, so "selling them off" is not an option. Seedstock producers are a generally producing something totally different than terminal crosses, and have a lot more invested. And frankly, what does it matter how much a producer wants to spend on maintaining his herd? That should be the producers personal decision, not something to ridicule.

:clap: :clap: :clap:
 

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