To creep or not to creep --Pros & Cons of creep feeding?

Help Support CattleToday:

CircleA

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern California
AZ brought a good point on this issue under a different post about plans for building a creep feeder.

I (obviously) never used the creep feeder before. So I thought I might try it this year. Calf crop is smaller, thought i would try to hedge my bets at the sale barn.

However, now i am concerned that i might have missed something - so, what do y'all think?

to creep or not to creep that is the question!

Thanks
Alex
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
0
Location
Manitoba, Canada
This creep feeding thing is almost as controversial as the breeds thing. There are alot of Charolais and Simmental breeders up here that creep feed and have big beautiful muscular calves but I've also seen buyers discount those calves in favor of grassers. So you get more pounds but less money per pound. Everything I've read says it depends on what your feed costs are and who is buying when you ship your calves. It seems to be fairly close to a break-even proposition.
 

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
thebeav":16gfoopv said:
Sorry for the lame question, but what is creep feeding?

As was said above, it is feeding calves grain while they are still on their mother. The feed is usually fed from a feed bin that has a small area fenced off around it so only the calves can get in to eat.
 

Hawk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2004
Messages
167
Reaction score
0
Location
North East Texas
I pay around 10 cents per pound for creep feed. A healthy calf should put on one pound of growth for each three pounds on feed ingested, theoretically anyway. Yearlings are selling for a dollar a pound or better (I sold one at the sale barn for $1.45 last Saturday). Simple arithmetic tells me that if I can convert 30 cents worth of feed into $1.00 worth of beef, then that is a good deal. I know that there are other factors involved and it is not all that cut and dried, but for now I creep feed fall calves through the winter. I do not usually feed spring calves during the summer. Seems to work for me.
 
A

Anonymous

You first need to ask "Why am I creep Feeding",

What our your goals for your calf crop?

1. Do you want to raise quality show calves
2. Are these breeding animal prospects
3. Are you triing to acheive a specific target weight at a future date
4. Are these claves from first calf heifers

We only provide creep feed at a controlled rate to our first and second calf heifers, our reasoning is that we expect our 2 year old females to breed back within 60 days post partum and our 3 yearold 45 days post partum. 2&3 year old females are still growing and they do not have their mature teeth yet and are getting them which can hinder their ability to eat well. We also suppliment these females daily with a custom ration containing soy bean oil, an organic fat supplament which provides energy to the cow as calories which the calf does not get through the milk. Thus providing for energy for milk production, growth and development for the cow. While also providing 2# per day to the calf for growth via a creep feeder.

The advantage here for us is continued development for our producing females and quality calves from our first and 2nd calvers and calves who are ready to eat feed at weaning with reduced stress at weaning time.
 

Campground Cattle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
Hawk":1m7zz3ah said:
I pay around 10 cents per pound for creep feed. A healthy calf should put on one pound of growth for each three pounds on feed ingested, theoretically anyway. Yearlings are selling for a dollar a pound or better (I sold one at the sale barn for $1.45 last Saturday). Simple arithmetic tells me that if I can convert 30 cents worth of feed into $1.00 worth of beef, then that is a good deal. I know that there are other factors involved and it is not all that cut and dried, but for now I creep feed fall calves through the winter. I do not usually feed spring calves during the summer. Seems to work for me.

I creep the fall ones also the other day at sale my calves brought 1.20 to 1.27. The other calves through the sale that day were bringing 1.01 to 1.07. This does seem like simple math to me also.
 

TheBullLady

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas


Determining your market for your calves is the first step to deciding if you should creep feed or not. We primarily raise replacements and show calves, therefore, it's in our best interest to produce a heavy calf at weaning.

We also feed our first calf heifers to help them breed back in a timely manner, and to help them retain their condition and continue their growth.
 

Tman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2004
Messages
156
Reaction score
0
Location
The Alamo City
I found some creep feeders @ Tractor supply but where would I purchase the bulk Creep feed from and how would you transport 1200 pounds of the stuff ???? I am assuming that it does not come in 50lb bags.
 

Campground Cattle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
Tman":hs2kwbe4 said:
I found some creep feeders @ Tractor supply but where would I purchase the bulk Creep feed from and how would you transport 1200 pounds of the stuff ???? I am assuming that it does not come in 50lb bags.

You can buy creep in fifty pound bags, your local feed store should carry it. Get away from TSC a local feed store will usually give you a break in price if you buy in bulk 1000 lbs or more.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
2
Location
MO Ozarks
You can start them when they're just a couple of weeks old. But I would prefer to wait until they're at least a couple of months. Up to then, I (personal opinion) think that milk is a better and more economical nutrional source then grain/creep.
But a lot depends on the cow, the forage available and the cost of the creep ration.

dun


M&M Farms":1hn52u3o said:
How soon should you start the creep feeding on a calf?
 

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
We have 4 calves that I plan to pen up in the next couple of weeks. I want to wean 3 of them and the 4th will be fed out for butcher. I plan to start all them off on some creep pellets recommended by a local feed store. The one for butcher will be converted over to a beef finisher later on.

How many pounds per day of the creep pellets would you recommend that I feed these calves starting out?
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
3,783
Reaction score
21
Location
North Central Kansas
Rent or buy a self feeder and let them have it. We background a couple hundred of calves a year on self feeders and a soy hull, DDG mix. Works great. They gain fast but since it's a high protein low fat diet you have to put them on corn base ration to finish them or there is too little marbling for my taste.
 

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
Jake":qcafr7ao said:
Rent or buy a self feeder and let them have it.

The 3 calves I plan to wean I want to only keep in the pen 3-4 weeks. After that, they will go back with the herd. The other one I plan to keep for 120 days or so. Towards the end I will switch him from the creep feed to a corn based ration. Since the owner probably won't want to rent or buy a creep feeder right now, I will probably be feeding them morning and night. This being the case, I figure 3-5 lbs at each feeding should be OK, along with some hay. Does that sound about right?
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
2
Location
MO Ozarks
Just feed them in a regular feeder, I would start them at about 1/2% of their body weight and gradually work them up to about 1-2% plus all the good quality hay they will eat. Then when the others go back to the herd, slowly ramp the other one up to 2% of his body weight, 1/2 at each feeding, plus hay.
Why are you using a creep ration on these guys? Unless they're only a couple of months old, just about any balanced 14-16% grain mixture will work. Should be significantly less money.

dun

TXBobcat":9qn7jxq6 said:
Jake":9qn7jxq6 said:
Rent or buy a self feeder and let them have it.

The 3 calves I plan to wean I want to only keep in the pen 3-4 weeks. After that, they will go back with the herd. The other one I plan to keep for 120 days or so. Towards the end I will switch him from the creep feed to a corn based ration. Since the owner probably won't want to rent or buy a creep feeder right now, I will probably be feeding them morning and night. This being the case, I figure 3-5 lbs at each feeding should be OK, along with some hay. Does that sound about right?
 

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
dun":2sx57pcn said:
Why are you using a creep ration on these guys? Unless they're only a couple of months old, just about any balanced 14-16% grain mixture will work. Should be significantly less money.

dun

Good point. I talked to the guy at the feed store and he mentioned 3 different feeds for what I was wnating to do. Creep pellets at $4.50 for 50lbs, beef finisher at $5.65 / 50lbs, and a 14% ration that I can't remember the price. I think I'll go with the 14% ration if it's cheaper than the creep pellets.
 
A

Anonymous

We creep feed all of are calves every year. It pays for itself when you are running more cows than you have pasture for. We buy are creep from the local feed store and they have a very good product. The creep feed we buy has built in roughage inhibitors to prevent the calves from overeating. We wean 750lb calves at 6 months of age. Our cows also stay in the same condition year around and don't seem to get to thin from the calves nursing. There is also one more great benefit from creep feeding, when we wean our calves and put them into a different pasture, we move the creep in take off the sides and fill it up, and put in a bale or grass hay. We found that they wean a lot easier by not having to look for feed to keep them content. They usually only bawl for a day or so and never go off feed, and after a couple of weeks for ajusting, we limit feed them into a bunk, and with creep feeding they come bunk broke to.
 

Latest posts

Top