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

weaning

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
smallrancher":1x99y989 said:
What percent of weight are some of you feeding grain to your weanlings?
For heifers we are retaining we start them out at around 1/2% gradually work it up to about 1 1/2 percent then usually at about 30 days taper them off to nothing by 45 days and turn them out to pasture with the cows.
Steers and heifer going to the feedlot we do the same except they stay on grain the whole 45 days or so till the get shipped. This year we did the steers the same as the heifers since we're holding them till spring to sell.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
11,536
Reaction score
65
Location
Central Upstate New York
It also depends on your weather. I have pretty easy fleshing cattle, but if I didn't keep my replacements on grain, they would be a pretty sorry sight by spring.
We start out at about 1/2% body weight and increase to about 5#/hd/day - that's where they are at right now. I will keep them at that, unless I see their BCS changing and I will adjust. And they get our best baleage.
 

Douglas

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
Reaction score
0
Location
Central North Carolina
dun":3pq709b6 said:
smallrancher":3pq709b6 said:
What percent of weight are some of you feeding grain to your weanlings?
For heifers we are retaining we start them out at around 1/2% gradually work it up to about 1 1/2 percent then usually at about 30 days taper them off to nothing by 45 days and turn them out to pasture with the cows.
Steers and heifer going to the feedlot we do the same except they stay on grain the whole 45 days or so till the get shipped. This year we did the steers the same as the heifers since we're holding them till spring to sell.

Dun is this in addition to grass and hay. I have 10 heifers I am retaining and will be feeding my best hay and maybe some stockpiled grass. Would you still add the feed as well?
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
Douglas":11xrf243 said:
Dun is this in addition to grass and hay. I have 10 heifers I am retaining and will be feeding my best hay and maybe some stockpiled grass. Would you still add the feed as well?

The grain is only for the short time they're being weaned. It helps them transition from grass/hay and milk to just grass/hay
 

mobgrazer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
367
Reaction score
0
Location
VA
We use a creep feeder for weaning. We buy the cheap creep feed and grind a roll of our good alfalfa and a roll of “pasture trash” to bulk up the mix. Calves don’t need grain like dun says, it just helps with the transition. I have weaned them on a mix of ground alfalfa and “pasture trash” but it takes more work.

There are other issues that go with how you wean them. The main one for most would be weaning weight. If you bulk them up on grains for weaning and put them back on to grass afterwards I found they don’t gain weight very well for 30 to 60 days because there body has to readjust to grass. I keep them on pretty good pastures during weaning.

I know a few farms that use milk pellets or milk replacer mixed with good ground hay for weaning. But once they don’t leave the moms with them long once they put out there weaning mix.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
mobgrazer":1vai4vqr said:
Calves don’t need grain like dun says, it just helps with the transition.
They may not need it, but will keep them gaining weight during the early weaning process when must calves are losing or not gaining any weight.
 

mobgrazer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
367
Reaction score
0
Location
VA
Let mamma cut them off. It might not fit into your operation but the mammas that I did test did a good job and the numbers were not that bad (compared to others that got little grain during weaning at 1 year old). I tried it on 5 of them one year.

I don’t want to fill them full of grain. If you feed good hay out of a grinder it works well to.

What’s that saying I keep reading in a lot of treads? Ahh I found it. “This all goes back to the old thing that ANY animal should only be kept in an environment that it can flourish in.” (Thanks Running Arrow Bill) How many times have you seen Mother Nature put grain in the woods for cattle?

I know I’m going to he11 for saying that. I know that there is a lot of you’ll that are not into the grass fed market so what I do will not work for you. Yes there are higher weights with feeding the grain at weaning and that’s how you’ll make the money witch is cool.

The other post should have been worded differently with you can bulk up the grain with some grass to cheapen the mix, but this will affect the end weight. For them to get to the grain they will get some filler that will help them wean, but will not give the weight that most of you want and need.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
mobgrazer":uy8s0l5e said:
How many times have you seen Mother Nature put grain in the woods for cattle?
How many years have you seen Ma Nature maintaine a 365 day calving interval and a 45 day calving season to say nothing of sticking her arm up their butt to get better quality calves?
 

mobgrazer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
367
Reaction score
0
Location
VA
dun":2kmae12e said:
mobgrazer":2kmae12e said:
How many times have you seen Mother Nature put grain in the woods for cattle?
How many years have you seen Ma Nature maintaine a 365 day calving interval and a 45 day calving season to say nothing of sticking her arm up their butt to get better quality calves?



Lol good point.
 

SRBeef

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
2,931
Reaction score
0
Location
SW Wisconsin
There are good points made here.

Personally I feel that there is, as in most things, a middle ground between the grass-only and high-grain schools of thought.

Someone earlier commented that they gave the weaned calves grain because their rumens couldn't hold enough roughage at first. I find a little grain for the weaned calves along with good mineral and hay availability seems to keep them growing. I guess I've averaged about 2.5 lb of grain mix per 600 lb calf per day in the month since weaning.

Some of the weaned calves, especially the larger steers, seem like they are always at the hay feeder, some don't seem to eat quite so much hay. They also seem to be going through about 0.8 lb of Mineralyx and about 0.25 lb of kelp per day per calf. The kelp is an experiment.

It's tough to say what their hay consumption has been since there is so much waste with the calves and std ring feeder and I moved it to give them some hay to bed on when the temp was near zero (F) last week.

They seem to be doing fairly well. I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel there is a useful middle ground between pure nature's way and pure man's way.

Here's a a picture of some of the now month-weaned mostly calves

View attachment 1

 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
11,536
Reaction score
65
Location
Central Upstate New York
What I was trying to point out is that MOTHER NATURE is a bit different in different locations. Mother Nature is a lot different between NY & Wisconsin & VA. Weaned calves battling near zero temps have a difficult time maintaining their body weight without a decent suppliment.
Yes, there is a middle of the road between full grass fed & full grain fed. It is economical to feed some grain in harsh weather.
 
Top