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Offline grandchamp58

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Steer is not eating...again
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:57:27 PM »
I have had multiple issues over multiple years with steers not eating. This year i got sick of it and went ahead and purchased an higher priced (than our normal budget) show feed from the local co-op. Its a 12% with flaked corn and a nice molasses scent. My steer still will not eat. We have tried full tank, silage, sure champ, probias, and baking soda. Is there anything obvious that I am not trying? Thanks in advance.

Offline cowman 52

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 08:21:07 PM »
I would do all I could to keep from changing a feed to make one eat.  I think they do it to jack with the man feeding.  Shut the feed off, offer a little hay and wait him out. Figure out 3 percent and feed 1/2 that when you start back. I really like the red cell horse supplement in the ration. I likea wet feed to help the digestion, you don't eat without a glass of something, why would a calf? When you get him somewhat going, skip a feeding, we skip Sunday mornings, reduce the feed amount and start again. One time we fed what they would eat in 20 minutes,  now they eat it in 10 or less.
Does he have a pen mate? It takes a good feeder to feed 1 head per pen.
Just a thought from a wore out cowboy.

Offline vc

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 08:46:26 PM »
We have all had one that is hard feeding, but if it is a reoccurring thing it might be something or a combination of things.
Do you feed twice a day, do you feed at the same time each time ( 6 to 6 is good), does the calf have access to water all the time, is the calf in a pasture or have free choice hay, ( he could be filling up)?
I would take the feed away for a day, feed him a 1/2 flake of hay at 6 and then another at 6 that evening, the next day I would give him 6 pounds of grain the next morning if he cleans it up I would give him half a flake of hay if he does not give him a 1/4 do the same that evening. Work him up to 3 percent over a week or 2.
Once you get him eating stay on schedule and do not make big changes to his routine or feed.

Offline grandchamp58

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 08:52:06 PM »
Thank you for your replies. He does have a eating mate. He is also limited on hay. I am sticking to schedule and he is eating twice a day. This feed has worked for many and that's why i am so concerned. We actually have a jackpot show in 2 weeks that I wanted to go to but now it isnt looking so good for him... his gain is more important

Offline cowman 52

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 09:40:06 PM »
This is going to sound off but,  if you put your feed in a 5 gallion bucket, how much would it weigh, about?  A feed that is heavy and dense tends to make one eat less.  We feed a lot of volume with out a lot of weight, it just seems to work better.

Offline obie105

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 06:47:35 AM »
What vc said is what we do. The less adding and subtracting and messing with the feed is for the best. We add just sure champ. I wouldn't go adding anything else til you get them eating good

Offline vc

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 11:43:22 AM »
Keep them on a worming schedule as well.

Offline grandchamp58

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 12:53:02 PM »
I have recently wormed him and we also weigh his feed. He was eating around 18 lbs before he went off a few weeks ago. Now he is down to 8 or less. I feel like I am doing everything they say to do when a calf goes off feed, but i just cant get him back. Thank you guys.

Offline barngoddess

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 01:45:35 PM »
I'm a big believer in the BioZyme/VitaFerm products and they've always worked for us. At this point it wouldn't hurt to try, especially with your jackpot coming up soon. You can either use the paste or the drench, but administer it to your steer as it directs. Hopefully, he'll start to pick back up and if he does, I suggest adding the VitaCharge powder topdress to his feed every day.  I keep my picky eaters on it all year long and it definitely helps. I would also keep him on the sure champ, too. That stuff does wonders. Also consider getting some stress tubs to give an extra kick? We've had great success with all their products so I would hope everyone else does too.

What do you feed him out of? If it's a tub that you leave in the pen all day or one that you never wash out, consider rinsing it (do not use soap, unless you rinse it extremely well) and scrubbing any old molasses or dirt out of it. If they smell something or taste something funky in their tub, they won't want to eat.

Does he act hungry when he comes in to eat? Does he pick around at all?

P.S- We used to feed a similar feed to yours I'm thinking, our local co-op had a 12% show flake feed. It is a very dense feed, especially when it's weighed down with molasses. We switched feeds this fall because we were sick of the inconsistency of each batch.

Offline BogartCattleCo

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 06:22:32 PM »
We use a 14% ration that is 1/2 corn. It works really well.
We used to have eating problems until we realized our hay was too good. 
Too much protein in the hay and they want to eat more hay than grain and just aren't hungry for the grain.
What I have done is take the hay away and replace it with wheat straw and put the grain in the pen. Leave it for 24 hours. Every time we have done it the grain is gone in 12 hours. We then give it more grain and more straw, this time a handful of grass hay. and we gradually increase the grass hay until its half straw/half hay. Our calves have never went back off of feed.

Offline parkerqb7

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 06:00:05 PM »
You could try mixing in a little bit of chocolate syrup into is grain. Some calves tend to have a sweet tooth. We have used it in the past and it works really well.
Parker,
RWLS

Offline RR#2 Cattle Co

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Re: Steer is not eating...again
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 08:08:37 PM »
He has an upset rumen and needs access to long stem hay.  Back him off the show feed, give him long stem hay, gradually increase his show ration.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 08:10:44 PM by Glenstory »
Why, yes, I did grow up in a barn; thank you for asking.

 

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