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Offline Soehnlen Cattle Co.

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steer not eating well
« on: April 01, 2010, 08:20:45 AM »
Have a crossbred steer that is kind of picky about eating. He weighs 958 and only eats about half of his food. Its not like Im giving him a ton of food either he just doesn't want to clean it up. Any suggestions?

Offline Burnetaggie99

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 08:37:12 AM »
Cut back on your feed to the amount that he cleans it all up and I always use Clovite to get them to eat.

Offline CAB

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 08:52:47 AM »
Had your steer been cleaning up B4 it warmed up? The rise in temperature will cause him to back-off. It's taking less feed for maintenance.

Offline STX108

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 08:53:35 AM »
I would administer 15 grams of Probios a day for four days...A tube consists of 60 grams. What type of feed are you feeding?

Offline Soehnlen Cattle Co.

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 01:34:39 PM »
Its a Kalmbach finisher. And no he really hasn't cleaned it up even when it was cold

Offline farmin female

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2010, 02:16:58 PM »
Have a crossbred steer that is kind of picky about eating. He weighs 958 and only eats about half of his food. Its not like I'm giving him a ton of food either he just doesn't want to clean it up. Any suggestions?
Vet Tech,

If were only so easy.  I feel compelled to respond because I have been in this spot a few times myself.  I don't know what you target date or weight for this calf is, but let me tell you a few things we have used.

First, try the little things.  The suggestions about adding pro bios to his food are good.  But if a calf is a consistently poor eater - and some are - lots of times it's not that simple.  If he is the only calf you are feeding, it could be he needs company.  Many animals, including humans, hate to eat alone.  Animals also tend to become more competitive if someone else is going after their food.  Another thing I can tell you about animals, is that they like interaction with someone or something.  If you stick a calf in a pen and leave them alone all day and only show up to feed for a few minutes in the morning and evening, they don't like it.  I've seen pigs actually get depressed from situations like this.  So, the more time you can spend with them, even a few minutes several times a day stimulates the appetite.  You can also try exercise.  Again, works for humans and animals alike.  Even playing a radio during the day adds stimulation that may help. <party>

Once you get past the easier things that cost nothing or very little, look at your food.  Some calves like certain feeds better than others.   ;D   Find something he likes to eat.  I had a calf last year that was just a light eater.  I ended up pushing him as hard as we could by adding oil and the purina high fat topdress to his food.  But what really made him happy was good old green alfalfa hay.  Each night he got a a small bat of it and boy they love it.  Most steer people tell you to feed the grass and such because of the danger of bloat, but if you control what he is eating carefully, he should be fine.  There are numerous high fat additives and the likes that companies promote research them and see if any might work for you. 

Finally, one poster commented about taking his food away.  This technique can be helpful.  Take an evening and just feed him a small amount of hay and that's all.  In the morning, he should be hungry.  Give him his normal feed then and see what happens.  I know several feeders that routinely "fast" their calves one evening meal a week to help stimulate the appetite. 

Anyway, its tough to make one eat when there's no easily recognizable reason why they won't.  Good Luck.

Offline Gib

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2010, 05:11:47 PM »
Have a crossbred steer that is kind of picky about eating. He weighs 958 and only eats about half of his food. Its not like I'm giving him a ton of food either he just doesn't want to clean it up. Any suggestions?
The LNC feed reps hear in OK told me you can blend in baking soda or top dress sometimes helps with their digestion if they get off their feed or slow down and that they only seen this with big calf's , however i have not had to try this but they told me that some of the other club calf people have had to use it. They told me how much but I do not remember what the amount was.

Offline stkrdge

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 07:57:05 PM »
You might think im crazy, but go out in the pasture where the cows work the grass into dirt shovel some of the topsoil in a pail and topdress his grain with it and his appetite will increase.

Offline Club_Calf_Breeder

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 09:43:50 PM »
The anti biotic Paste Plus works really well. I had a steer 2 years ago that was the same way, think about reducing his feed and maybe letting him ruminate on a sunday night to get his stomach back on track. you can do this by just giving him hay and no grain.

Offline farmermom

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 03:57:26 PM »
Vitafirm show champ will work as a top dress.  If its a digestion problem with will flat fix the problem. 
Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Offline vc

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 04:48:06 PM »
Over the years we have had a few steers that did not like the brand of feed we were feeding. Once we switched feeds it helped. Figured this out when the calf had a full pan of his feed in front of him and nearly killed himself trying to get the calf's feed across from him. (feed was a different brand and he must of smelled something in it he liked)
Have also had them slow down when there was something off about the feed, looked normal to me but not him. switched lots and back to cleaning up everything. (but it sounds like your calf has been picky for awhile.

If you do change brands just remember to do it slowly over a weeks time, adding just a little of the new feed each day and removing the same amount of the old.

Offline kswlaw

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Re: steer not eating well
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 09:29:09 AM »
Try P1 from Priority One. We had a steer that stopped eating and within 3 weeks gained over 80 lbs.  One handful a feeding was all it took.

 

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