Example Starter Ration Feed Pounds Crimped oats 60.0 Cracked or rolled corn 24.5 Protein Pellets (32%) 14.5 Salt/Mineral .6 Feed Additive .4 Total 100.0 Feeding Schedule Week Lbs/Feeding Lbs/Day Amount of Hay 1 3.0-4.5 9.5 1 flake hay 2 4.0-5.0 10.0 1 flake hay 3 5.0-6.0 12.0 1 flake hay
C. L. Fulkerson. Feed A Winner, North American Limousin Foundation.
The following table was obtained from:C. L. Fulkerson. Feed A Winner, North American Limousin Foundation.
The barn or shed where you keep your project need not be elaborate. Provide about 75 square feet of shelter for each calf. If the feed and water troughs are outside the shelter, then 45 square feet per calf is adequate. Usually, a 100 x 200-feet lot is enough exercise space for two calves.
- Clean and dry with good drainage.
- Area should be free of rocks, junk and exposed nails or sharp edges
- Clean bedding
- Adequate ventilation
- Clean feeding area and feed storage area
- Access to catch pen and head chute
- Fence of wood planks, metal, cable or woven wire preferable to barbed wire
One of the most important aspects of feeding animals is how much they eat. Therefore, have some scales so you can weigh the feed you are giving them. This is especially important if you are mixing your own feed. It can be helpful to you to weigh your calf periodically to check his progress.
Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Dry feed intake is closely associated with how much water they consume. Water sources should be cleaned at least weekly.
The total amount of feed fed per day should be divided into at least 2 meals per day. Feed approximately at 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM. You can feed approximately half their daily allowance of feed in the morning and the other half in the evening. During particularly hot weather, cattle may not feel like eating much during the day. The daily feed allotment can be changed to approximately 40% of the feed fed in the morning and 60% in the evening if daytime feed intake is a problem.
: An animal that is gaining weight at a moderate rate needs about 1.5% of their body weight in concentrates per day. Rapidly growing cattle, such as steers and bulls can be safely fed up to 2.0-2.25% of their weight in concentrates. Very high grain diets (over 2.75% of body weight) can be detrimental for hair growth. Dusty or moldy feed should not be used. Coughing can sometimes be an indication of dusty feeds. If the problem persists, consider feeding steam flaked or steam rolled grain. Any processing done should not make the grain too fine. If it looks like hog feed, it is ground too fine!
: Corn, oats, barley, and sometimes milo and wheat are the main energy sources. Corn and oats are the most widely used in show diets. Oats is normally too expensive to be included in standard diets except for creep diets and starting cattle on feed. However, oats can be a useful supplement to corn for show cattle-type diets.
: Soybean meal is the most commonly used protein supplement. Another preferred natural protein source is linseed oil meal. Normally, natural protein sources are preferred over those containing nonprotein nitrogen (urea or biuret) for show cattle, only.
: The major vitamin requirement is for vitamin A. Vitamin A can be provided in the feed or by injection. However, in show steers it is probably preferred to feed vitamins rather than injecting vitamins. Normally vitamin supplements are provided in a vitamin A-D-E complex. Using high quality feeds can reduce some of the concern about the other vitamins. Make sure that cattle receive 20,000 to 30,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A per head daily. A commercial protein supplement, fortified with vitamins, can reduce the chances of a deficiency. Yeast products can be a good source of B vitamins. B vitamins can be useful during times of stress.
: Feed at least 4-5 pounds of hay daily. Feeding high quality alfalfa may promote diarrhea. A good quality grass hay will be a better choice or blend 2 pounds of alfalfa with 2 to 3 pounds of grass hay. Wheat bran or dried beet pulp are good feeds for adding bulk to a diet. However neither should be fed at over 20% of the diet.
: Feeds high in fat and protein such as milk replacer or linseed oil meal are excellent for promoting hair growth and for adding gloss to the hair. One cup per head per day of milk replacer or linseed oil meal should be adequate. Wheat germ oil (1 tablespoon per head per day) may be added to the diet to give hair shine. Mixing in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil per head per feeding can boost the energy of the diet and also add a shine to the hair coat. Ideally add wet products, such as oil and diluted molasses, to the feed just prior to feeding. Thoroughly mix all ingredients of the concentrate portion of the diet.
Many feed companies have complete diets that can be fed to calves at various stages of development. Ideally, work with someone knowledgeable of cattle nutrition to develop a specific diet for your calf with your available feeds.
: Different livestock shows occur at different times of year. A common comment and question asked is, “My steer is done and the fair is not for another month. How can I hold my steer?” Unfortunately, there is not a good answer for this question. Trying to hold a steer can reduce marbling and increase the incidence of dark cutters (dark color meat). Ideally, work with someone knowledgeable of cattle feeding. Estimate what the finished weight of your calf will be. Set up a diet or diets that produce body weight gains that match the dates when cattle need to be ready. This is basically done by varying the amount of roughage and grain fed during different periods of the feeding program.
: About 4-5 days before going to the show, tie your calf up while he eats. The next day, tie him, but instead of letting him eat out of the trough, put his feed in the feed pan he will use at the show. Continue to feed the calf out of the feedpan, and water him out of a water bucket. The last two feedings before you leave, reduce the amount of feed to 2/3 the normal amount. This will help him travel better and relieve stress during transport.
You should not feed and water your animals immediately upon arrival at the show but rather allow then time to rest. This is particularly true of hauls longer than 1-2 hours.
- Don’t bother him while he eats.
- Adjust the rope length
- Lack of exercise can decrease a calf’s appetite
- Have you changed his fed.
- Is he thirsty?
- Feed offered but not cleaned up in 30 minutes should be removed.
- Feed pans should be cleaned after each feeding.
- Concentrate should be fed first and then the hay.
- Some people prefer to feed hay only at night in the tie outs keeping the indoor stall cleaner.
- Water is usually not offered until after the animals have eaten their morning or evening feeding.
- One or two flakes of grass hay are usually laid out in front of the tie-outs so animals can eat during the night.
- Keep on their same feeding schedule as when they were at home.