Feeding advice needed

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4Rcattle

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Sep 10, 2015
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We have a steer who is currently weighing 1180 and gaining an average of 1.92 lbs/day. He was gaining about 3 lbs a day up until a few weeks ago. He has stopped eating consistently.  In other words, he was cleaning all his feed up at both feedings. Now, some days he will clean it up and others he will pick at it. We feed at the same time every day, approx. 12 hours apart. We are feeding him approx. 18 lbs a day - finisher, barley, beet pulp and calf manna.He gets hay when he is turned out at night. He has been wormed and I have given him probios and B12 to help (not all at one time)- but this hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. I have also skipped a feeding and given him only hay to help as well. The weather here has been back and forth as far as temps so I'm thinking that's a factor too. He goes back and forth with looser stools. I've taken his temp every other day and it's been normal and his behavior is fine too. I'm looking for advice as to what to do. I want to get him back to eating consistently and gaining more but I also know that they do slow down at some point as well. I guess what I'm asking is what would you do in this situation? Our target show is 73 days from today. Any suggestions and advice is appreciated!
 

Gargan

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Pics would be helpful to see how much gas he has left in the tank? Is he finished possibly?
 

4Rcattle

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Sep 10, 2015
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I've checked his temp every other day and it's been normal every time.
I'm going to try and get some picture attached.
 

4Rcattle

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Here are two pictures.
 

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4Rcattle

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I'm sorry the first picture is sideways....I thought I had fixed it.
 

vc

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I have run into a similar problem in the past, what may have changed besides the weather? Not that you changed feed put did you purchased feed about the time things changed, we have gotten bad lots, poorly mixed, to wet, to dry, bad fat in the mix. If he has not experienced, illness, a change in his environment, injury, go back and look at the feed. Is it the same consistency, does it smell and look the same, did the mill change things in the mix that you do not know about. You might try playing with the feed, pull the beetpulp out, see if that makes a difference, if not pull the barley, so on and so forth. He definitely needs to gain more and put on more cover. I you figure him out I would thank about adding a little Stabilized Rice bran to his feed to get more cover on him.
He looks good, hopefully you can figure it out.
 

RyanChandler

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Jul 6, 2011
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Pottsboro, TX
The calf is already ‘finished’ as evident by the pone fat around his tailhead.

If you’re wanting to get him even fatter, (idk why you would) then you need to reduce his hay intake so that he has the physical room in his body to consume more concentrated feed.

If you’re only giving him 18lbs concentrate, then he’s easily eating equally that much hay when you turn him out.  Which, in general, is way too much.
 

4Rcattle

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The only thing that I can think as far as the feed is concerned is that the last "batch" of feed we bought was really dry compared to what it had been. He didn't eat it very well until I started adding molasses myself to help with the dryness. This load of feed was much better as far the molasses/moisture - and he was cleaning it up the first week we started feeding it. He started picking at it around a week and a half after we started feeding it. I just didn't think it would be that since he ate it really well at first.

Thanks again for all of the help!
 

Tallcool1

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Jun 21, 2012
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I agree with X-Bar, the steer is about fat.

I would cool his ration down, and find something that he will eat.  My steer, that something would be Precon.  I have very seldom seen one that doesn't love that stuff.  75% Precon, 25% show feed mix.

He will likely put on another 75 pounds or so from the Precon mix plus all the hay he wants.  That gets you to roughly 1250 pounds.  Don't know what show you are targeting or what part of the country you are from.

While you cool down the ration, get to working on growing hair.  Get all the leg hair you can on him.  He is great footed and will look really cool if you can get some hair on him.  (Unless of course you are shooting for a Slick show!)

Nice steer.
 

4Rcattle

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He does have some finish on him but he's not completely covered yet - which he shouldn't be at this point so that's ok. I'm about to start adding Final Cover (at our breeder's request) once he gets to eating better. I left him out on hay on Saturday all day - I gave him half of his normal feed amount that evening then started back Sunday like normal except feeding him a smaller amount - that has seemed to help. Hopefully we are on our way to getting back on track soon.

We are in Texas and our target show is our county show which is a slick show. I'm hoping to be around 1300 then - should be fine for that as well.

Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions - I appreciate it!
 

4Rcattle

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The water in his stall and where he is turned out at night is changed and cleaned daily.
 
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