First of all what is "Burn out"? Our show calves (2) are doing great with eating. We have had them for about 6 weeks and they weigh 645 and 695. I would appreciate all of your expert advice on this subject.
"Burn out" is a term often used for calves that go off of feed due to too hot of a ration. It is usually due to the fact that the calves Rumen is shutting down. In your situation with light steers I would feed a 12% protein feed at the rate of 2.25% of their body weight split between two feedings. You did not say how long you had to feed them out, number of days. We start at basically the same weights and have 230 days to feed. An example of what I do is feed a 650 lb. calf 14 lbs. of grain per day and a block of good grass hay after each feeding. As the weight of the steer increases adjust the amount of the feed until you get closer to show date, then you may increase to 2.5% of body weight. Others will have different ideas, but this has worked well for us.
Example: 650 lb steer x .0225 = 14.625 lbs. feed per day or 7.5 lbs. per feeding
Get yourself a set of scales and weigh 1 scoop of feed to see how this breaks down, whatever you do, do not allow them to eat all they want at the start. It is like a long distance race you must pace your feed program for optimal results. Good Luck.
I agree with the above post and have fed 2% of their body weight to our show animals for a number of years with great results. Find a feed that is not too hot and watch 'em grow, no need to force them to grow unless they are slipping behind or you need them to hit a weight for a show. Also, we use a bloat guard block just as a precaution against bloat and a good source for their daily mineral intake. Hope this helps.
We try to keep them somewhat hungry. I want to see the calves licking the feeder clean. when you have feed leftover or they are slow to come in then you might want to cut them back a little. always make any changes slow & gradual. Also watch the manure & make sure it's not too loose or off color. Too much grain passing through is also a sign of a problem.
Listen to what CAB has to say, work them up to at least 2% gradually. Also, keep in mind that the protein levels need to be higher than energy at this stage of the game to grow a framework for the muscle and fat that comes later!
The mistake that some kids make is to try to get them fat early, by either cooking corn, feeding straight corn or top dressing with liquid fats. This will lead to what we call "burn out". This messes them up and often they do not grow to their potential. Ok if you want the little puddy looking steers....not what I would want.
I agree with Cowz, have to be really careful not to push to hard.
Maybe DL or someone can answer this for me though.
With burning the gut on your calf, would that lead to NO weight gain in a 2 mo period? This is an ongoing discussion on what happened to my neices calf. They pushed HARD and put 4 to 5 oz of corn oil or veggie oil (can not remember what oil it was) on calves grain everyday, they were feeding like 4% of body weight. Well calf got sour, scoured went off feed. Got him back on feed did not make weight at fair and when they took him to locker last week he weighed the EXACT same as he did in July. That has made my sister think that it was just the genetics on the calf and that they should feed the same next calf.........
I also give calves a good dose of PROBIOTICS gel. It helps the rumen. If the calves have been on feed any amount of time it can help restore some of the digestive bugs and increase appetite. You can get it at TSC. Cheap and easy!