Steer won’t gain weight

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TFF2020

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
3
I have a March of 2023 show steer he weighed 735lbs at 4H weigh ins in January
2 weeks later he weighed 766 in the beginning of March he weighed 882 that was March 9th to be exact on April 20th he weighed 862 and today May 12th he weighs 850 Please somebody help he hasn’t gone off feed he just seems finicky ….. we have pulled feed for 24 hours he will then clean up his feed but then it drops back off again! He gets about 25lbs of feed a day which is a mix our feed mill came up with to try to get him to gain weight he might eat 10lbs a day if we are lucky! We were giving beet pulp, cotton seed, precon and ultra full as additives but we were advised to pull those all after talking to a breeder to try to get him back on full feed it’s not working he is still picking. We had him penned up and off pasture that didn’t work let him go back on pasture that didn’t work. He was dewormed a month ago didn’t change anything. If I pour molasses on he will pick through the feed and eat the stuff that has molasses let the rest lay! We have a July 10th end date of 1100-1400lbs which is 6lbs a day I highly doubt he will make it at this point but I still need help to try for a state fair end at end of August if possible! I’m desperate
 

Jive Turkey

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
252
I have a March of 2023 show steer he weighed 735lbs at 4H weigh ins in January
2 weeks later he weighed 766 in the beginning of March he weighed 882 that was March 9th to be exact on April 20th he weighed 862 and today May 12th he weighs 850 Please somebody help he hasn’t gone off feed he just seems finicky ….. we have pulled feed for 24 hours he will then clean up his feed but then it drops back off again! He gets about 25lbs of feed a day which is a mix our feed mill came up with to try to get him to gain weight he might eat 10lbs a day if we are lucky! We were giving beet pulp, cotton seed, precon and ultra full as additives but we were advised to pull those all after talking to a breeder to try to get him back on full feed it’s not working he is still picking. We had him penned up and off pasture that didn’t work let him go back on pasture that didn’t work. He was dewormed a month ago didn’t change anything. If I pour molasses on he will pick through the feed and eat the stuff that has molasses let the rest lay! We have a July 10th end date of 1100-1400lbs which is 6lbs a day I highly doubt he will make it at this point but I still need help to try for a state fair end at end of August if possible! I’m desperate
Has he been wormed?
 

looking4champions

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
83
Location
Southeast
First and foremost. Slow down and breath.!!!! The easiest and worst thing to do is to start changing a steer's ration. Especially when you're desperate. Adding this, taking a way that.... etc. doesn't give you ample time to gauge what's working and what's not working. Be grateful he's not bloating!!!! You definitely DO NOT want to add that problem to what you're already dealing with.

Feeding a show calf is all about consistency and doing what works for YOUR calf, not what others tell you works for them and theirs.... or maybe even what worked yesterday for your calf.. You want him to not only eat because he's hungry... But also because it's a formed habit!

I think the feed mill has helped you a lot by offering you a base ration. That's where it all starts. You have to have a good base ration and have a steer eating that ration consistently before supplementing. If he's not eating your base ration consistently, then revisit the base. What feedstuffs are in the ration. What's the protein, fiber and fat content. Even more important, what does his stool like like. That's going to give you solid indication if he's getting enough protein, fiber, fat/energy.

Start off by getting your calf in a good rhythm. If he was eating 12.5 lbs per feeding. Cut him back 2 lbs per feeding. Anybody who has feed a steer knows sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward 3. If he eats 10 lbs twice a day. Give him that. Gradually go up. Don't rush the calf. Don't increase his feed until he consistently cleans up all you put in the through. A good sign is the trough being wet or having lick marks in it. Then bump him up a little after two days of that.... Just make sure it's increased over time. Gradually. Give him some good hay as well. You gotta keep his rumen functioning.

Do you feed the steer at the same time in the morning and evening, or at the same times daily? Whether it's 2 or 3 times. Be consistent as possibly. Feed at the same time(s) every day within an hour of those times.

All of these; beet pulp, cotton seed, precon and ultra full are typically used for adding roughage and trying to get expansion. Precon is a complete feed, but it does expand. So there, I can see why your breeder advised you stop feeding those.


I wish you the best. All steers do not eat or grow/mature the same. It's difficult feeding one that is a picky eater, but more often than not, you can manage the trough and get it dialed in to where even a picky eater will get to where you want them to go.
 

TFF2020

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
3
First and foremost. Slow down and breath.!!!! The easiest and worst thing to do is to start changing a steer's ration. Especially when you're desperate. Adding this, taking a way that.... etc. doesn't give you ample time to gauge what's working and what's not working. Be grateful he's not bloating!!!! You definitely DO NOT want to add that problem to what you're already dealing with.

Feeding a show calf is all about consistency and doing what works for YOUR calf, not what others tell you works for them and theirs.... or maybe even what worked yesterday for your calf.. You want him to not only eat because he's hungry... But also because it's a formed habit!

I think the feed mill has helped you a lot by offering you a base ration. That's where it all starts. You have to have a good base ration and have a steer eating that ration consistently before supplementing. If he's not eating your base ration consistently, then revisit the base. What feedstuffs are in the ration. What's the protein, fiber and fat content. Even more important, what does his stool like like. That's going to give you solid indication if he's getting enough protein, fiber, fat/energy.

Start off by getting your calf in a good rhythm. If he was eating 12.5 lbs per feeding. Cut him back 2 lbs per feeding. Anybody who has feed a steer knows sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward 3. If he eats 10 lbs twice a day. Give him that. Gradually go up. Don't rush the calf. Don't increase his feed until he consistently cleans up all you put in the through. A good sign is the trough being wet or having lick marks in it. Then bump him up a little after two days of that.... Just make sure it's increased over time. Gradually. Give him some good hay as well. You gotta keep his rumen functioning.

Do you feed the steer at the same time in the morning and evening, or at the same times daily? Whether it's 2 or 3 times. Be consistent as possibly. Feed at the same time(s) every day within an hour of those times.

All of these; beet pulp, cotton seed, precon and ultra full are typically used for adding roughage and trying to get expansion. Precon is a complete feed, but it does expand. So there, I can see why your breeder advised you stop feeding those.


I wish you the best. All steers do not eat or grow/mature the same. It's difficult feeding one that is a picky eater, but more often than not, you can manage the trough and get it dialed in to where even a picky eater will get to where you want them to go.
Thank You so much for your advice I really appreciate it!! I’m trying very hard to just breathe and not get frustrated! We have fed out many show steers over the years and for whatever reason this one is a challenge! He has bloated 2 times but not bad we put him in the pasture to walk it off and so far that has worked! We feed twice a day we try to be as consistent as possible with feed times. Yesterday he ate really good so hopefully he will stay on that path! I’ll weigh again on Sunday and hopefully have a good update just praying the numbers go up even if only 5lbs! Thanks again!
 
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