Deciding whether or not you creep feeding calves is for you is often a question producers face. Also known as “pre-weaning supplementation,” creep feeding supplements unweaned calves with a feed that the mother does not have access to.
Should you evaluate your cost and determine that creep feeding is right for you, Hillandale Quality Feed provides creep feeding options. Furthermore, we have bagged and bulk creep feeds available.
Creep feeders can be purchased at Hillandale Quality Feeds, or you can design your own on your farm. Hillandale has creep feeders available for purchase.
Creep feeders should have a bin for feed storage and gates or panels to keep larger animals out. They come with different options for the length and size of the grain bin. Furthermore, keeping the side doors or panels closed and only allow access through the front will help to significantly reduce waste.
The feeder should :
Keep feed dry
Only allow calves access to the feed.
Also, creep feeders should be portable to help you when it is time to rotate your pastures
Benefits of Creep Feeding:
Can increase growth rates
Provide extra nutrients
Helps maintain growth when milk or grass is insufficient
Acclimates calf to a change in nutrition at weaning
Will help with rumen development
Introducing Creep Feeders
When introducing creep feeding, place the feeders in areas where the cows naturally frequent, such as near water sources, shade, mineral feeders, or loafing areas. Once calves are comfortable eating from the creep feeder, you can move it based on your pasture rotation program. Make sure creep feed is continuously available, and if possible keep the feed fresh so it is highly palatable to your calves.
Calves as young as three weeks will start to nibble at calf creep feeds but they won’t consume and digest very much of this before they are six to eight weeks old.
However, for bull calves moving into a bull beef system, provide creep feeders from at least eight weeks by separating from the heifers and steers once stock bulls are taken out of bulling groups.
Deciding whether or not to creep feeding calves is right for you is based on your operation’s particular circumstances. However, if you choose to creep feed HQF can make sure you have the right feed.
Our team has years of experience and expertise to help you with all your feed needs, from small domestic animals to your livestock feed needs. Give us a call or stop in, we will be happy to find the right feed for your needs.
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