How Creep Feeding Calves Can Boost Growth and Profits Datum: Supplying young calves with supplementary feed enables growth rates to increase towards their maximum potential, and reduces stress during the hungry-calf gap.
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Creep feeding potentially delivers many benefits to businesses wishing to increase productivity, acting as the first step to greater growth and profitability at later stages. A creep feeder, which prevents adult cows accessing the supplementary feed, is used to feed the calf. The most economical source is high-quality pasture, but this can be a problem for spring-calving herds, and the shift from milk to grass could well come at a time when the availability of fresh, high-quality grass is limited.
If quality grass is lacking, creep feeding should certainly be considered. The potential benefits Depending on conditions including feed type, calf genetics, and seasonthe average increase in weaning weight for a creep-fed calf is 18 kg, with 10—27 kg being a common range. Creep feeding also reduces grazing pressure on available pasture, and accustoms the calf to grain so that weaning is easier.
During the hungry-calf gap, when the milk produced by the beef cow dwindles and the calf 's requirements increase, creep feed can provide all the necessary nutrients. So far, the benefits of creep feeding are hard single calf creep feeder argue with, but it is not an immediate solution for all production units: viability and financial returns must be considered.
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For example, some producers might be averse to the cost of the extra feed and feed delivery system. Figure 1.
Milk yield of a typical beef cow and single calf creep feeder requirements of a nursing calf The investment vs. The cost of the feed must be weighed up against the weight gained by the calf, and the initial purchase of feeders, while the type of feed used and single calf creep feeder weather conditions must also be taken into account.
For example, Alan Medd at a beef unit in Darlington, UK, ran an experiment with creep feeding one spring, using his own feed comprising homegrown cereals, soya hulls and meal, and pot-ale syrup. His calves gained an extra kg by weaning at nine months compared with those later in the year, representing a return on investment for bull calves, and for heifers.
Single calf creep feeder
In this case, the figures came out in Mr. Is creep feeding right for you? Creep feeding your calves can boost your herd's productivity and, if financially viable, it could deliver a much-needed performance advantage.
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With a relatively small adjustment to farm management, a program where the rewards far outweigh the costs can be implemented. In Brief Creep feeding consists of supplying supplementary feed to the nursing calf. Creep feeding will provide the other nutrients necessary to achieve full growth.
Reference Eversole, D. Creep feeding beef calves. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech.
VCE Publications. Single calf creep feeder Artikel.