With the U.S. cow herd continuing to decline in numbers and weaned calf prices remaining strong, there is no better time than now to consider a creep feeding program for your calves. Would you like to add weight and have heavier calves to sell at weaning? Could you use a little extra assistance in helping those calves transition during weaning and remain healthier throughout the feeding process? How about relieving some stress from your cows that is caused by declining pasture conditions and lactation?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then a creep feeding program may be very beneficial to consider. Creep feeding is a common management practice that provides feed to suckling calves in such a way that the adult cows cannot access the feed. The additional nutrients provided by creep feeding bridge the gap left by limited milk production by the cow and will allow your calves to fully reach their genetic potential. There has been a great amount of research done and many trials performed that have proven the nutritional benefits of creep feeding seen by heavier calves at weaning.
Creep feeding has also been known to reduce the incidence of sickness that often occurs shortly after weaning. This is done by teaching calves to eat out of a bunk and this will in turn get calves to consume more feed the first two weeks after weaning. Increased feed intake of newly weaned calves generally results in reduced sickness.
There are many factors that play in to the stress of adult cows around late summer/fall and weaning time including declining pasture conditions, increased lactation and suckling calves, and of course weaning calves. By creep feeding calves you’re also relieving some of that stress by providing supplemental feed to those calves and reducing their nutritional dependence on the cow’s milk production.
The best way to wean a bigger calf, maintain a healthier calf at weaning and throughout the feeding process, and relieve some stress from adult cows is to provide supplemental feed to calves by creep feeding. Our high quality, pelleted GroLean 16% creep feed from Hubbard Feeds does just that. It is formulated to provide just the right level of protein needed to give high growth calves the ability to reach their genetic potential.
For more information on our GroLean 16% creep feed or other creep feeding programs contact your local United Farmers Cooperative location.