Stage One Creep Feeding

Posted: March 12, 2020

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In years past many beef producers have used a texturized dairy calf starter as a Stage 1 creep feed for their baby beef calves. Over time, we have been able to focus on the details of animal’s requirements and diets to make improvements in the performance of the different segments of livestock. Since the formulation for a dairy starter is based on a larger calf with a higher projected intake, a new approach for beef calves is in order.

The primary goal of a first-stage calf creep during the calving season is to provide a palatable option for coccidiostats in a nutrient-dense feed to assist fall-out calves needing extra nutrition. How do we get a suckling beef calf to properly medicate itself for Coccidiosis? It requires medication at the correct level and for the calf to eat the proper amount of starter for their body weight. The mix needs to be both nutrient dense and palatable to achieve the desired results. This is where whole shelled corn shines. The Tend-R-Leen program has shown for years the value of dry whole shelled corn in the starter feed for dairy beef.

The benefits include:
• Fewer fines than a processed feed reduces the opportunity for acidosis issues.
• Less waste is probable.
• Calves really like whole corn.
• Whole corn is easier to keep fresh.
• Whole corn and pellets are more difficult to sort.

The whole corn needs to be free from excessive fines. If there is a high level of fines, screening the corn will have a substantial impact on the calf performance. Whole oats can be use but only if they are not dusty, moldy or full of weed seeds.

Give ½ whole shelled corn and ½ creep supplement such as our Tend-R-Leen 525 NBC DX a try this calving season and let us know what you think. Simply provide it at 1 week of age in a designated creep area. Compare your current creep feed to the cost of this mix, also taking into consideration the possible increases you may achieve in gains. It may cost less than what you are currently using.

Source: Creep Feeding Beef Calves, Effects of creep feeding calves are covered in this NebGuide. Richard J. Rasby, Beef Specialist, Steven W. Niemeyer, Extension Educator

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