October 21, 2020

FALL WEANING AND BEEF STARTER TIPS

Fall is here & it’s time to plan a program to wean calves & start cattle on feed.  As a beef nutrition consultant at Ag Partners I am always looking for ways to cost effectively help you with your cattle and improve your bottom line.

As you bring cattle in, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Minimize stress. A certain amount of stress is unavoidable. Any “change” will contribute to stress. Changes in the weather, the environment, or the feed. Also processes such as: processing for vaccination, weaning, hauling, & arrival.  Try to do your best to reduce stress on the calf by making these “changes” as low stress as possible.

Build Immunity. (like Fly control) Immunity is best enhanced when using an integrated program. Incorporate several tools to get the best results. Vaccination, stress reduction, a comfortable place to rest, and nutrition are all pieces to the puzzle.  Optimal nutrition will improve the calf’s ability to fight disease by boosting the immune response.

In summary, be sure to reduce stress, provide plenty of clean water, and a properly balanced ration.  Your ration should include adequate protein & energy levels, chelated and organic trace minerals as well as properly balanced macro minerals. Also consider incorporating prebiotics in the diet.

Keep your cattle eating, drinking, and comfortable. Water is the most essential nutrient. Make sure water is always available, clean, & easy to find.  Along the same thought process, make sure feed bunks and hay feeders are in high traffic areas.   On the flipside, place Stress Tubs in resting or loafing areas. If cattle do not feel good enough to go eat, they may still lick a Stress Tub if located near their resting place. Be sure to remember to provide a clean, comfortable, bedded place to rest, recover, and ruminate. If cattle are eating, they are usually not sick. If we can keep them eating, drinking, comfortable, and healthy, they will perform better and grow faster.

To help you get them off to a healthy start, together with Vita Plus we have developed a 1¼# Starter pellet to enhance the immune response and keep cattle on feed.  Ag Partners Beef Starter 1, can be fed as a top dress if you have your own grain, or as the base to a 5# Starter Grain Mix we can make for you & deliver in bulk, bags, or totes. And, as always you can pick your feed up to save on delivery costs. Stress Tubs are also a great tool for starting cattle, as well as offering good quality grass hay.

Work with your Veterinarian & Nutritionist.  Your Veterinarian can help you with an overall health program & make you aware of what challenges they are dealing with in your geographic area currently. Your cattle consultant or nutritionist will not only help you with a feed program specific to your farm but can also help you with general management tools.

 

When you would like to talk to a trusted advisor about your concerns & needs of your cattle, feel free to give one of us a call. We are here to help you be successful.

LeeAnn Waugh

LeeAnn Waugh

Beef Nutrition Consultant

leeannw@agpartners.net