By Erin Laborie, College of Nebraska Extension
For cattle producers which might be set as much as feed calves in a bunk, limit-feeding a excessive power weight-reduction plan could also be a cheap possibility for rising calves this fall and winter. Whereas limit-feeding just isn’t a brand new idea, present forage costs relative to grain/co-products could make it a lovely different to feeding excessive roughage rising diets. As an illustration, hay priced at $200/ton with a complete digestible vitamins (TDN) worth of 52% equates to roughly $0.22 per pound of TDN. Nevertheless, $4.80/bu. corn (88% TDN) and moist distillers grains priced at $75/ton (108% TDN) every come out to about $0.11 per pound of TDN.
Analysis at Kansas State University has checked out limit-feeding calves a excessive power weight-reduction plan at 2.2% of physique weight in comparison with a full-fed excessive roughage weight-reduction plan (2.8% of physique weight) for a 90-day backgrounding interval. Each diets included 40% moist corn gluten feed (dry matter foundation) and ranging quantities of corn, alfalfa, prairie hay, and a complement. Stockers restrict fed the excessive power weight-reduction plan had been extra environment friendly and gained 2.5 lb./day whereas stockers full-fed the high-roughage weight-reduction plan gained 2.9 lb./day. Backgrounding system had little to no impact on ending efficiency or carcass traits.
Benefits of restrict fed, excessive power diets
There are a number of benefits to a restrict feeding strategy for rising calves:
Lowered mixing time and a great deal of feed attributable to much less forage within the weight-reduction plan.
Much less feed falling out of bunks and being wasted, decreasing rodent points.
Extra environment friendly use of bunk area. If time, labor, and pen design permit, contemplate leveraging the quantity of bunk area in a pen by feeding one group of calves within the morning after which rotating in a second group within the night.
Improved well being administration of calves. Wholesome calves will probably be desperate to strategy the bunk at feeding time, making torpid, sick calves simpler to identify.
Improved pen circumstances and upkeep attributable to much less manure. Analysis from Kansas State College has proven a 40-45% discount in manure output when restrict feeding stockers. That’s large!
Ideas for limit-feeding stockers
When getting calves began on feed, place lengthy stemmed hay in bunks previous to calves arriving. For the primary day’s feed supply of the limit-fed weight-reduction plan, begin calves at an consumption of roughly 0.75% of physique weight (dry matter foundation) and work as much as 2.2% of physique weight inside about 14 days. As calves develop, remember to regulate the quantity of feed delivered so that focus on good points will be maintained. Feeding at a constant time every day and offering sufficient bunk area (no less than 15 inches per head) may help stop digestive upsets and set calves up for fulfillment.
For help with evaluating value variations of feedstuffs, think about using the Feed Cost Cow-Q-Lator. The Nebraska Extension Beef Workforce is all the time out there to assist producers consider feeding choices and develop rations to fulfill cattle nutrient wants.