Feeding and Management of Show Calves
Successfully feeding show calves to achieve their maximum finish and development requires considerable time and effort on the part of the person getting the animal ready to show. The time required to correctly finish a calf depends on the type or breed of calf and the degree of finish desired for the calf. For example, the large frame exotic breeds require more time and feed to reach the desired finish than smaller breeds. Normally, the minimum time required to reach the desired degree of finish is about 100-120 days but the actual time required will vary with the individual calf being fed. The quality of feeds being fed and environmental conditions.
The INTERMOUNTAIN FARMERS’ show calf feeding program is based on two high quality textured feeds designed to be fed with local roughage. IFA 15% BEEF GROWER is designed to bring calves on feed easily and to provide the nutrition need to maximize growth and frame development during the early feeding period. IFA 13% BEEF FINISHER is formulated to provide the protein and energy needed to add the necessary showering finish judges will be looking for.
Features and Benefits
IFA SHOW STEER FEEDS are highly molassified, texturized feeds formulated to supply the high quality proteins, energy, vitamins and minerals needed for the modern type show calf to express its genetic potential.
- STEAM COOKED SOYBEANS: Most of the soy oil is left in the bean; increases energy for increased rate of gain, improves skin and hair condition. Increases by-pass protein level for growth and muscle development, and improves palatability.
- STEAMED COOKED CORN: Improves total starch (energy) digestion; reduces cost per pound of gain. 95-98% of the starch is digested.
- CHELATED MINERAL COMPLEXES: Are the result of binding a soluble mineral salt with an amino acid which gives better absorption by the animal and less loss back into the environment. Improves general health, feed utilization, and function of the immune system.
- BOVATEC (Lasalocid sodium): Improves feed efficiency and rate of gain; reduces cost per pound of gain. Both the 15% grower and 13% finisher contain Bovatec. The 15% grower also comes as a non-medicated feed.
- MICROBIAL PRODUCTS: Help stimulate the rumen for better digestion and feed utilization. Helps maintain the rumen pH balance of cattle on high grain rations.
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
- Provide adequate pen space, shade, and bunk space for the calf’s comfort.
- Be sure the feed bunk provided is the proper height for the calf being fed.
- Maintain a carefully designed health program, especially to control internal and external parasites.
- Make feed or management changes gradually.
- Calves should be fed twice daily on a set schedule. Feed bunks should be kept clean daily.
Starting calves on feed and changing feeds
Calves should be started on IFA feeds slowly and under the direction of a project advisor. A suggested schedule is:
- Feed high quality, clean, fresh hay along with 2-3 pounds of IFA BEEF GROWER for two days.
- Increase the IFA BEEF GROWER by one pound per day until the desired level of grain is being fed. Normally, show calves can be expected to consume 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their body weight as a grain concentrate along with free choice forages. Grain should be fed 2 to 3 times a day. The amount is based on what they will clean up within an hour after feeding. Forage may be increased or decreased to maintain the desired growth rate and degree of finish.
- The transition from a grower ration to a finisher ration should be made gradually by substituting one pound of IFA GROWER for one pound of IFA FINISHER each day until the complete changeover has been completed. The transition from one feed type to another should be made under the direction of the project advisor.