To cattle farmers, every pound of beef is precious, especially when you’re raising cattle without hormones or antibiotics. That’s why at Farmco, we provide farmers with the tips and equipment that can promote herd growth, for both weaning calves and adults.
Here are the effective tips we’ve learned through decades in agricultural — and how our creep feeder can be a game-changer during the weaning process.
Tips to Increase and Maintain Cattle Weight
The best cattle farmers put the right strategies in place throughout their cow’s entire lives. The right choices help you pack on the pounds and keep them there, from weaning stages to market weight.
1. Add Grain into Their Daily Diet
While your cattle likely make their primary diet of hay and grass forage, adding some healthy grains too can increase their weight substantially over time. Grain won’t from the basis of your herd’s nutrition, but the calorically-dense food can provide a boost to cattle weight.
2. Prevent Illness and Parasites
Healthy cows weigh more than unhealthy ones — simple as that. Certain types of illnesses affect cattle appetite and digestion. Whether the sick cattle are not eating or simply not gaining, you’re losing money.
In addition, common cattle parasites can directly reduce cattle weight — young calves, in particular, are susceptible to this.
That’s why recommend cattle farmers use a cattle feeder rather than choosing to ground feed. In addition, making sure hay stays dry and mold-free is an important step to safeguarding your cow’s health.
When Farmers really want to boost cow weight, they add supplements to their herd’s diet. Protein supplements work to pack on the pounds in cows just like they do in humans. Another popular supplement is beet pulp, which causes cattle stomachs to expand. This makes more room for food — and directly increases cow weight over time.
4. Use Creep Feeders During Weaning
Creep feeding calves can be a great way to boost cow weights by taking some of the nutritional pressure off of the dam. A creep feeder allows your calf to have unrestricted access to rich solid food, without giving the adult cows the same free access. This allows your calves to stay near the heifers, reducing stress, without giving these adult cows a buffet on your dime.
5. Prevent Cattle Shrink and Stress, Especially During Transport
Cattle shrink is a phenomenon where cows undergo stress and lose weight as a result. Primarily, this occurs from rough-handling and during long transport. Cattle shrink actually causes the cow’s muscle tissue to get smaller, hence the name. Essentially, the longer the cows are exposed to the stress, the more severe the cattle shrink can be.
Especially as it concerns market weights, farmers who know about it are conscious to reduce whenever possible.
Explore Farmco Creep Feeders
Creep feeders are a crucial piece of equipment for many farmers, and we build sturdy and easy to use options.
Built of heavy-gauge steel, Farmco Creep Feeders are strong enough to prevent tough-full grown cattle from having access to the feed you’re offering to younger calves. The bars that limit access can be adjusted, meaning your creep feeder can provide an economical feeding solution for multiple sizes of animals.
Like all of our cattle feeders, our creep feeders are easy to load and transport. In addition to helping farmers solve problems, we also strive to make their hard work a little easier.
Meet Farmco Manufacturing
With over 30 years of building products that solve problems for farmers every day, Farmco is still dedicated to helping farmers in both the cattle and equestrian world. While our feeders can be found coast-to-coast, we are still a family-owned company hailing from the farm country of Lancaster County PA.
In addition to providing solutions to our customers, we also provide farming insight and support on how to use our feeders. Whether you want to order your feeder or ask us a question, we’re here to help. Contact us today!