Ranch

CBS Ranch
Charles L & Brenda R Bass
815 E. Bryan
Sapulpa, Ok 74066
Phone (918)633-6191
Fax (918)224-5119

BBU # 4864
CharlesBass@gorilla.net

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Creep Feeding - Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
 

What is creep feeding?
Creep feeding is when you supply a supplemental feed to calves before they are weaned.

What are the advantages of using a creep feed?
Creep feeding helps to supplement the milk from the mothers and extend your grazing season. It has the potential to give you increased calf weaning weights, increased pasture stocking rates, introduction to feed before weaning which will help with less shrink at the time of weaning, and calves will grow to their genetic potential just to name a few advantages.

Management of the fall body condition of beef cows including early weaning and creep feeding, have economic value and can reduce roughage needs for the entire winter feeding season. Producers with 150 cows could see returns from body condition management totaling over $25,000.

Is creep feeding advantageous for everyone?
Although creep feed studies have consistently shown an increase in weaning weight of calves most instances have failed to show an economic advantage at time of calf sales because of poor conversion of the creep feed to extra pounds of calf weaned. Creep feeding is most advantageous when calf prices are high, feed prices low, drylot operations, poor pasture conditions, fall-born calves, purebred bull calves and larger framed breed types.

Factors to consider other than calf sales, is creep feeding to maximize body score condition management of cows and the economic impact on winter feed costs.

See the following website for a creep feed calculator that will assist you in making this management decision: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/app19/calc/livestock/creepsheet.jsp

This calculator is intended to assist producers to determine whether creep feeding will be economically beneficial to the operation. Often, the decision is based solely on "the weight gain" expected. This calculator will show the economic gain expected

What should be included in a creep feed?
Locally grown grains make a good base for most creep feeds. The ration should be nutrient dense and highly palatable. Simple mixtures of grain and a protein supplement will make a good creep feed.

Creep Feeding Calculator


This calculator is intended to assist producers to determine whether creep feeding will be economically beneficial to the operation. Often, the decision is based solely on "the weight gain" expected. This calculator will show the economic gain expected.


 

Current calf weight lb  
Predicted calf value $/lb  
Target days on creep  
Feed conversion * (a value between 2 and 30)  
Creep feed cost /lb delivered (for example 4.5)  
Creep feeder value **   $/year  
Creep feed intake lb/head/day  
Herd size # of calves  

* Feed conversion of the creep feed varies greatly between feed types, and between animal types. On average, protein creep feeds, those with protein between 30 and 45%, have conversion between 2.5:1 and 4:1. Commercial creep feeds, balanced in protein and energy have feed conversion between 4:1 and 7:1. Energy creep feed, or straight grain creep feed, have feed conversions typically between 8:1 and 15:1, although 30:1 has been documented.
**  Creep feeder value is the purchase price of the feeder taken over the life expectancy of the feeder plus an annual depreciation and repair cost.