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Old 12/25/09, 07:06 AM
farmerjon's Avatar  
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Location: Warsaw, NY
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Best and Fastest way to fatten calf

I'm looking for the best feed or feeds to put some weight on a brown swiss steer calf. We have been having a cold spell and he was not been doing well with it. The vet suggested to fatten him up. He is not my calf, but one that I am housing for the winter. His owner has been down keeping him warm with lamps and blankets, but he needs to bulk up. He gets all the hay he wants and she has been feeding the calf feed from TS. Im not a fan of the feed, but he seems to eat it. Any ideas? Im off of to wake the kids up to open gifts!!!
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Old 12/25/09, 08:26 AM
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I don't know anything about the feed from TSC as I've never used it, but any good grain-based feed will put weight on him if he eats enough of it. But actually the hay that he's eating is one of the best ways to keep him warm. The roughage creates a lot of heat in the digestion process.
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Old 12/25/09, 08:51 AM
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Make sure the feed you're feeding him as some cracked or rolled corn in it. Lots of energy comes from it. When I'm fattening a steer I use a cup of MR poured over the feed once per day to add fat content. Most MR is 20% fat content.

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Old 12/25/09, 09:34 AM
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What age is this animal?
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 12/25/09, 12:35 PM
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If you`re struggling with the cold, you can blanket him and add some calf manna to his diet and possibly blanket him.
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Old 12/25/09, 01:05 PM
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Has he been wormed?
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Old 12/25/09, 02:20 PM
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If I was starting from scratch I'd begin with straight oats (along with the hay) and work up to about 50% corn in about 3 weeks. Oats are very easy on a calfs digestive system and has good protien.

Sounds to me like the calf could be sick (or sickly)
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Old 12/26/09, 06:14 PM
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How old? What kind of hay? Kept inside all the time or out all the time or in and out? What is the protein listed on each bag of TSC feed? How is he getting his minerals? Have he been wormed?
Heat lamps are commonly used to warm livestock. They are also a common cause of barn burnings. So, please be very careful.
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Old 12/26/09, 06:35 PM
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Location: illinois
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i dont knowwhat you have in new york. but what i do is i have siftings. from when the corn dries in a dryer, i mix 14 --- 5 gallon buckets to 1 5 gallon bucket of 34% calf mix and 1 - 5 gallon bucket of 12% sweet feed in a mixer,, i have 3 calves ranging from 1 year to 4 months, all the hay they can eat, and a large scoop each for the calves, the sorgum molasses . they love it, it also has corn and oats in the mix,, i have very healthy calfs,
thank you for supporting the small farmer.
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Old 12/27/09, 08:46 AM
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I think I understand that you are mixing "siftings" at a 7 to 1 ratio with calf feed and sweet feed and raise healthy calves.
I've seen screenings/siftings that were mostly cracked or milled corn. I've seen screenings/siftings that were mostly pieces of cob. In a wet year, like this past season, corn can have a fair amount of mold on it. As drying corn is tumbled, mold spores could accumulate in the siftings.
I'm just saying there is a wide variance in just what siftings are.

I missed what minerals you were adding to the mix and at what amount. Around here, we have to up the selenium levels as well.

Molasses helps hold down dust, keeps minerals from settling and insure the calves eat their entire ration.
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Old 12/29/09, 09:43 AM
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Sorry it took so long to get back.

He is a Brown Swiss.
He is 16 Weeks +-
He has been wormed.

As of right now he has all the Hay he can eat and I have been feeding him the calf feed from TS they want him fed. I have been also sneaking in some sweet feed. He seems to be doing much better. He is in one of my stalls. about 12X12 and we put a hut with a heat lamp to keep him warm. He seems to be doing well. Now if we can get him bulked up a bit we will be much better. Its been a busy few days. For Christmas my Mrs. found me a couple of Pygmy Goats so I have been busy goat proofing a stall. Building a new coop for the pigeons and thawing water lines. I love winter.
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Old 12/29/09, 09:17 PM
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A calf that size needs good high quality feed and hay.
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