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Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Jess, Mar 31, 2005.
if you feed a heifer grain will its baby grow better and bigger?
Is it a bred heifer, has the heifer calved yet?
Either way, feeding a heifer grain will not directly make a calf grow stronger and especially not bigger.
If the heifer is well nourished, she will milk better, thereby allowing the calf to grow better.
It is generally more efficient to feed the grain directly to the calf rather than going through mom. This is assuming that the heifer is in good shape and has enough nutrition for herself.
Creep feeding can be profitable if you sell the calf at weaning. Creep fed calves are usually bigger at weaning time, but then the non-creep-fed calves catch up by about a year. If you keep the calves, creep feeding does not pay.
Of course this all varies depending in how much you pay for grain, cattle prices, etc. Check your numbers carefully before spending the money.
If your heifer has calved, a little grain can help her increase milk production.
If she has not calved, be very, very careful with the grain. The first calf birth is always the hardest. A fat heifer will have a harder time. If you bounce up grain feeding in the last couple months of pregnancy, you will also encourage the fetus to get larger. A larger fetus can cause more problems - that's why so many farmers use low birth weight semen.