Written by Rick Robbins
Fall/Winter is tough enough, but not knowing what nutrients are in your feedstuffs is like walking the trail blindfolded. Cattle margins are slim to none and losing an additional $50 to $100 per head because of low gains or poor cow condition resulting in weak calves can mean the end to an operation.
Low-quality feedstuffs are usable, we just need to know we have them and what can we do to supplement them so we meet the animal’s requirements. Overfeeding high-quality feedstuffs can be just as costly, feeding 20 pounds of high-quality hay when 10 pounds will supply their needs can lose just as much money.
Weaning season is here and can stress a livestock producer as much as it does the calves. We recommend that you try and supply the animal with protein, fat, and fiber. These three things are what the calf was getting while on the cow; protein and fat coming from the milk along with protein and fiber from the grasses. Introducing starch grains at this time can be asking for disaster as the rumen is at a pH level ideal for fiber digestion, not grains. Introducing grains at weaning will lower pH levels and the fiber digesting microbes will start to die off. A comparison might be you and I overindulging a Thanksgiving dinner and consuming too many starches causing acid indigestion.
Colorado Mills has a product called High Energy Creep. It provides protein, fat, and fiber using our exclusive expeller pressed sunmeal which is high protein, high fat, and high fiber. No grain is included in this product to make the transition during weaning less stressful and result in less sickness and better gains. This product is available with Rumensin for Coccidiosis control, or plain for the all-natural programs.
Colorado Mills also uses our expeller pressed sunmeal in our range supplements. “Nature's Best” range cubes come in a variety of options to fit your needs. It is all-natural 26% protein and 7% fat. What makes our product stand out is the fat is not added! In our sunflower pressing process, sunflower oil is pressed into the fiber and the animal gains access to the fat as it digests that fiber giving it a controlled release into the animal. The fat is high monounsaturated fat which is readily used as energy in the muscle. Adding energy to the animal without adding grain (starches) keeps the rumen at the ideal pH level for digesting forages, which is what they do best!
At Colorado Mills, we can help you find out what quality of forages you have and what supplements you may or may not need. Our main goal is to keep you productive and get you the best bang for your buck. We stay in business only if you stay in business!