Calving Time Preparation

Mar 21, 2022

Calving time is here, and we hope the nice weather continues throughout the whole season. Be sure to have plenty of OptiPrime colostrum packs on hand! It can be used as a replacement or a supplement for newborn calves. It mixes and stays in suspension, which means you get the full effectiveness of the vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. We also carry OptiCare scour tubes. You can use these at the first sign of scours, one tube per calf.

Once the calves are on feed, you’ll likely consider the choice between pelleted and a mixed commodity creep. We offer complete pelleted creep feeds with 14 percent protein and Bovatec. Prices vary based on quantity and will increase through the year, so be sure to call us for current pricing and quantity discounts.

I will caution that the savings you might expect from a commodity creep aren’t as big as they appear. While a mix of corn, soyhulls, and wheat midds might run a considerable amount less than a complete pelleted creep, feed conversion and fines reduce the savings quickly. Factor in the labor costs of custom mixing and cleaning the residue out of your feeders, and the complete creep quickly becomes the better solution.

If you need creep feeders, we rent them first-come, first-serve at $2.50 per day, billed monthly.

It's also time to think about late spring and summer fly minerals. It’s best to start the mineral around April 15th and feed until the hard freeze in fall. We have several fly control products available. Clarify and Rabon will kill both the flies and larva. Both are available for around five cents per cow per day. For additional protection, utilize feed-grade garlic as an additive. This won’t kill the flies, but it does a very good job of repelling them for only three cents per cow per day.

We also carry medicated mineral to help combat anaplasmosis. You will, as you know, need to get a VFD from your local vet beforehand. Once SFG has the VFD on-hand, we’ll gladly be able to order in your medication. There are minimums for many of these products, so feel free to call us for more information.

Lastly, we all know how expensive feed and corn are. What’s good for the row-cropper isn’t always good for the livestock producer. Thankfully the markets are rewarding the livestock producer. Even with corn at $7/bu, with 600lb cattle selling for $1.90, a careful producer can still turn a good profit. Prices at local markets were still enabling producers to make $200/head on 1500lb cattle.

Feel free to give me, Mike King, a call at 641-218-4232 with any questions or feed needs!