Does anyone raise cattle here? I've been raising goats and sheep for over 5 years and I feed them hay, alfalfa pellets and when my does are on in milk, a grain mix (that I make) on the milkstand. Anyhoo...I am getting 2 steer calves tomorrow to raise til Spring for the freezer. The woman I am getting them from is feeding them a show feed mix that is corn, and syrup, and cottonseed and some other crap I don't want to feed my calves. HOwever, I know better than to disrupt their feed pattern straight off, you have to segue them into another type of feed slowly. I cannot afford to feed them alfalfa pellets all winter like my small livestock. Does anyone have any suggestions? I want them to grow and gain weight like they are supposed to. I have plenty of hay for the winter but I know they need more than that while they are growing.
I'm not raising cattle right now but my first question is if your calves will be weaned before they're moved. Hopefully they will be and have access to grass before they arrive at your place. As you say you need to change their feed very slowly and yes, alfalfa is an expensive feed and very rich. I'd feed them good quality (not horse quality) hay and top dress it will a little alfalfa but I'm a novice when it comes to this...my animals only get a taste of 'goodies' to keep them gentle and allow me to tend to them and catch any problems early.
I did a search and came up with this..maybe it will be helpful.
[url=http://www.beefmaster-ranch.com/wordpress/2009/06/18/weaning-grassfed-calves/]Weaning Grassfed Calves | Welcome to the Ranch![/url]
I don't feed my horses any alfalfa and they thrive on cattle grade hay in winter with a handful of low sugar feed..they have just grass the rest of the year and stay fit. They aren't worked much right now, if I can recover enough I'll change that.
Good luck...all I can say about goats is that they are full of themselves and escape artists! I used to milk 2 years ago then switched to raising sheep.
yes, they are pretty much weaned now. i just dont' want them to slow down on their growth.
My goats are well behaved and don't try to escape. I am pretty attached to them and love to hang out with them.
My buck is trying to escape now to get with the girls because he is in rut! He has to wait another month and then
he will be with his lady loves. (I control the breeding times so I get babies when I want them).
My sheep are really easy keepers. I had cattle before but it has been a while ago so I dont' really remember much
about it. We didnt' have them for long. They were those little Zebu cattle.