What to Feed Calves When Cattle Prices Are Low

Management : Weaned Calf

Elizabeth Backes-Belew, Ph.D.

Nutritionist, Beef Technical Solutions

As cattle prices fluctuate, you may consider cuts in nutrition to improve return on investment (ROI).

When cattle prices and ROI are low, starter feeds may be the first on the chopping block in an attempt to improve your bottom line. But think carefully before making a big change to your weaned calf program.

Cutting starter feeds may lead to more significant losses in both revenue generated during the weaning period and overall operation profit. It’s no secret that healthy calves perform better and are more sought after than those with a lower immune status, which are more susceptible to disease and sickness. Starter feeds play a critical role in getting calves eating quickly and over weaning-time stress. 

The Purina® All Seasons Cattle Nutrition Program offers flexible, convenient options you can turn to as cattle prices change. During times of low prices, Purina® Stress Care® 5 Supplement allows you to utilize more of your biggest resource — your forage — while still providing a supplement to newly weaned calves. You feed five pounds of Stress Care® 5 (1 percent of body weight) in conjunction with free-choice forage or hay.

Stress Care® 5 is a palatable feed developed at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, which encourages newly weaned calves to eat feed and help them recover from the stress of weaning and shipping. It also contains ingredients to help balance the rumen environment and promote a healthy immune system. The result of higher intakes, better rumen health and improved calf immune status can lead to more efficient weight gain that can help improve ROI.

Ask your dealer for Stress Care® 5 and check out these quick tips for weaning calves.

Does your nutrition program stack up? Find out with a Proof Pays feeding trial.