weaning weights

Asked February 14, 2013, 10:10 PM EST

I weaned calves in October that right off the cow averaged 450 to 500 pounds. I kept two steers to fatten out. Long story short, I sold those two steers today, and they weighed 450 and 525 pounds. For the last three months they have been getting 50 pounds of silage two times a day. They did not gain any weight in three months. I am also subsidizing with brome hay. I have proven bulls and good momma cows. How can I improve my weaning weights or utilize my forage to get bigger calves? I know of cattle with less forage or no forage at all that produce bigger weaned calves.

Cass County Missouri

1 Response

Were the calves in question weighed individually at weaning? If not, they might have gained weight, but because an average weaning weight was used as the starting weight, ADG seems low.

Young growing calves fed only silage and hay are deficient in protein, and as a result, ADG would be low. Silage and hay would not meet the protein requirement for young, growing calves.

Was the silage tested, and if so, what was the dry matter content? Depending on silage dry matter, 100 pounds as fed each day might not meet the calves' intake requirement.