Good Start or Bad Start

Is it “Calves never get over a bad start”, or “Calves never get over a good start”…You Decide
Stacy Hoffman, Livestock Production Specialist, Purina Animal Nutrition (507) 676-6401

Man alive!  I have no idea what happened to summer, but it sure has gone by quickly!  As we start looking to not only harvest season, it also means weaning time for many of us.  About 2/3 of all feeder cattle are marketed in the third and fourth quarters of the year.  Of these calves most are marketed directly to feed yards.  If your calves fall into this category and will be going to the auction barn, sold private treaty, or via special feeder sales this fall; the team at All American Co-op can help you with a program to fit any situation.

Weaning time is a stressful time for calves.  They are typically coming from pasture where “life is good”.  Then they are exposed to all sorts of new things, weaning, comingling, processed, diet change, and weather that isn’t always the most accommodating.

All of these things can add to reduced disease resistance in those calves, but if they are on feed quickly, you can overcome those obstacles and minimize their impact on those calves.

There are several tips out there that can help you to get those calves on feed quickly, efficiently and safely.

  1. Use lick tubs such as Purina Stress Care Tub: These serve a multi-functional purpose in the weaning/receiving process.   The licking action produces saliva that can help ease throat irritation from bawling.  Licking also stimulates calves’ appetites; which in return gets them looking for feed and water and lessens fence pacing.
  2. Offer palatable feeds: When calves begin to search for feed, it needs to be as appealing and palatable as possible. If they like the feed they will start to eat and continue to come to the bunk.  Proper nutrition in a small package is of the utmost importance when trying to get calves on feed.
  3. The correct form of feed: Bigger pellets tend to work better on smaller calves, as they tend to be softer and calves can get more in each mouthful, this is very important especially in less aggressive calves.
  4. Quality is critical!!  This is an example of you get what you pay for, when you cut corners to get a cheaper option you begin to loss palatability, which results in less than optimal intakes.

The Purina Great Starts Program can help through this 10-14 day process by offering high quality, very palatable, and cost effective feed options to make your transitions a success.  For more information contact Mark Werner or Stacy Hoffman to help you get your calves off to a GREAT START!


No calf gets over a good start or a bad one!!
Let’s get them off to a GREAT Start!!


Stress Care 1:              Feed 1# per hd per day with forages for 14-28d

Stress Care 5:             Feed 5# per hd per day with limited forages up to 28d

In Combination with:

Stress Care Tub:         225# Tub per 40 hd or 60# Tub per 10 hd

Why Stress Care in Your Weaning Program?

  • Pellets that are formulated to provide the correct balance of nutrients required for starting calves to encourage intake, health and weight gains.
  • Palatable pellets that encourage calves just weaned off cow and/or stressed during transportation to begin to eat dry feed and recover from the stresses of weaning and shipping.
  • Contain Availa 4, rapidly restores trace mineral levels to support immune system of nutritionally challenged, stressed cattle.
  • Contains Diamond V for better palatability, maintained feed intake, improved feed digestibility and utilization.
  • Medicated and Non-medicated versions available.

Consult with your All American Co-op beef consultant to help you get the program that will fit your operation.

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