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2019 Beef and Sheep Report Cover

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Feeding the Backgrounding Calf

Feed cost is the primary input in backgrounding calves and coupled with gain performance, the major determent of cost of gain and feeding margins. While corn prices have been rising and volatile in recent weeks, there are diverse, plentiful and alternative feed supplies in the state including processing co-products and some damaged grains which should be considered.

Targeted calf performance can be achieved by utilizing available feeds and supplements in rations formulated to meet animal requirements for protein, energy, minerals and dry matter intake. Typically backgrounding rations using forages and concentrate feeds in similar proportions will produce good gains for growing calves at 2-2.5 pounds per day without over conditioning.

Check out the video below for more about feeding backgrounded calves. Click here for more information on backgrounding cattle.

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