Might be a Good Year to Creep Feed Calves

Kentucky beef producers might start creep feeding calves because cattle prices are at a record-high. Creep feeding is when producers provide supplemental feed to animals that are still nursing as a way to efficiently help them grow and attain a higher weaning weight. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment beef specialist, Jeff Lehmkuhler, does not normally support this feeding method, but believes that if producers are careful, they could cash in.

“As we think about creep feeding, increased pounds at weaning do not necessarily result in a direct increase in profitability,” he said. “We need to more accurately account for feed costs, price slide, equipment investment and labor inputs to look at the potential increase in profit,” said Lehmkuhler.

Creep feeding also comes with some concerns: excessively conditioning replacement heifers, inducing acidosis and getting feeders too fleshy.

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