Friday, May 21, 2010

Creep Feeding our Calves

We have now moved most of our cows and their calves to pasture.  The calves need a little 'extra' since they are still nursing.  This is why we creep feed.  According to Iowa State University creep feeding is defined as follows:

Creep feeding is the practice of providing supplemental
feed to nursing calves, usually with the use of a creep
gate large enough for calves to enter the feeding area,
but too small to allow cows to pass.
Creep feed provides a high protein supplement for the growing calves.  There are many mixtures of creep feeds that can be used, depending on the calves, pasture conditions, etc.  We have our creep feed specially mixed at one of our local feed mills.  It is a mixture of distillers and soybean hulls.  For those of you who are not familiar, distillers is a corn by-product of the ethanol process.  It is an excellent, less expensive source of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals.  We have an ethanol plant in our town, so it is also readily available.  We also feed distillers to our cows, bulls and mix it in with our chicken feed. 

Okay, back to the topic at hand.  Creep feeding requires a special feeder called....a creep feeder.  Our creep feeder is old, but it was also free. Hey, can't beat that! This is how we do it:

1.  Load up everything and drive to the pasture in the Ranger (our favorite mode of transportation this time of year).

2.  Feed the mamas at the bunks first.

3.  Open the top of the creep feeder. 

4.  Fill 'er up!

5.  Pet the calves a little.  Notice the gate that the calves, but not the cows, can get in to eat.

6.  Supper time!

Have a great day everybody!


  1. Goodness...big babies already!! They look nice sleek and healthy there!! What good info on your creep feedin...I would love to inherit a creep feeder myself. Seems they are a little expensive, so I watch for a good auction on occassion. Your grass is super lush, we are just getting it warmed up around here and it's finally starting to take off. Sounds like good storms brewing again today! I still love this time of year though!! Great pictures!!

  2. I love my new ranger also. Wouldn't be able to get around without it. The calves are looking great, and I'm sure they appreciate that extra feed.

  3. Thanks for stoppin' by my blog! Wish I could pet our calves. They are crazy lil suckers!

  4. You have a nice looking herd! That grass is wonderful!

  5. Hi Chris, I am looking for a photo of calves at a creep feeder for a story in American Cattlemen magazine. Would you mind if I used one of yours? #5 or #6. We would give you credit and I can caption it with your husband's name and your Iowa Farm (I'm in Des Moines). Please let me know ASAP.