Winter feeding options for calves

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Source: Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives

Many producers may be looking at retaining animals on the farm this fall, in particular producers who would normally be selling calves. The following budgets are designed as a guideline only, to assist producers in estimating feed, other operating costs, and the fixed costs that may be involved in retaining animals under several feeding regimes. These will help to determine what the cost may be, to carry animals on the farm, to extend into a more distant marketing window. It will nonetheless remain critical to determine an acceptable financial situation if calves are marketed in the fall as usual. Perhaps cattle producers may also choose to sit on two sides of the fence – marketing some calves and retaining the rest. In these budgets, fixed costs have not been included but generally range from $20 – $22 per head. Be certain that you have adequate quantity and quality water and feed supplies on hand before starting a feeding program. Feed values used are the same as the previous Ration Planning article.

Backgrounding Costs
450–650 lbs
(1.5 lbs/day for 130 days)
Backgrounding Costs
500–900 lbs
(2.5 lbs/day for 160 days)
Feedlot Finishing Costs
650–1400 lbs
(3 lbs/day for 250 days)
Shortkeep Feeder Costs
850–1400 lbs
(3.5 lbs/day for 157 days)
Operating Costs Cost/Head Cost/Head Cost/Head Cost/Head
Feed Costs
Ground Barley 18.96 37.92 168.62 137.38
Barley Silage 73.44 42.19 25.43
Hay 67.60 2.60 2.44
Supplement 14.30 17.60 22.00 12.95
Total Feed Costs $100.86 $131.56 $235.25 $175.76
Other Operating Costs
Straw 5.20 6.40 11.00 5.50
Veterinary Medicine and Supplies 15.34 15.34 17.73 10.68
Annual Fuel and Repair Costs 3.60 4.50 7.20 7.20
Utilities 4.48 5.60 5.60 5.60
Insurance 1.43 1.43 1.46 1.46
Manure Removal 4.32 5.40 5.40 5.40
Barn and Office Supplies 0.26 0.32 0.32 0.32
Death Loss 1.02 1.28 1.42 0.53
Subtotal Operating Costs 136.51 171.83 285.38 212.45
Operating Interest 1.22 1.88 4.86 2.28
Total Operating Costs $137.73 $173.71 $290.24 $214.73

 

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