Increase value of stock by feeding for profit
TO FEED or not to feed, that is the question. My own opinion is that it always pays to feed.
When it comes to weanlings, especially if they are for selling, I am even more convinced about the merits of feeding.
No other bovine animal has the conversion rates of the weanling and, more particularly, the well-conformed weanling bull, where a 4:1 rate is possible, ie feed 4kg of meal and gain 1kg of liveweight. Heifers and plainer bulls have conversion rates of 5:1 or 6:1.
One of the many benefits of the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme was to encourage farmers to feed the calf for four weeks prior to weaning and two weeks after.
A good 16pc ration in my local Arrabawn store at the moment is costing €200-210/t. Many farmers feed their weanlings ad lib for a minimum of two months. For quality stock this is financially rewarding. For those not feeding ad lib let us take the example below on a top-quality weanling bull that will convert at the 4:1 rate and feed it for the six weeks, averaging out at 2kg ration/day.
Cost of ration: 84kg @ 21c/kg = €17.64/hd.
Extra liveweight gained at 4:1 = 21kg.
Value of extra weight @ €2.50/kg = €52.50.