Increase value of stock by feeding for profit
Published 03/08/2010 | 05:00
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.