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Feeding Cattle For Summer Shows

  • 10-05-2022 5:05pm
    Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭ GiantPencil

    Trying to attend some cattle shows this year and have been doing it for the last 5 years and I'm at a crossroads around feeding. Every year I notice my cattle are always looking lighter and less conditioned than others so I'm re-thinking my feeding approach. How are others doing it? I get a sense when I ask others at shows they only half tell me what they do so as to not lose that edge.

    Is sourcing my own raw materials like Soy Bean etc the way to go and bring it to a mill to mix up or is sticking what I currently use, Red Mills Pedigree ration, the way to go?

    Then I wonder am I just not feeding them enough - typically, I give show heifers around 2kgs a day which they eat in one go every evening, should I be thinking more around ad lib feeding so they can come and go to it and possibly eat more?

    As a result of my cattle still not being up to scratch come June/July/August time I find myself giving them meal as soon as they go out in March or April as a way of getting them looking ok for shows, should I be feeding more over a more concentrated window of time like double the quantity and only do it for 8 weeks out from show time?

    Any advice appreciated!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ DBK1

    I’d have no massive experience of show cattle but suck calves are getting 2kgs a day of meal here at the minute. Id imagine 2kgs for a show animal is only teasing them really!

    I’ve a neighbour here that keeps pedigree Charlaois and brings them to shows, the same man would be very tight when it comes to spending money, and I know he’d be giving 10kgs + a day to show cattle.

    Depending on the size of your stock the difference in 2kg a day and ad-lib could be huge. A 500kg+ animal could easily consume 15 - 20kgs a day on ad-lib when they get used to it, surely there’s a happy medium?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,573 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    The cattle you're competing with are probably adlib feeding, we used to show sheep and unless you were adlib feeding you'd be at nothing.

    We'd always reduce feeding coming to the breeding/sales season though, but the farmers that'd criticise the fed rams would be the very ones giving big money for obviously overfed rams

  • Registered Users Posts: 391 ✭✭ furandfeather

    As a guideYou’d need to be feeding between 1 and 2% of the weight of the animal.

    fed over at least 2 feeds preferably 3 feeds

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,339 ✭✭✭✭ Base price

    When I used to show cattle we would start feeding in November and increase the amount of feed over the Winter. The main show was the RDS Spring Show which always took place the first week in May. In the pre BSE days we would head to Balmoral which took place a week later. After those two shows you could let the cattle down and reduce inputs. They would carry enough condition (along with grazing) to compete at the County shows.