GFM Network News


Creep feeding may be a necessity

Creep feeding may be a necessity

With dry growing conditions, supplemental feed may be needed to make up for milk and grass shortfall

Bridging the nutrient gap between mothers’ milk and pastures has always been the traditional purpose for creep feeding spring calves on many commercial cow-calf operations. Some producers put creep feeders out during the late summer when pasture is mature and milk of the average cow can only meet 50 per cent of her growing calf’s […] Read more

Even though pastures often start out in good condition, creep feed can have a fit as grass quality begins to decline later in the season.

Five benefits of creep feeding calves

Always an ROI, some years better than others

Over the years, I have discovered that there are three types of beef producers who are creep feeding spring calves. 1. Those who don’t creep feed. 2. Those who sometimes creep feed if it makes economic sense, and 3. Producers who routinely creap feed as a matter of course. Although, I have heard almost-convincing arguments […] Read more


Either store-bought or homemade creep feeder designs, stocked with a proper ration, can be used in early spring.

Creep feeding spring calves pays dividends

This program pencils out to a $23 per head net premium in 2019

It’s always heartwarming to see the twitch of a spring calf’s tail as it nurses its mum. As this calf approaches three months of age, the brood cow’s milk production decreases, only supplying about half of the calf’s nutrient requirements. The rest must be delivered by sprouting pastures. But that could spell trouble to calf […] Read more



This is one example of a creep area. The metal panels can be moved to change the size of the well bedded creep area. Smaller (calf-size) access points have been created at the front to let calves enter, but keep cows out.

Provide calves a place of their own soon after birth

Animal Health: Calf hutches or creep areas help in disease prevention

Calf hutches are used by many producers at calving season and for very good reason. They are especially important if calving early in inclement weather. With the increasing size of our herds, young calves need to get away from the crowded stress of the herd. Even summer-calving herds will find hutches used for shade and […] Read more

Consider weaning calves early this fall

Consider weaning calves early this fall

Creep feeding gives calves a chance to grow, takes pressure off cows

Recently, I was at drought ground zero in southern Saskatchewan and passed a group of about 50 blonde and whiteface cows and calves grazing dried-out pasture. The thin condition of the cows caught my attention and their calves looked gaunt and on the small side. My immediate reaction was this cow-calf herd was a good […] Read more


Pencil the profits of creep feeding

Pencil the profits of creep feeding

In a 300-head herd it could mean about $7,000 worth of extra gain

For much of this summer a lot of rain has fallen across the Prairies and has made pastures lush with green grass. Many beef cow-calf producers which creep spring calves have found cows are literarily bursting with milk, so their spring calves are making few visits to the calf feeders. It has been my experience […] Read more

Money to be made in creep feeding calves

Money to be made in creep feeding calves

At least pencil it out for your farm — you could be leaving $85 per head on the table

As a beef nutritionist, I have advocated creep feeding spring calves for years. That’s because as feeder cattle prices have steadily risen, there was a real profit due to creep feeding as well as some decent side-benefits. I haven’t changed my position for 2015 and advise each cow-calf operator to calculate their own situation and […] Read more


Pencil out creep feeding economics

Pencil out creep feeding economics

There's a lot more to gain than just cost benefits

Record-high prices for feeder cattle and modest grain costs make creep feeding spring calves this year a very attractive option. However, before putting creep feeders on pasture, each operator should pencil out the economic return of creep feeding and take note of any relevant side benefits. It’s also important to know the main objective of […] Read more