Feeding Out Holstein Bull Calves to Finish for Extra Profit

The calves produced on a dairy theoretically should be half heifers and half bulls.  The heifers are potential herd replacements and the bull calves will more than likely end up in the meat industry.  The question is who will raise this animal to finish weight? At this time there is the potential to double the profit per animal by finishing these bull calves out.  Current markets have 100 pound Holstein bull calves priced at about $250.00.   There is some extra risk in feeding these animals out as opposed to selling them shortly after birth due to death losses and market fluctuations.  However, if done correctly the farm can realize about an extra $250.00 profit above just selling the calf.  On a 100 cow dairy (assuming a 50% bull calf crop) there could be 50 head to raise.  This could return an approximate profit of $25,000.00 to the operation. These bull calves should be banded or castrated and then can be raised much the same as the heifer calves.  Once they reach 350-400 pounds they can be put on a higher energy growing ration. This ration will increase in energy and decrease in protein percent as the animal grows to its finish weight.  It will take about 13-14 months from birth to finish with quality feed stuffs.   A typical steer ration would consist of either dry or high moisture corn, corn silage, haylage or dry hay, a protein source, and a mineral mix.  To attain the maximum rate of gain one should use an ionophore and implants.   The quicker a steer is finished usually has a more profitable outcome due...

Recap: ANC National Sales Meeting April 5-7, 2016

Last week, ANC held our annual National Sales Meeting in Madison, WI at the Holiday Inn at the American Center.  With so many new and exciting changes and a new line-up of brand new employees and consultants, our team rolled in on Tuesday night with anticipation of the next few days of fellowship and learning together. On Wednesday, April 6th the meeting officially kicked off with a message from Sarah Kuechle, Form-A-Feed Director of Marketing, about the many synergies of the Nelson Family of Companies. She addressed how each company in the Nelson Family of Companies is a resource for one another.  If someone within ANC does not have a solution to a problem, they have a whole network of quality people from the seven different Nelson Family Companies. Setting the tone for the whole meeting, Mario Flores, also from Form-A-Feed, presented next with his presentation on working together as a team to solve problems on dairies. Out next guest speaker was Phil Cardoso from the University of Illinois, sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition.  He spoke on Cow Comfort, Facilities and Environmental Effects on Dry Matter Intake and Production. Afternoon topics and speakers on Wednesday included Dr. Drew Vermeire from NRV on Ash Contents in Milk Replacer, Rick Mages on Form-A-Feed’s Stealth 5 product and Mitch Deimund from Diamond V on NutriTek and Product Positioning. Wednesday evening was topped off with an award’s banquet.  Awards were handed out to the independent Elite Leaders, Curt Hollinger and Russ Funke.  The following employees and consultants were recognized for their years of service: 5 years: Tim Schamberger, Kelly Ducat and Bill Seuffer,...