COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(AcLs of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Florida State University and
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
H. G. Clayton, Director
A CALF CREEP
0. F. GOEN
J. M. JOHNSON
Fig. 1.-Calves raised by creep feeding grow out fast
and sell well.
DETAILS OF PORTABLE CALF CREEP FEEDER.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
CREEP FEEDING CALVES
Creep feeding is a method of feeding calves
supplements and grains and excluding the dams.
The creep is an opening adjustable in height
which allows calves access to the feeding area
but excludes the cows.
ADVANTAGES OF CREEP FEEDING
1. Produces calves for slaughter at a minimum
of expense for feed. Young animals, because of
their lower maintenance requirements, require
less feed per pound of gain than do older cattle.
Gains from calves are therefore cheaper.
2. Adds weight and finish to calves. Under
normal conditions, creep-fed calves will grade
higher and sell at a higher price per pound than
those not creep-fed.
3. Helps to make calves in the group more uni-
form in size.
4. Enables calves to be sold at a younger age,
bringing about a quicker turnover of capital.
5. Cows often maintain their weight better
when calves are creep-fed than when they are not.
6. Furnishes an outlet for the marketing of
grain in the form of cattle, usually at higher than
market price for grain.
CONSTRUCTING AND LOCATING
The creep, which is adjustable in height from
2' 4" to 3' 0", is placed in a fence surrounding an
automatic feeder from which small calves can
feed. A woven wire or rail fence (as shown) may
be used satisfactorily. The rail fence may be port-
able. Gates to allow a truck to be driven alongside
the feeder will prove a great labor saver in keep-
ing the feeder supplied with ample feed. All of
the posts and lumber in the fence and feeder
should be treated against "dry-rot" and termite
A creep should be located at a spot where the
herd is inclined to loiter. A well-drained spot
on high ground near a watering place is a good
location. Keeping mineral boxes near the creep
will aid in holding the cow herd near the creep.
STARTING CALVES ON A CREEP
Calves will begin to eat at three to four weeks
of age. It may be advantageous to grind grain
coarsely to start calves to eating. After calves
reach three months of age it is not necessary to
grind the grain.
FEED FOR THE CREEP
Mixtures of seven or eight parts of coarsely
cracked corn and one part of cottonseed meal or
six parts of cracked corn, two parts oats and one
part cottonseed meal are satisfactory rations for
nursing calves. Soybean oil meal is a satisfactory
substitute for cottonseed meal. Peanut oil meal
is usually unsatisfactory in rations unless it is fed
soon after delivery, because it becomes rancid and
unpalatable very quickly.
Corn and cob meal (ground corn, cobs and
shucks) or other carbohydrate feeds high in fiber,
such as citrus pulp, is not recommended as the
sole source of carbohydrate in a creep ration be-
cause the rumens of calves are not developed t
the extent that the calves can digest efficiently
feeds high in fiber. If citrus pulp is used in
"creep" ration for calves it should not exceed 159
of the total weight of the ration because of it
bulk. Molasses must be fed to calves with caution
as their digestive tracts are easily upset whe
fed in dirty troughs. Troughs in which molass
is fed are hard to keep sufficiently clean to pr<
vent digestive disorders.
1. Usually it will not pay to creep feed calves
the breeder has good pasture throughout the gr
ing season and his cows are good milkers.
2. Usually it will pay to creep feed calves if t
breeder has fair to poor pastures or cows whi
are fair to poor milkers.
3. Usually it will pay to creep feed calves di
ing any bad season. A drought may make a gc
pasture a poor pasture in a few weeks.
4. Usually it will pay to creep feed if the p
ture is fairly heavily stocked.
5. Usually it will pay to creep feed pureb
calves where the breeder is anxious to secure
much growth and development as possible
young bulls and heifers.