Let them be cattle

By: Miles Toenyes

September 2021

It’s about that time again for most of us. Time to get those cattle projects bought and start gearing up for winter, spring, and summer shows again! Crazy to think about since we just wrapped up summer 2021 show season, but so fun to get out there, start shopping around and see those baby show calves running around and predicting what might they become at your goal endpoint.

As a cattle raiser, buyer, seller, and feeder myself, I realize just how important this time of year is to you all. Genetics, the animals build, health, and a good feed program are such important pieces of the puzzle. I want to be transparent here, I obviously work for a feed company, but at Show-Rite we understand that there’s many factors of making a calf look good, other than just good feed. However, we do believe it’s a large part of the process and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as you make it.

I used to get a lot of calves home and think to myself, “okay, if I feed this, this, and this, oh and a little of this… I can achieve what I want that animal to look like.” So we fed it all. It was complicated but we thought we were doing what was necessary. Yet, every time we would get to the show it always seemed like our cattle were behind on condition and muscle. A good show cattle feeder, long time cattle enthusiast, and good ol’ cowboy brought something to my attention a handful of years back. He said, “hey, just let cattle be cattle. Keep them healthy and you’ll keep them eating.” So, we did just that. We simplified. We kept our feed stored right, made sure the waterers were clean, kept the cattle healthy and just fed them nothing but the good Show-Rite feed. I’ll tell ya what, it’s not always perfect, but we struggle a heck of a lot less now in terms of the way those animals look and mature from the time we get them home and on feed.

First things first, when I bring a calf home from anywhere, I talk to my vet on what I need to do to keep them healthy here at my place. Then from there, I break that calf down identifying their strengths and weaknesses and this helps identify what I need to feed. Most of the time, I’ll start every calf on Show-Rite Cruiser. That tends to get every calf off to a good start, regardless of their type and kind. If it’s a market animal, I’ll then switch to Show-Rite Throttled up or Accelerator about December 1, maybe earlier, maybe later. Just depends on what the calf looks like. For breeding heifers I’ll keep them on Cruiser for the duration of their show career, unless they start getting too fat, I’ll then switch to Show-Rite HF.

All the feeds above can be explained well at www.showrite.com, or you can contact any of our team at your convenience. You can even send us pictures and videos of your new project and we can help identify the right feeding program for them.

Fresh feed that’s highly formulated and includes all the goodies in one bag is what we focus on at Show-Rite and it’s our goal to cover those factors for your project. We do have additives and trust me, THEY WORK! Additives to help generate more muscle, fat, or body. I feed these as I get further into the feeding and growth phases of the cattle. This time of year and the stage of the game we’re in, we just keep it simple.

Remember, what those calves are eating right now is equally as important as what they will eat 30 days before the fair. There are certainly different ways to feed calves and everyone has their own techniques. But like that ol’ cowboy told me, it’s okay to “just let them be cattle”.