Feed Forum



Preparing for the Mud

By Shannon Voegele, Nutritional Consultant

Even though I’m sure many of you are sick of the snow we sure needed this moisture in our area.  With that being said, it’s time to start preparing for the spring “mud season”.

You’ve all felt the effects on yourself trudging through the muddy lots pulling one boot out at a time like a suction cup.  Cows trudging through the mud face the same challenges.  This requires more energy which reduces the efficiency of feed conversion.  Some of them might also be nursing calves which also adds a strain to their bodies.  This would be a good time for us to discuss adding trace mineral supplements to your program to enhance feed digestion and intake.  According to research, deep mud can increase energy requirements by up to 30%.  Monitor feed intake closely.  You may need to move the location of where you are feeding if they are backing off feed if the mud is too deep to get to the feed source.  We may need to look at changing up some rations this year to get us through calving season.  Make sure you are keeping a close eye on calves being born in the mud.  A lot of times those calves have a hard time regulating body temp and are more susceptible to disease.

Give us a call to discuss how we can help keep your herd ahead of the game this upcoming spring.  Looking forward to getting cattle on green grass soon!





By Brooke Brunsvig, Nutritional Consultant

Its Spring… kind of… or getting closer anyway. Cow/calf producers are starting to or going to soon be calving and that brings to mind the importance of colostrum. We all know, we’ve heard time and time again, that it is important… but seriously. Calves are born with NO innate immune system and rely fully on the transfer from the dam via colostrum. Calves that don’t receive this passive immune transfer are 50-75% more likely to in the first 3 weeks. Calves that do survive without it will constantly be challenged with disease and be less efficient and productive animals… costing you more money than a pack of colostrum replacer. When in doubt or following a particularly difficult birth, SUPPLEMENT and quickly! Get about two quarts in the calf within the first 4 hours, but ideally the first 30 minutes, and a gallon within the first 12 hours. After 24 hours the calf’s digestive tract loses the ability to absorb the antibodies and get therefore any immune protection from the colostrum. According to the guys at K-State, for biosecurity reasons, it is no longer recommended to use colostrum from a dairy or any animal outside your herd. The best option is from the dam, the second-best option is from another cow in your herd and the third option is a commercial supplement or replacer and be sure to note the difference. I’m a huge proponent of OptiPrime colostrum replacer from Hubbard. It is easy to mix and high quality. For more information check out this article 5 colostrum questions answered (beefmagazine.com) or give me a call anytime.

At the risk of being too lengthy, I must bring up the fact that bull sale season is in full swing. Evaluate your specific operation's goals for the calves and look at the pertinent EPDs for those goals. Most importantly, however, is successful breeding to put a calf on the ground which is largely affected by how the bull has been raised until purchase and how he’s managed after purchase. Do breeding soundness exams 45 to 60 days prior to turnout to ensure fertility and correct physiology to breed and keep bulls in correct, “athletic”, body condition. Three to five months before turnout, make sure bulls have a good vitamin and mineral supplement and adequate feed to obtain ideal (6-6.5) body condition score by that time; too thin and they may not have the energy to cover the cows they need to, and excess weight could have a negative impact on soundness and stamina.




Broilers and Layers

By Tyler McCoy, Feed Department Manager

Although winter is currently in full swing, Easter is right around the corner which means that it is time to prepare for broiler season. The CFC feed department provides starter, grower, and finisher diets for broilers and included below is a chart of our recommendations on how long each product should be fed. All products will be available within the next month and please feel free to call or stop in so that we can discuss which option(s) will be best for your birds.

I have been reading a lot of forums and have noticed a trend of people having issues with their older pullets/hens not laying. I know a lot of people believe that they may not be laying due to the cold temperature outside or due to the hens being too old, but that is simply not true.  One thing that we do this time of year is to increase the protein in layer feed to 18%. Two other easy tricks that will help is to first put your lights on timers to allow only six hours of darkness each night and secondly to pull all the feed at night. Those little tricks will help get those gals back on track. If you have any questions at all, please call me and I would be happy to help find answers to all your flock questions. Aside from broiler and layer feed, we also sell a gamebird product line that can be fed to turkeys, quail, ducks and chuckers. As always thanks for making CFC your feed destination.





Are you thinking about creep feeding?
Call a Nutritional Consultant or Location Manager for pricing and availability today.

Keep our feedlot programs in mind once you wean your calves.
Call a Nutritional Consultant or Location Manager for details.

Central Farmers Cooperative is dedicated to serving our patrons.
Please call the location nearest you to find out how one of our professional staff members can help you.


 Feed Staff

Tyler McCoy
Department Manager
Cell: 605-421-0872

Brooke Brunsvig
Beef Consultant
Cell: 605-480-4147  


Shannon Voegele
Nutritional Consultant
Cell: 605-750-0207