When purchasing a Creep feed, there are a few factors to consider. We examine the major ones below;
Intake of Creep feed is not solely responsible on the creep feed itself, rather volume and quality of milk available on the mother, and volume and quality of grass intake are major factors influencing speed of intake of creep feed.
A good creep feed however will positively influence speed of intake by including flavourings or making the formulation more palatable with the addition of Ingredients such as Molasses and or flakes for differing textures.
G&M’s Omega Sprint Creep feed has the flavouring Addarome added as standard, this has been shown to influence earlier intake, and larger Dry Matter intakes over longer periods of time.
Energy sources should be varied, and not only from Cereals, or namely starch. Creep feeds which are too high in starch volume (typically closer to 30% and upwards) may cause the calf to eat less volume of the creep due to rumen health upset, especially when the grain has been bruised or smashed.
High starch content creep feeds may also push the store animal to lay down excess energy as fat cover, something which is not required, especially if going to be sold as Store cattle.
Having oil(s) as a source of energy is also a good idea, where this will not only supply energy in a different form but can help to keep skin condition healthy and provide “bloom” to the animal prior to sale.
A typical creep feed only requires an energy of around 12.5 ME/Kg.
Our Omega Sprint has a spectrum of energy sources in starch (24%), Sugar (6%) and Oil (3.5%). Oil comes from both Distillers grains and Salmon Oil, providing healthy skin and coat to the animal.
Again, like palatability, protein intake by the calf is varied from protein in Grass (~20 to 30%), mothers milk (~20 to 26%) and thereafter the availability of each. Therefore, it is usually advisable to aim for a protein level of between 14 and 16% within the creep feed.
This means that by the time Dry Matter Intakes of Creep feed reach a higher level (a month or so after introducing), then overall protein intake is not too high when fed alongside varying volumes of grass.
Overall intake of Protein which is too high, will only result in the calf using up energy to get rid of excess protein, something which is not economical to the calf or the farmer.
Omega Sprint is produced to a protein level of 15%, which fits in with most environments the calf will be influenced by.
Check out our Omega Sprint here: https://www.galloway-macleod.co.uk/index.php/omega-sprint.html