To be competitive as a show steer, large-frame steers such as Charolais, Simmental, Salers, Maine Anjou and Chianina crosses need to weigh between 1,200 to 1,400 pounds and medium-frame steers such as Hereford and Angus should weigh around 1,100 pounds at finish weight. Proper supplements to enhance growth of the steer, methods of feeding to protect its structure and vitamins and oils to add shine to the coat are key to raising a champion animal.
Things You'll Need
- 6- to 8-inch-deep, 12-inch-wide, 24-inch-long feed trough
- High-quality alfalfa hay and grass hay
- Crimped oats
- Cracked or rolled corn
- Soybean meal or commercial protein supplements
- Mineral mix
- Vitamin A-D-E complex
- Milk replacer or linseed oil meal
Feed either a commercially produced show grain mix or make your own which should be made up of about 60 percent crimped oats, 25 percent cracked or rolled corn and 15 percent soybean meal or commercial protein pellets. Begin feeding the calf 3-6 lbs. of grain mix per feeding (6-12 lbs. per day) and gradually increase the amount of grain it eats by 1/2 lb. per day over the next two to three weeks until it is eating about 2.5 percent of its body weight in grain a day. Show calves need to gain about 2 ½ pounds a day, so they eat approximately 15 lbs. of feed a day. Feed the calf in two feedings daily at the same time each morning and evening.
Feed the calf at least 4-5 lbs. of high-quality alfalfa hay daily. If alfalfa hay causes diarrhea, mix it half and half with grass hay.
Supplement grain and hay with vitamins and minerals. Use a vitamin A-D-E complex and a commercial mineral mix available at feed stores. Follow dosage instructions for the products. Commercial grain mixes often already have vitamin and mineral supplements added so additional supplements aren’t necessary when feeding these products..
Add 1 cup of linseed oil or milk replacer to the feed a day to help improve the quality of the steer’s coat. Linseed oil and milk replacer are high in fat and improve the hair.
Use a 6- to 8-inch-deep, 12-inch-wide, 24-inch-long feed trough. The top of the feed trough should be at least 12 inches and no more than 20 inches from the ground, depending on the calf’s height. An excessively high trough will cause a calf to have a low back. Making calves eat off the ground will cause rough shoulders.
Clean out the feed trough prior to each feeding. Feed allowed to accumulate from feeding to feeding will result in less food intake and the steer’s growth will decline. Watch to see if large amounts of food are left over, it indicates a decrease in feed intake. Add a small amount of molasses to the grain mix to stimulate consumption.