As forages experience a late-summer, early-fall downturn in yield and quality, cow-calf producers might want to consider creep feeding to increase weaning weights. However, the efficiency of utilization of supplemental feed for gain by calves is highly variable and depends on the quality and quantity of feed offered, say Alfredo DiCostanzo and Beka Gill of the University of Minnesota Beef Team.
The efficiency of conversion of supplemental feed to gain is from 5-15 lbs. creep feed/lb. gain over un-supplemented calves. At relatively low creep feed price (4¢/lb.) and relatively high feeder calf prices ($1/lb.+), poor efficiencies (10-15 lbs. creep feed/lb. additional gain) of conversion are yet sufficient to yield positive returns to investment in creep feed. However, when either feed price is high, or price received for feeder calves is low, there will be negative returns to investment in creep feed.
-- Clint Peck