LCF is a forage based cattle operation. Our grazing is divided between warm season grasses (common and hybrid Bermuda, Bahia, and Dallas grasses) and cool season grasses (non-toxic endophyte Max-Q fescue and ryegrass). The ryegrass is utilized for grazing and stored forage. We practice rotational grazing as a means of maximizing the use of the forage production.
LCF utilizes high quality free choice minerals formulated to complement the forage and to enhance the reproduction efficiency and immune status of the cattle.
Nursing cows are limit fed to bring the calves in close proximity of farm workers and to bunk train the calves. Recently, we at Little Creek have revised our nursing calf feeding program. In the past, we have chosen not to creep feed nursing calves; however the decision to alter the feeding strategy was made to mimic the feeding programs of our fellow dairy producers. As such, we are limit feeding the nursing calves at a graduated rate of up to approximately five pounds per head per day. We feel that this practice was necessary to develop our herd bull prospects and heifers to achieve their maximum potential, with optimal carcass qualities and milking ability as the overall goal.
Additionally, we believe the steady rate of growth gain puts us at an advantage when marketing our steers for slaughter as feeders or finished as freezer beef. Our genetics have allowed us to process our animals at a very respectable age (13 – 16 months), with impressive yield and quality grades. This makes us very competitive with the carcass qualities, yield grades and slaughter times of the British breeds/British crosses.
After weaning, calves graze high quality forage or are fed baleage. They continue to be supplemented with a 16% protein feed (one pound per 100 pounds body weight) to get a uniform rate of growth. (Adverse weather conditions may dictate changes to our feeding program.) We do not feed for maximum weight gain.