Homemade calf starter

I know you can buy calf starter from the feed store. It comes balanced with grains, protein, vitamins and minerals for the growing calf. It also comes with chemicals and antibiotics which is why we’re raising our own calves in the first place.

In the book, “Raising a Calf for Beef” by Phyllis Hobson, there’s 3 recipes for calf starter. For me to follow one of these recipes exactly, I’d be buying up to 60 kg or 132 lbs of grain. That’s a lot of grain for 2 little calves! So I came up with an adaption to one of the recipes using a grain mix I can buy called 60/30/10 in a 20 kg (44 lb) bag. It’s 60% oats, 30% barley 10% corn and sprayed with molasses. The grains are cracked or crushed. So that’s my starting point. I used a kitchen scale for this recipe.

Calf Starter
5 lbs of 60/30/10
½ cup molasses
2 tsp. salt
½ oz. cod liver oil
½ lb. dry milk powder

This fills a 6L or 1½ gallon pail. Which is plenty until they start to really eat it. Mixing too much is risking the grain turning mouldy before it can be used up. The calves seem to like it and it feels really good to make my own. It saves us a little money too.


6 responses

    • I don’t know about in the U.S. but for that matter, I don’t know about here in Canada either. I would assume that the corn is GMO unless otherwise stated.

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