Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
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Tuesday, May 1 2018 7:00 AM
By Anne Burkholder

Feed Me Regularly!

We have a family joke that when Matt and I were married in June of 1996, that he promised to “love, honor, cherish, and feed me regularly.” I don’t like to be hungry and am a huge believer in eating healthy meals at regular intervals. My creature of habit nature served me well during my pre-farm athletic career, and it turns out that I’ve actually got quite a bit in common with my cattle… Just as eating well balanced meals regularly helps me to maintain good health, it also works to ensure that the cattle in our feedyards remain comfortable and healthy.

It’s impossible to talk about a good meal schedule without discussing breakfast, as many health professionals deem breakfast as the most important meal of the day. From kick-starting your metabolism -> to giving you energy to stay focused during the day –> to getting a jump start on fueling your body with the nutrients that it needs to be healthy –> BREAKFAST is your best friend!

This month, we’ll visit Barton County Feeders to better understand how the delivery of a well-balanced breakfast makes for happy and healthy cattle.

To start your day at Barton County Feeders means getting up early – really early – where Alan and Kevin read bunks at 4:30am. Bunks are cattle dishes/plates,and part of ensuring that our animals eat the correct amount of food each day requires diligent human bunk readers. Alan and Kevin start the morning looking at each animal’s plate to see if it ate all of the food provided the day before. They can then use this information to determine how much food to give to the animal today. Bunk reading allows for a detailed daily nutritional plan for the cattle.

We learned last month that cattle nutritionists create the rations (casseroles) that the cattle eat. This ensures that they are well-balanced and provide for each animal’s nutrient needs. Alan’s team has the daily nutritional plan mapped out by 5:30am when the feedtrucks begin to deliver breakfast to the cattle. Every animal has received a healthy breakfast by 9:00am.

In fact, each animal at Barton County Feeders receives breakfast within a 15 minute window every day. Today, calf #77429 received breakfast at 6:15am and tomorrow he’ll receive breakfast between 6:07am and 6:22am. And the next day…And the next day. We know that our animals are creatures of habit and recognize that consistent breakfast delivery sets them up for a comfortable life on our farms.

While breakfast is delivered at the same time every day, the particular ration (meal) that the animals receive depends on their individual needs. Barton County Feeders has four different rations available to feed to the cattle depending on their age, size, and the number of days that the animals have been at the feed yard. Each ration contains ingredients that are carefully measured and blended to ensure optimal nutritional quality.

It’s really not much different than cooking an egg casserole to feed to your family. Eggs, milk, cheese, and fresh vegetables are measured, mixed, and cooked in order to provide a healthy energy source to fuel your days. Just as you consistently fuel your body for good health, we also fuel our animals to help them maintain optimal comfort during their time on our farms!

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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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