*** FEED BEEF - MFA Beef Programs

   MFA Beef Programs

Click for printable version

Find Your Local MFA Store

The beef cow plays a vital role in agriculture because of her ability to convert grass, roughage and by-products into an edible product: beef. Missouri, ranking second in total cow numbers, is one of the best areas in the nation for economical beef production.

The objective of cattle producers is to put meat on the table at a price most people can afford and still make a decent living for themselves. Maximum profitability of the cow/calf operation can be realized if these objectives are followed:

    1.)   Wean one calf per cow each 12 months.
    2.)   Wean hefty, high quality calves.  
    3.)   Watch the number of calves weaned per cow exposed – a key ratio in reproductive and economic  performance.

A sound genetic base, good management and proper nutrition will help meet these goals.

MFA beef feeding programs and suggestions are based on the most recent research available. MFA maintains a beef research farm at Marshall, Missouri. Using the most modern management practices, strategies and technology, our research is results-driven from a practical application standpoint. Emphasis is based on the following ideas:

    1.)   Keeping the cow herd in condition for optimum reproductive performance.
    2.)   Weaning the greatest number of pounds per calf per cow. 
    3.)   Presenting a healthy and uniform calf crop to the feeder market. 
    4.)   Doing the above at an optimum economical level to support the profitability of our customers.

MFA feed mills are continuously updated and modernized to take advantage of new manufacturing technologies. This ensures the milling of MFA beef feed in an efficient and economic manner so each MFA beef feed does the job for which it is formulated efficiently and economically.

Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cows

                                Daily Requirements for a 1,1000-lb. cow 
Stage of Production   TDN lbs.  Crude Protein  Calcium  Phosphorous lbs.  Vitamin A IUs
Dry Pregnant Mature Cows in Middle 1/3 of Pregnancy  8.6  .94  .029  .029  12,000
Dry Pregnant Mature Cows in Last 1/3 of Pregancy   10.0 1.12   .034  .034  25,000
Nursing Cows Average Milking First 3 to 4 Months 11.7     1.98  .060  .060  39,000
 Nursing Cows Superior Milking First 3 to 4 Months  14.8  2.84  .100  .093  47,000
 *Adapted from the National Research Council, Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cattle.

Suggestions for Feeding Beef Cattle

Feeding instructions are given on each tag. A forage sample should be the first step before a recommendation. Offer appropriate MFA Gold Star Minerals free-choice.

Dry Cows

1. To ensure productive calving, lactation and re-breeding, cows should be a BCS 5 at calving -
        - BCS 6 for heifers. 
    For thin cows: 
        - Feed free-choice MFA Cattle Charge or MFA Stock Guard until cows reach desired body condition.
2. Once cows reach desired body condition, MFA cubes or protein supplements, along with good quality hay, will meet cows’
     maintenance needs and keep them in shape for calving, lactation and re-breeding. 
    - Cattle Breeder 20 Cubes (2 lbs. per head per day) 
    - Salt Mix No. 1 or 2 (free choice)  
    - 16% Range Cubes (3-5 lbs. per head per day)  
    - Cattle Charge (3-5 lbs. per head per day)  
    - Stock Guard (3-5 lbs. per head per day)

Lactating Cows

1. Nutrient requirements of heavy milking, nursing cows are greater than those of dry cows. Lactating cows need three
     times more crude protein, calcium and phosphorus and almost twice the TDN. A good milking cow cannot meet these
     requirements with average fescue hay. She may need a good protein and energy supplement for maximum potential 

    - Cattle Charge (3-5 lbs. per head per day) 
    - Cattle Breeder 20 Cubes (2 lbs. per head per day)   
    - Salt Mix No. 1 or 2 (free-choice)   
    - Stock Guard (3-5 lbs. per head per day) 
    - 16% Range Cubes (3-5 lbs. per head per day)   
    - Corn and MFA Beef Supplement

Creeping Calves

    - Cattle Charge w/BT free-choice until weaning   
    - Cattle Charge w/BT free-choice until calves reach 400 lbs., followed by Stock Guard BT free-choice until weaning   
    - Beef Creep BT free-choice until weaning

Weaning/Preconditioning Calves

- Cattle Charge full-fed or fed at 10 lbs. per head per day for the first 14-21 days of weaning 
    1. Depending on condition, calves may then be hand-fed Cattle Charge at a minimum of 1.5% of body weight or TrendSetter
        at a minimum of 1% of body weight. 
    2. From 3-5 days prior to marketing, Cattle Charge should be fed at 10 lbs. per head per day.

Backgrounding Heifers, Steers and Replacement Heifers

- TrendSetter Developer Ration (1% of body weight) plus hay  
- Cattle Charge w/BT (1-2% of body weight plus hay  
- Stock Guard BT (1-2% of body weight)  
- Cattle Charge Stocker Mix (free-choice) plus hay  
- Corn plus MFA Beef Supplement (1-2% of body weight) plus hay

Finishing Beef Cattle

(Feed along with 2 lbs. dry hay or equivalent roughage)   
    - Grain plus 1.0 lb. Super Beef 55-30 BT-600   
    - Grain plus 1.5 lbs. Super Beef 40 BT-400   
    - Grain plus 1.5 lbs. Natural 36 Supplement   
    - Grain plus 2.0 lbs. Super Beef 32 BT-300

Hand feed completes and concentrates until animals are used to high grain intakes. To full feed grain mixes, increase grain gradually, beginning with no more than 1 lb. of grain mix per 100 lbs. body weight, then increase gradually over the next two to three weeks. On full feed, cattle will consume 2 to 3 lbs. per 100 lbs. of body weight.

For more information, contact Janice Spears at

Return to Beef Introductory main page.