Farm Facts About Raising Cattle
From calving and feeding to animal care, get the facts on raising cattle in Illinois.
Calves are typically given additional feed to supplement the nutrition from their mother’s milk. Young, actively growing calves typically need more protein than older cattle. Calves typically eat plenty of forage (dry hay or grass) as well as some corn as part of their daily ration before being weaned.
Once weaned, cattle are kept on grass, hay, or other forages, until approximately 12 to 16 months old. If grass-finished, the cattle are kept on the grass/hay/forage diet until harvest. If grain-finished, cattle transition to a diet higher in corn or soybean meal, as well as grass or hay, for the next four to six months until harvest.