Show Cattle Supplements: FAQ

show seasonWhether you’re looking for growth, muscle, fill or bloom, show cattle supplements can take a project to the next level. Allowing enough time for show cattle supplements to work on the target areas of your animal is key to show-ring success.

Every show cattle project should start with good feed and sound management. Calves also need time to develop good, consistent eating habits. Once you have feed figured out, it’s time to master the High Octane® supplements.

As time goes on, show cattle will tell you when they need a supplement by their appearance. But how should supplements be used? Are they working?

Here are answers to 5 frequently asked questions about show cattle supplements:

1. When should I use show cattle supplements?

Start using supplements early enough to make a change, and use them long enough to give them a chance to work. Some supplements need to be fed longer to get the full benefit while others take less time.
Depending on the supplement, use for a minimum of 30-60 days to see results. One exception to this rule is High Octane® Depth Charge® which can provide results more quickly.

2. How many show cattle supplements should I use?

Keep show cattle supplement use manageable by using one or two at a time and adjust as needed. Going overboard with supplements often means you’re trying to fix too much, too quickly. Supplements are not a magic bullet for poor feed, genetics or management.

3. How do I know which show cattle supplements to use?

Evaluate the animal with a critical eye to identify its needs. Each supplement is designed for a specific area on the animal. Once you’ve identified the target area, finding the corresponding supplement becomes easy – see a need, fill a need.

Here are a few examples:

Remember to start using a supplement as soon as you identify an area for improvement. If you wait too long, it may be too late to see desired improvement. When starting cattle on a supplement, work slowly and weigh your feed and supplements to know the exact amounts cattle are receiving.

4. How do each of the High Octane® supplements work for show cattle?

The scenarios where you might use show cattle supplements depend on your individual animal. Here’s how each High Octane® supplement can work within your show cattle feeding program:

High Octane® show cattle supplement How each show cattle supplement works When to feed prior to the show How much to feed per day Beginning feeding rate Increase every 5 to 7 days
High Octane® Champion Drive®
  • Builds muscle and supports skeletal growth
  • Fat cover-neutral: Builds muscle without trimming or adding fat
60 days 1-1.5 pounds 1 – 1.5 pounds 1 – 1.5 pounds
High Octane® Fitter 35®
  • Builds muscle
  • Helps trim fat to make cattle leaner
60 days 2 pounds 1 pound 1 pound
High Octane® Power Fuel®
  • Provides energy (calories) while keeping the body cool and helping with hair coat
  • Puts bloom and condition on cattle, but helps keep them smooth and softens their look
  • Optimizes weight gain when fed at the upper level
45 days 16-24 ounces 8 ounces 8 ounces
High Octane® Depth Charge®
  • Helps support rib shape
  • Allow cattle to adjust to the supplement as it dilutes some of the energy (calories) density
30 to 45 days 2-3 pounds 1 pound 1 pound
High Octane® Ultra Full®
  • Helps cattle appear deeper with optimal flank
  • High in fiber and fat for maintaining condition and increasing depth
  • For show day fill
14 to 30 days 3-5 pounds 1 pound 1 pound

*All High Octane® supplements can be fed on show day. None require a feed withdrawal.
*Keep in mind that not all cattle are the same. Some require more help than others and supplements may need to be fed for longer periods.

*High Octane® supplements continue to work as long as they are fed.

5. How do I know if show cattle supplements are working?

When you see your show cattle every day, it can be difficult to notice changes over time. Take a picture of each of your cattle every 2-4 weeks. If you’re looking for a change in a specific area – like added body depth, condition, or growth – it will be easiest to see by viewing their progress in snapshots over time.

The bottom line? Take your time learning how to use show cattle supplements. Let cattle tell you what they need and when. Then, look for a supplement targeted for your animal’s needs and give it time to work. With proper planning and the right supplements, you’ll see the payoff in the show-ring.

Ready to choose a supplement to help give you the winning edge? See our complete list of High Octane® supplements.

Source: Kirk Stierwalt, Honor Show Ambassador