Head Start

Weaning feed

Get calves started on feed fast

Not all products are available at all locations. Check with the store for availability.

Why choose Payback® Head Start?

Payback Head Start badgeThis highly palatable pelleted feed has proven consumption and performance. With Zinpro® Availa 4® trace minerals, calves stay healthier while additives like Diamond V Yeast, Micro-Aid yucca extract and Proternative® enhance their rumen function, consumption and immune response even more.

Weaning is stressful. Dry matter intake and a nutrient dense diet are essential to getting calves off to a great start. Payback® Head Start provides complete nutrition in a small package and is a great choice for stressed and freshly weaned calves when getting them on feed quickly is a priority. This calf starter feed now includes Zinpro Availa 4 at a feeding rate of 7 grams/head/day to enhance immune system function and pack even more power towards a profitable finish.

Medicated options are available:

  • Ionophores: Bovatec or Rumensin
  • Coccidiostats: Decoquinate or Amprolium
  • Antibiotics: Aureomycin(CTC), Terramycin(OTC), AS700


  • Complete package of protein, energy, trace minerals and vitamins
  • Consistent formulation and performance
  • Excellent choice for early weaning calves
  • Feeding program transitions calves to homegrown feedstuffs
  • Highly digestible fiber sources
  • Optimize dry matter consumption for reduced cost of gain
  • Pelleted concentrate eliminates sorting and digesting upsets
  • Proper nutrition to assist animal’s natural immune response
  • Reduce number of sick calves
  • Respiratory, Cocci medication optional

Zinpro Availa 4

Zinpro Availa 4 logoZinpro Availa 4 feeding rate for beef:
7 grams per head daily

Zinpro Availa 4 is a combination of highly available complexed Zn, Mn, Cu and Co designed to help meet the trace mineral demands of the beef herd.

Zinpro Availa 4 is a registered trademark of Zinpro Corp.

reduced morbidity

average daily gain

Ingredients: Processed Grain Byproducts, Roughage Products, Molasses Products, Calcium Carbonate, Yeast Culture, Salt, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Grain Products, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Basic Copper Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Plant Protein Products, Active Dry Yeast, Stearic Acid.


Guaranteed analysis

Head start Head start LF
Protein (%) Not less than 13.0 16.0
Fat (%) ≥ 1.0 ≥ 1.5
Fiber (%) ≤ 22 ≤ 15
Calcium (%) 0.5-1.0 0.9-1.4
Phosphorus (%) Not less than 0.4 0.5
Salt (%) 0.25-0.75 0.45-0.95
Potassium (%) Not less than 1.0 0.8
Selenium (ppm) Not less than 0.25 0.5
Vitamin A (IU/lb) Not less than 6,500 13,000
Vitamin D (IU/lb) Not less than 650 1,000
Vitamin E (IU/lb) Not less than 40 80

Head Start Head Start LF
Feeding rate* 10-15 lbs 5-7 lbs
Additional hay* 2-5 lbs 8-12 lbs
Average daily gain* 2.5-4.0 lbs 1.8-2.2 lbs
Medication Optional Optional

* Feeding rate and additional hay consumptions are approximate. Actual consumption will vary with the weight, health, and nutritional status of the cattle and the quality of the forage.
** ADG is based on years of performance and demonstration trials. Your results may vary depending on the quality of cattle, hay, and management practices.

Feeding tips

  • Divide the daily ration into two equal feedings.
  • Keep fresh water and feed available at all times.
  • Cattle should be fed their fill of grass hay on day one, then adapted to a full feed of Head Start with reduced hay intake over the next 2-3 days. Calves should consume 2-3 percent of their body weight within a few days. Continue to full feed Head Start until the calves have consumed approximately 250-300 pounds, then gradually transition to an appropriate feedlot ration.
  • Head Start LF is utilized in much the same way, but should be limited to 5-7 pounds per head per day with the balance of their diet consisting of an appropriate feedlot diet.
  • In an effort to minimize management problems cattle on full feed Head Start must receive approximately 10% good quality grass hay in the ration.
  • Head Start LF must be bunk fed. Self-feeding is not recommended and is a producer risk.
  • Offer long stem hay to the calves when they have been switched to the grower ration.


Contact your local Payback dealer or CHS animal nutrition feed consultant for more information.