Home Farm Equipment Finishing Beef Calves On-Farm | Farm Progress

Finishing Beef Calves On-Farm | Farm Progress


Rural landowners are sometimes fascinated with elevating livestock to slaughter for private consumption, native advertising and marketing or for regular commodity markets. There are a number of choices producers can use to complete cattle, starting from ending fully on forages to traditional drylot packages utilizing excessive focus diets. Hybrid methods have been studied as a substitute for high-concentrate complete combined rations fed in confinement. These methods make the most of the roughage equipped by pasture together with extra vitality from supplemental concentrates. They could not meet the necessities to fulfill ‘grass-fed beef’ claims by the USDA, however do present free-choice entry to pasture.

An Different Finishing System

I carried out analysis with Jason Apple, a meat scientist at the moment at Texas A&M Kingsville, to check typical ending at a Excessive Plains feedyard to the hybrid ‘grain-on-grass’ system. Within the first trial, calves from spring or fall calving herds had been both despatched to a Texas Panhandle feedyard for ending as yearlings following a stocker program or saved on the dwelling operation and supplemented with 1% of body weight per head per day with a grain/grain byproduct complement till slaughter. Steers completed conventionally in confinement gained 4.4 lbs/day whereas steers fed focus complement on pasture gained 2.5 lbs/day. Though the ending interval on pasture was 30 days longer on the typical, steers completed within the typical feedlot had been 128 kilos heavier at slaughter and dressing proportion was increased 62.5% vs 60.6% for Standard and Pasture, respectively). Conventionally completed cattle had been 86% Alternative whereas pasture completed had been 78% Choose high quality grade.

Determine 1. Impact of ending on pasture (Forage) with 1% of body weight focus complement each day or typical ending (Grain) on body weight of steers.


Within the subsequent trial, 60 calves had been both completed in typical Texas Panhandle feedyard or had been saved on pasture with a grain/grain byproduct focus complement fed at 1.5% of body weight each day. Steers completed on pasture with complement gained 3.6 lbs per day (vs 4 lbs/day for typical) and had been fed 40 days longer than typical steers, however had been once more nonetheless 40 kilos lighter at slaughter. However, scorching carcass weights (836 for pasture vs 854 for typical) weren’t as impacted as within the earlier examine, fats thickness was related for the two therapies (0.62 inches for pasture vs 0.52 for conventionally completed) and dressing proportion was likewise related (63% for pasture and 62.5% for typical). On this experiment the cattle completed on pasture with complement had been 100% Alternative with 73% being Premium Alternative, whereas the Standard steers had been 93% Alternative with 45% being Premium Alternative. This analysis signifies that acceptable carcass efficiency might be obtained with restricted vitality supplementation on pasture.

Determine 2. Impact of ending on pasture (Forage) with 1.5% of body weight focus complement each day or typical ending (Grain) on carcass high quality grade.

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There are a number of objects that producers ought to pay attention to and have the ability to talk to customers if promoting immediately.

  • The quantity of retail cuts coming from a completed calf is determined by the body, muscling, skeletal construction, fats cowl, and intestine fill.
  • The conversion of dwell animal is determined by dressing % (the quantity of carcass per pound of shrunk dwell weight), in grain completed calves this ranges from 58% (normally dairy calves) to 66% (extremely completed heavyweight beef steers), however in forage completed calves this may be a lot decrease, normally as a result of intestine fill and decrease fats cowl.
  • A rule of thumb is on a effectively completed calf (0.6 inch of backfat on the 12th rib), you may count on purple meat yield to be about 50% of the shrunk dwell weight of the animal (empty of intestine fill).
  • A instrument to estimate purple meat yield from a carcass is the Beef Cutout Calculator (http://beefcutoutcalculator.agsci.colostate.edu/). The consumer have to be conscious that that is primarily based on the typical grain completed carcasses, and variations in ending system will have an effect on your outcomes.

In abstract, ending cattle on farm might be a cost-effective enterprise so as to add worth to cattle. Finishing methods will not be one dimension matches all and must be tailor-made to suit the producer’s manufacturing targets, goal market, and administration experience. For extra details about on-farm ending packages have a look at our new Truth Sheet AFS-3303 Finishing Beef Cattle On the Farm


Supply: Oklahoma State Collegewhich is solely chargeable for the data supplied and is wholly owned by the supply. Informa Enterprise Media and all its subsidiaries will not be chargeable for any of the content material contained on this info asset. 


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