North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue, Dickinson, ND 58601-4642 Voice: (701) 483-2348 FAX: (701) 483-2005
FATTENING YEARLING STEERS ON ROUGHAGE AND ON
To determine suitable rations for fattening yearling steers in Western North Dakota.
Two lots of eight steers each were fed from November 1, 1952, to March 19, 1953, on rations which utilize the kinds of roughage and grains commonly available to cattle feeders in this area. One lot was fed 47 pounds corn silage, 6 pounds crested wheatgrass hay, 1 ½ pounds soybean oil meal, and after the first 60 days, 5 pounds of ground barley and oats mixed 2:1. The second lot was fed the maximum amount of grain they would consume which was slightly more than 11 pounds, plus 12 pounds of crested wheatgrass hay per head per day. The grain mixture initially was oats and barley 2:1, but the ratio was reversed after one month. Initially, the grain mixture was ground, then pelleted in an attempt to get increased consumption.
Table V shows the actual amounts of each feed consumed and the gains made during the two years this experiment has been conducted.
There is little difference in return above fed cost for two rations. The steers on the
high corn silage ration made the better gains both years, but they were penalized .60 per
cwt. at market time this year because the buyers, who knew the feeding history, feared
they would shrink more than the grain fed steers. The feed for both lot was raised, except
for soybean oil meal, on the Dickinson Experiment Station. In computing costs of feed,
however, we have used the prices which these feed stuffs were selling for during the
feeding period. In 1951-52, both lots of steers sold high enough to pay more than our
established price for feed,
|Table V - High Roughage vs High Grain Ration for Fattening Steers|
|Roughage Ration||Grain Ration|
|No. Steers per lot||5||8||5||8|
|Av. Initial Wt.||779||831||774||832|
|Av. Finished Wt.||1034||1077||1016||1054|
|No. Days on Feed||150||139||150||139|
|Av. Gain per hd. per day||1.70||1.77||1.61||1.60|
|Av. Daily Ration:|
|Crested Wheatgrass Hay||6.4||5.9||15.0||12.3|
|Soybean Oil Meal||1.5||1.47||0||0|
|Total Feed Cost per hd.||$65.35||$61.20||$65.13||$53.58|
|Selling Price per hundred||29.20||19.40||29.20||20.00|
|Selling Price per hd.||301.93||203.46||296.67||205.25|
|Return above feed per hd.||236.58||142.26||231.54||151.67|
|Selling Price of feed lot gains, per hd.||74.46||47.77||70.66||44.37|
|*Ground grain was fed in roughage lot only
during the last 63 days in 1951-1952, and during last 76 days in 1952-1953.
Steamed bonemeal and salt were kept before the steers at all times.
Price used in computing feed costs were: corn silage $10 ton; crested wheatgrass hay $25 ton; oats $.72 bushel; barley $.96 bushel; soybean oil meal $5 cwt.
but in 1952-53, the price received for finished steers only paid 78% of the feed cost
in the silage lot and 83% of the feed cost in grain lot. Applying these percentages to the
prices we have set for feed, we find that our feed was actually sold through these steers
at the following prices:
|SILAGE LOT||GRAIN LOT|
|Corn silage||7.80 ton||
Crested Wheatgrass Hay
|Crested Wheatgrass Hay||19.50 ton||Oats||.60 bu.|
|Oats||.56 bu.||Barley||.80 bu.|
|Soybean oil meal||3.90 cwt.|
We have not been satisfied with the gains we were able to get in either lot of steers. The high condition of our steers going into the feed lots is in part responsible for their low gains. We will discontinue the grain fed lot next winter and add a third lot to our steer feeding trial. All rations will have corn silage as a base and only the supplements will vary. We feel that fattening steers on roughage offers a great opportunity for cattle feeders in Western North Dakota. The details of the rations most suitable will be worked out.