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Direct to Dry-lot or Summer Graze after Early Spring Grazing

In the spring of 1959, twelve yearling steers on crested wheatgrass and alfalfa pasture averaged 3 pounds per day gain for 66 days. On July 13, six of the steers were placed on feed in dry lot and six were moved to native grass pasture until September 22, then placed in dry lot. The first group was fed until December 10, then sold, while the second group was fed until March 2, 1960, before being sold. Table 9 shows gain and cost data on the two groups.

Table 9. Managing Yearlings after Spring Grazing.
  Spring Grazing to Dry Lot Spring Grazing, Fall Grazing to Dry Lot
No. Steers 6 6
Wt. off Spring Grass 699 697
Wt. off Fall Grass   772
Daily Gain on Grass   1.06
Final Wt. after Dry Lot 1028 1122
Av. Daily Gain in Dry Lot 2.19 2.16
Days in Dry Lot 150 162
Daily Ration:
Corn Silage 52 51
Alfalfa Hay 2.5 2.5
Ground Barley 5.9 3.4
Soymeal 1.5 1.7
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 .2 .27
Feed Per 100 Gain:
Corn Silage 2370 2353
Alfalfa Hay 114 115
Ground Barley 270 157
Soymeal 69 78
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 9 12
Feed Cost Per 100 Gain $16.67 $15.71
Feed Cost Per 100 Gain - including summer grazing @ .05 Per Day   13.77

In this one example, it was much more profitable to allow yearlings to graze from mid-July until late September, then fatten them, than to put them into lots at mid-July for immediate fattening. An important factor in final costs was the late summer grazing which, although giving only 1.06 pounds daily gain, reduced the feed costs for summer and winter gains by about $2.00 per 100 pounds.


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