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Two Levels of Wintering Steers Followed by Direct or Deferred Finishing, 3 Yrs. Results

An experiment was begun in the Fall of 1957 to compare two rates of wintering steer calves followed by direct dry lot finishing, or summer grazing and later dry lot finishing. Two equal lot of 16 steers each are wintered on a 'normal' and a 'low' ration. About May 1, each lot is sudivided into a dry lot group and a pasture group. Dry lot groups are fed six months and marketed. Pasture groups graze tame and native grass pastures five months, then go into dry lot for about six months finishing. Finishing rations are the same for all dry lot feeding.

Regular weights and cost date are kept on all steers to compare the over-all cost of the two wintering methods and the direct vs. deferred finishing methods.

The finishing phase of the third years' deferred-fed steers was begun September 28, 1960. Calves were weaned and started on the wintering phase for the fourth annual trial, November 1, 1960. Table 3 shows the results of the wintering phase; Table 4 summarizes results of the summer dry-lot phase, and Table 5 combines the summer grazing and second winter dry-lot phases.

Table 3. Wintering Steer Calves, 2 Rations, 3 Trials
  Normal Ration Low Ration
  1959-1960 3-Yr. Av. 1959-60 3-Yr. Av.
Steers/lot 16 15 16 15
Weaning Wt. 346 362 346 365
Spring Wt. 572 595 475 498
Av. Daily Gain 1.24 1.27 .90 .78
Daily Feed:
Corn Silage 23 24 20 20
Cr. Wht-grass Hay 4 4 4 4
Whole Oats 2 2 0 0
Feed Per 100 lb. Gain:
Corn Silage 1834 1886 2769 2804
Cr. Wht-grass Hay 318 314 560 564
Whole Oats 160 158    
 
Feed Cost/100 Gain $12.27 $12.38 $15.01 $15.17

 

Table 4. Summer Dry-Lot Finishing of One-Half Steers in Wintering Trials
From Normal Winter Lot From Low Winter Lot
1960 3-Yr. Av. 1960 3-Yr. Av.
Steers/lot 8 7 8 8
Initial Wt. 572 599 476 496
Final Wt. 933 1025 896 952
Av. Daily Gain 2.03 2.38 2.36 2.56
Daily Feed:
Corn Silage 37 45 36 43
Alf. Hay 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5
Soybean Meal 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Ground Barley 4.0 4.4 4.0 4.5
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 .2 .2 .2 .2
Feed Per 100 Lb. Gain:
Corn Silage 1810 1907 1536 1683
Alf. Hay 122 104 105 96
Soybean Meal 74 63 64 59
Ground Barley 197 186 170 175
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 9.9 8.4 8.5 7.9
Feed Cost/100 Lb. Gain $14.14 $13.64 $12.09 $12.41
Selling Price/100 Lb. 22.33 23.75 22.50 23.59
Return/Hd. Above Feed from Weaning to Market 52.30 69.26 53.39 61.60

When steers were fed out during the summer following a normal or low wintering ration, there was a slight advantage in net return for those on the normal winter ration. The average increase in return per head above feed costs have been $7.66 for the three years the trial has been conducted. This trend was reversed in the 1960 summer lots when a much higher rate of gain (2.36 vs. 2.03) was shown from the low winter ration lot.

Table 5. Summer Grazing and Winter Finishing
  Steers From Normal Winter Lots Steers From Low Winter Lots
  1958-59 1959-60 1960-61 1958-59 1959-60 1960-61
No. Steers/Lot 8 8 8 8 8 8
Wt. to Grass 606.9 607.5 571 510.6 503.1 475
Wt. off Grass 858.1 830.6 731 800.6 761.3 677
Days of Grazing 152 136 149 152 136 149
Daily Pasture Gain 1.65 1.64 1.07 1.91 1.90 1.36
Cost of 100 Lb. - Pasture Gain $3.03 $3.05 $4.66 $2.62 $2.64 $3.69
Finished Wt. 1111.9 1190.6 In Progress 1084.4 1081.3 In Progress
Days in Dry-Lot 173 162   173 162  
Daily Dry-Lot Gain 1.47 2.22   1.64 1.99  
Daily Ration, Dry Lot:
Corn Silage 58 52   58 53  
Soybean Meal 1.68 1.69   1.68 1.69  
Alf. Hay 2.5 2.5   2.5 2.5  
Ground Barley 4.05 3.41   4.05 3.41  
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 .27 .27   .27 .27  
Feed Per 100 Lb. Gain:
Corn Silage 3953 2336   3559 2663  
Alf. Hay 170 112   152 125  
Soybean Meal 115 76   103 85  
Ground Barley 276 153   247 170  
Bonemeal & Salt, 3:1 18 12   16 13  
 
Feed Cost Per 100 Lb. - Dry Lot Gain $25.59 $15.45   $22.96 $17.42  
Selling Price/Cwt. 24.80 24.40   25.35 25.00  
Return Per Hd. - Above feed, Wean to Mkt. 84.35 105.95   90.76 90.30  

When the steers go into dry-lot in late September, they are fed 2 pounds per day of soybean meal and no grain for the first 60 days. After 60 days, the soymeal is reduced to 1 pounds and ground barley is fed at 4 pounds per day. In the first winter, because the rate of gain was low, the ground barley was increased to 8 pounds per day for the final 60 days. This finally brought an increase in rate of gain, but also increased the cost of gains.


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