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OPEN SHEDS COMPARED WITH WINDBREAK

This trial was set up to study the effects of shelter upon beef gains in western North Dakota.

In November, 1964, Hereford heifers weighing 300 pounds were divided into two groups. One lot had access to a pole type, open-sided shed while the other lot had only protection of an 8 foot high board fence on the north and west.

The heifers were on feed 322 days. The average daily ration fed in this trial was 6 pounds rolled barley, 1 pound alfalfa hay and 1 pound of supplement plus free choice corn silage. The heifers were sold on a grade and yield basis.

Table 29. Comparison of Open Shed Shelter vs Windbreak for Fattening Calves.

Period 1-Winter (November - May)

  Shed Windbreak
Initial Weight 301 298
May 1st Weight 609 602
Gain 308 304
Average Daily Gain 1.76 1.74
Ration
Silage 17.6 19.1
Barley 4.7 4.7
Alfalfa 1.2 1.2
Supplement 1.0 1.0
 
Cost/100 Lbs. Gain $10.51 $10.97

Period 2 - Summer (May - September)

May Weight 609 602
September Weight 871 823
Gain 262 221
Average Daily Gain 1.78 1.5
Ration
Silage 28.7 28.4
Barley 6.0 6.0
Alfalfa 1.0 1.0
Supplement 1.0 1.0
 
Cost/100 Lbs. Gain $13.76 $16.27

 

Table 30. Comparison of Open Shed Shelter vs Windbreak for Fattening Calves.
  Shed Windbreak
Average Initial Wt. 301 298
Average Final Wt. 871 823
Total Gain 570 525
Average Daily Gain 1.77 1.63
Average Dressing % 56.7 57.1
Average Dressed Wt. 493 470
Average Grade Choice High Choice
Average Carcass Value $184.94 $176.57
Ration
Silage 22.6 23.4
Barley 5.3 5.3
Alfalfa Hay 1.1 1.1
Supplement 1.0 1.0
Cost/100Lbs. Gain $11.97 $13.18

Heifers without overhead cover ate approximately 1 pound of silage more per head per day and gained on the average 0.14 pound per day less. Their costs per hundredweight gain were $1.21 higher than the heifers with cover.

Heifers without over head cover did not seem to be adversely affected by the winter weather and appeared to be thrifty at all times. However, the hot summer weather reduced rate of gain and hence increased costs per hundredweight gain by about $1.50.

It appears that protection from the summer sun affects daily gain more than does elaborate winter protection in this area.


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