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Backgrounding Cattle - Fall 2010

Feeding calves after weaning in North Dakota is an option to selling calves at weaning.  Backgrounding is considered a feeding period after weaning lasting from at least 2 weeks to 15 weeks or more.  Backgrounding can either be at 1) low rates of gain of less than 2 pounds per day, 2) moderate gain of 2 to 3 pounds per day or, 3) high gains at greater than 3 pounds per day.  

Backgrounding calves serves to adapt cattle to feed, get through the stress of weaning, build immunity with proper vaccinations, add weight by converting either home grown or purchased, feeds and marketing at different times and weights.  Getting calves to gain weight efficiently and profitably is the goal.  Developing a premium product, like age and source verification, heifer development, or natural, can be an additional opportunity.

Watch the videos below to learn more about backgrounding:

Tim Petry on Price Outlook

Economics in
Backgrounding Cattle
in 2010-11


Karl Hoppe on Breakeven CalculationsBackgrounding Cattle:
Breakeven Calculations


Dale Naze on Feeding Backgrounded CattleFeeding the
Backgrounding Calf


Lisa Pederson on Handling Backgrounding Calves

 Cattle Handling for
Backgrounding Feedlots

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