ADG

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Hoser

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I have collected 10 purebred Herefords to play around with. I may keep some bulls for myself to use on Angus cattle, or I may sell some private treaty. I'll feed out anything I wouldn't use myself though.

Anyways I have weaning weights on 4 calves out of cows I bought as breds last fall. I was wondering what you guys consider an appropriate average daily gain from birth to weaning.

Polled Bull 675lbs, 247 days old, 2.36 ADG

Horned Heifer 565lbs, 247 days old, 1.99 ADG

Polled Bull 575lbs, 242 days old, 2.05 ADG

Horned Bull 565lbs, 228 days old, 2.08 ADG
 

simme

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Average daily gain will vary with forage quality, sex, any creep feeding, milk quality and quantity and growth genetics. So, difficult to decide what absolute number is acceptable or good. ADG ratio might be better to compare animals raised together. Calculate the ratio of all animals of the same sex raised together and compare. You would be comparing growth related to genetic potential as well as milk from the dam. Some people look at Weight per day of age (WDA) as well which incorporates birth weight. Weaning weight ratio does the same, just sets the WDA based on 205 days of age. There are also adjustments that can be applied based on the age of the dam. A young dam or very old dam generally will raise a lighter weight calf. The adjustment for age of dam attempts to level the field due to age of dam.
Also note that ADG is not a linear straight line with age.
 
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Hoser

Hoser

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Average daily gain will vary with forage quality, sex, any creep feeding, milk quality and quantity and growth genetics. So, difficult to decide what absolute number is acceptable or good. ADG ratio might be better to compare animals raised together. Calculate the ratio of all animals of the same sex raised together and compare. You would be comparing growth related to genetic potential as well as milk from the dam. Some people look at Weight per day of age (WDA) as well which incorporates birth weight. Weaning weight ratio does the same, just sets the WDA based on 205 days of age. There are also adjustments that can be applied based on the age of the dam. A young dam or very old dam generally will raise a lighter weight calf. The adjustment for age of dam attempts to level the field due to age of dam.
Also note that ADG is not a linear straight line

Average daily gain will vary with forage quality, sex, any creep feeding, milk quality and quantity and growth genetics. So, difficult to decide what absolute number is acceptable or good. ADG ratio might be better to compare animals raised together. Calculate the ratio of all animals of the same sex raised together and compare. You would be comparing growth related to genetic potential as well as milk from the dam. Some people look at Weight per day of age (WDA) as well which incorporates birth weight. Weaning weight ratio does the same, just sets the WDA based on 205 days of age. There are also adjustments that can be applied based on the age of the dam. A young dam or very old dam generally will raise a lighter weight calf. The adjustment for age of dam attempts to level the field due to age of dam.
Also note that ADG is not a linear straight line with age.
Some good points to consider. The horned calves are out of heifers and the the polled bulls are out of 6 year old cows.
 

Banjo

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Legumes in the mix is very important....they say you need about 30% clover....red clover and ladino...increases overall protein significantly and digestability will be better for the younger calves.
 

Son of Butch

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NDSU 2021 CHAPS 5 yr average on benchmarks 2016-2020 from 57,271 cows exposed to bulls, 50 cow herd minimum

Cow Age 5.6
replacements 16%
cull rate 13%
pregnant 94%
birth weight 80 lbs
calf death loss 3.3%
88% of calves born within 42 days of day 0 of calving season
Age at weaning 190 days
Weaning Weight 564 lbs
average daily gain 2.45 lbs
pounds weaned per cow exposed 509 lbs
daily gain per cow exposed 2.2 lbs

cow weight at weaning 1400 lbs
cow body condition at weaning 5.7
 

Stickney94

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Not to hijack the thread (then proceeds to hijack thread :))

Weaned calves last weekend. ADG for the group was 2.51 (3.08 High/1.86 low (1st calf heifer)). That is very similar to 2020. Considering the summer/fall drought -- I was pleased (no creep).

Average ADG on PB Angus was 2.61.
Average ADG on Wagyu x Angus crosses was 2.36.

Weaning weights (Average):

PB Angus -- 609 actual/640 Adjusted
Wagyu Cross -- 563 actual/587 Adjusted

Byergo Black Magic averaged 704 lbs (actual). Raven Powerball averaged 656. Wagyu X averaged 551. Clean up bull didn't average that on actual but did better on adjusted (~640).

In short -- cows that breed back early raise larger actual calves. Will continue to look at Byergo genetics. Will continue to eat Wagyu :)
 

J+ Cattle

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Weaning Weight 564 lbs
cow weight at weaning 1400 lbs
That's a weaning weight ratio of 40%, I expect a little more from my cows.

I understand that environment and forage quality has an impact on weaning weights but the cows are on the bigger side and are in good condition, so I think there's ample forage quality and quantity to do better than 40%. Culling the bottom 10% of cows based on weaning weight ratio will make improvements over time.
 

Son of Butch

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That's a weaning weight ratio of 40%, I expect a little more from my cows.
Culling the bottom 10% of cows based on weaning weight ratio will make improvements over time.
yup - that's North Dakota average - 1/2 the herds are better 1/2 are less
just posted as a guideline as to reasonable expectations
Although 13% culled per year is the average in North Dakota
16% replacement average, so I assume the other 3% died or ran away :)

My point is to make progress culling bottom 15% might be a better target than 10%
 
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GoWyo

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Just for clarification, on your ADG are you calculating based on weaning weight less birth weight for true ADG or are you using Weight per Day of Age (WDA)? I look at WDA just because the AAA will show it on my AHIR records when I enter all the data on Maternal Plus. My heifers come in at 2.5-3.3 WDA and bulls come in at 3.0-3.7 WDA with steers kind of in the middle of that, but it would take some extra work to calculate true ADG from birth.
 

Stickney94

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Just for clarification, on your ADG are you calculating based on weaning weight less birth weight for true ADG or are you using Weight per Day of Age (WDA)? I look at WDA just because the AAA will show it on my AHIR records when I enter all the data on Maternal Plus. My heifers come in at 2.5-3.3 WDA and bulls come in at 3.0-3.7 WDA with steers kind of in the middle of that, but it would take some extra work to calculate true ADG from birth.
I used actual (Weaning lb-Birth lb)/Days since Birth.

I get where AAA/other breeds need to try and equalize for variables so they have "adjusted" formulas to aid comparison across the breed/breeders/regions. However the adjusted 205 weaning weights can make cows with fertility problems/calving at end of window look like rock stars.

Just calculated WDA (assuming I did it correctly) and the average for PB Angus was 3.01. But again, it makes some of the late calvers look better than I think they are (highest WDA was 3.55, but her calf weighed 75-100 lbs less in actuality than the top 30% of calves).


I didn't weigh my cows at weaning. They've dropped a lot of weight this fall dining on dirt and corn stalks. The majority of my cows weight 1300-1400 when fat on grass in July. Using existing weights for mature cows in my database they weaned off at 45.8%. If I had weighed them now that figure would have skewed above that.
 

J+ Cattle

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Byergo Black Magic averaged 704 lbs (actual). Raven Powerball averaged 656.
Those are two very different type of bulls there.
Byergo Black Magic: CED -3, BW +6.2, WW 85 Hopefully you only used Black Magic on cows and not heifers.
Raven Powerball: CED 10, BW +0.3, WW 57
I would consider Black Magic a strictly terminal sire used for growth and Powerball a more maternal sire that I would save heifers from.
What was your weaning weight ratio just for the Powerball calves? I guess it has to be less than 45.8% but probably not much less.
 

J+ Cattle

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My point is to make progress culling bottom 15% might be a better target than 10%
My 10% figure was after all of the other culling had taken place; bad feet, bad udders, fail to breed back/open, etc. then take the bottom 10% weaning weight ratio off afterwards. I also realize that heifer development is an added expense and how much expense you can handle is an individual decision for each operation. If you can do 15% that's great but if the cull rate is already 13%, can you afford to do 13% + 15% = 28%, even my figure of 13% + 10% = 23% is really pushing the limit.

But I think we're thinking along the same lines here.
 

Son of Butch

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My 10% figure was after all of the other culling had taken place; bad feet, bad udders
But I think we're thinking along the same lines here.
yes - i assumed you meant 10% total and is why I suggested it need to be a bit stronger (depending on the herd) to make progress

culling 20% would give an effective herd turnover of 100% at the end of every 5 years, but I realize some will be 1st calf heifers and others will continue on to be old cows
 

J+ Cattle

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Maybe a creep panel that allows the calves to graze ahead could be a partial solution?
This is a good suggestion that I took from a different thread, but I thought it would fit nicely in this thread about ADG. Creep grazing calves on fresh pasture ahead of the cows in a pasture rotation system can be a low-cost way of increasing calf weights. You just need to build a gate that allows the calves to go through but is small enough to stop the cows, it needs to be sturdy because the cows will be pushing on it.
 

WFfarm

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This is a good suggestion that I took from a different thread, but I thought it would fit nicely in this thread about ADG. Creep grazing calves on fresh pasture ahead of the cows in a pasture rotation system can be a low-cost way of increasing calf weights. You just need to build a gate that allows the calves to go through but is small enough to stop the cows, it needs to be sturdy because the cows will be pushing on it.
If you use a single strand divider fence between your rotational paddocks, the older calves will sneak under and graze on the fresh grass ahead of their mammas, in essence creep grazing. You have to have a good overall perimeter fence though so they don't find your neighbors alfalfa stand.
 

WFfarm

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That's a weaning weight ratio of 40%, I expect a little more from my cows.

I understand that environment and forage quality has an impact on weaning weights but the cows are on the bigger side and are in good condition, so I think there's ample forage quality and quantity to do better than 40%. Culling the bottom 10% of cows based on weaning weight ratio will make improvements over time.
What age do you adjust to before figuring a wean weight ratio? Or do you just take the actual age weight the day you wean regardless of age?
 
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