Checking For Finished Weight

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Anonymous

We have 2 May steers that are 4-H projects. The estimated weight of the steers at this time are 1225 # and 1150#. They both have healthy appetites and take their grain and hay rations. The frame size of the steers are different one is small (1225# ) and the other large (1150#). What are some of the techniques and specific things that should be looked at to determine when the steers are at finished weight? We are concerned that the smaller steer is at his finished weight but don’t know how to check.

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Anonymous

There are charts that tell you what finish weight to expect from a certain frame size - but they are just estimates of an average. It is very judgmental. You look for a smooth overall look. Specifically, check the brisket, flank, sides of tail head, and feel across the ribs for fat. The brisket and flank is just a flap of skin until they start putting on fat. Then you will be able to feel the flank is getting "thicker" to the feel, the brisket will start widening out (you can feel the soft fat area). The tail head will get soft pockets on each side which is fat. All these are signs of the animal getting fat, which he needs to do to be finished. But you do not want him to be a "bowl of jellie". If he gets too fat, you can see it when he walks. This is an "art" developed just by looking at cattle & getting carcass info after they're harvested. Sounds like your "small" frame steer is out-performing the "large" frame one. You need to decide how much more weight you want them to gain & how many days you have to put it on them before the show. You do not want to "hold" back the small one too much, excercise is good. If he is too fat, you can reduce his grain intake a little, but you must keep him in a gaining plane or his meat won't be as good. You may need to increase the large framed one, depending on how large he is & how much time you have. Jeanne
> We have 2 May steers that are 4-H
> projects. The estimated weight of
> the steers at this time are 1225 #
> and 1150#. They both have healthy
> appetites and take their grain and
> hay rations. The frame size of the
> steers are different one is small
> (1225# ) and the other large
> (1150#). What are some of the
> techniques and specific things
> that should be looked at to
> determine when the steers are at
> finished weight? We are concerned
> that the smaller steer is at his
> finished weight but don’t know how
> to check.

Simme Valley in NY
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