Finishing a steer

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LA cattle

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I’ve had beef cows for about 3 years. I’ve never raised a freezer beef but had a couple people asking me about selling them one. I need a little direction. Typically one of my steers weighs 400 pounds at 6 months. I really don’t have a pasture I could wean the calf and keep him on grass. I’ve got a pen I can put him it’s about 40 foot by 40 foot. If I put him there at 6 or 7 months how much feed would he need daily? And how long until he gets to about 600 pounds?
 

Ky hills

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I’ve had beef cows for about 3 years. I’ve never raised a freezer beef but had a couple people asking me about selling them one. I need a little direction. Typically one of my steers weighs 400 pounds at 6 months. I really don’t have a pasture I could wean the calf and keep him on grass. I’ve got a pen I can put him it’s about 40 foot by 40 foot. If I put him there at 6 or 7 months how much feed would he need daily? And how long until he gets to about 600 pounds?
Lot of variables as far as growth potential and feed quality and amounts. I’m going to say it would take 4-6 months to get 200 more pounds on it. They usually go back a little after weaning. If they take to eating feed quick though it’s not usually a big issue. You would need to introduce it to feed conservatively so it doesn’t over eat, and then go off of feed. I would say start it out on 4-5 lbs of feed at a time. Slowly increase it. You will also need to give it hay and mineral too.
 

HDRider

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A trend that has become more prominent in recent years is for ranchers to finish a few animals and sell beef directly to the consumer. Consumers have a desire to know where their beef comes from, value the story and are seeking ranchers to purchase beef from. At the same time, ranchers have been seeking opportunities to add value to their cattle and reduce their exposure to market swings.

However, feeding and managing a grain-finished animal is different than managing a cowherd or backgrounding calves. Proper feeding and management is key to capturing extra value and in meeting customer expectations. This is part one of a four-part series for ranchers who have a small group of cattle with limited equipment who are planning to finish a few head of cattle each year. This article will address what diets to feed these animals.

 

jkwilson

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I’ve had beef cows for about 3 years. I’ve never raised a freezer beef but had a couple people asking me about selling them one. I need a little direction. Typically one of my steers weighs 400 pounds at 6 months. I really don’t have a pasture I could wean the calf and keep him on grass. I’ve got a pen I can put him it’s about 40 foot by 40 foot. If I put him there at 6 or 7 months how much feed would he need daily? And how long until he gets to about 600 pounds?
In a good situation, 2% of body weight a day in feed shooting for 2.5lbs a day gain and what hay it will eat. But you want a steer around 1300lbs to butcher depending on the breed and his construction, so you are talking longer than 6 or 7 months.

400lbs at weaning gives you 900lbs to gain and that figures out to right at a year to finish for typical cattle on a typical diet. You can push it to 3.5lbs ADG, but I don't think the meat is as good on the faster finishing.

But all that depends on the kind of calf it is. Frame score at 214 can give you an idea what to expect.

If things there are like they are here, you need to book a butcher date at weaning to be able to sell them.
 

sim.-ang.king

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180 days x 2.5#= 450# gain
9:1 conversion is 22.5# total ration daily as Dry Matter on 2.5# ADG.
~88%DM of 22.5# DMI= 25.5# actual pounds of ration.
180 days x 25.2= 4536# of a ration that can produce 2.5# ADG with a 9:1 DM conversion for 180 days.
You can tweak that for the real world, but it gives you an idea of how the math works.
 

Son of Butch

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I’ve never raised a freezer beef.... I need a little direction. If I put him there at 6 or 7 months, how much feed would he need daily?
As for starting him on grain:
A 5 gallon pail of grain will weigh roughly 30-33 lbs
IF you dumped it all to him on day 1 he most likely would gorge himself on it for a couple of days and founder.
Start him on a 5 gallon pail of grain per week (4.5 lbs per day x 7 days = 31.5 lbs)
for 3 weeks and increase it from there.
 

farmerjan

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Why is the target weight 600 lbs? You would be lucky to get 150 lbs meat off a 600 lb animal.... there is more hide, guts, head and hooves than comparative meat on an animal that size.
Depending on the breed, you need to get it to 1,000 lbs to get any kind of finish to give you a decent carcass to hang. Dairy crosses are different, and anything with holstein needs to be bigger/heavier to finish... my jersey steers will typically weigh 900-1,000 taken to slaughter. 2 years minimum average age.
Starting out slow and working up on grain is right or they will founder.
It does not sound like you have a good way to raise a beef for sale. Not being critical, some situations are for cow/calf pairs, some not so much. Something to consider if you do not have a good place to wean and feed an animal. The costs of that much feed would make it questionable if it could pan out.
 

Son of Butch

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Why is the target weight 600 lbs? You would be lucky to get 150 lbs meat off a 600 lb animal.... there is more hide, guts, head and hooves than comparative meat on an animal that size.
LOL - that was how I first read it too.
I assume LA-cattle intended to ask, how long to gain an additional 600 lbs

But perhaps he was sitting next to his mini-fridge and reading the Bible about butchering the fatted calf when the idea of freezer beef occurred. :)
 
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farmerjan

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Does anyone think about all the new member/posters that ask a question and then after several of us do take time to answer and try to help we never hear from them again?
The one that @Jeanne - Simme Valley and I spent alot of time with and did come back regularly and keep us up on the progress was that girl/woman.... that had the orphan calf that she had no clue about what to do but was determined to save it and she did... that she was giving it mineral mixed in water because someone told her that was what she needed and had no clue what milk replacer was... last I remember, it got turned out with the herd.... sometimes wonder how she did... you know like Paul Harvey's "rest of the story"
But so many just never come back on
 

Ky hills

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Does anyone think about all the new member/posters that ask a question and then after several of us do take time to answer and try to help we never hear from them again?
The one that @Jeanne - Simme Valley and I spent alot of time with and did come back regularly and keep us up on the progress was that girl/woman.... that had the orphan calf that she had no clue about what to do but was determined to save it and she did... that she was giving it mineral mixed in water because someone told her that was what she needed and had no clue what milk replacer was... last I remember, it got turned out with the herd.... sometimes wonder how she did... you know like Paul Harvey's "rest of the story"
But so many just never come back on
Perhaps they read the forum then when a question arises they register to ask the question then just read the responses, without logging back on or following up.
It does make one wonder how the various situations turn out. There really is a wealth of knowledge on here. Lots of different experiences, philosophies, and opinions, can make for some good conversations in which some real good information and ideas can be gleaned.
 

Named'em Tamed'em

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180 days x 2.5#= 450# gain
9:1 conversion is 22.5# total ration daily as Dry Matter on 2.5# ADG.
~88%DM of 22.5# DMI= 25.5# actual pounds of ration.
180 days x 25.2= 4536# of a ration that can produce 2.5# ADG with a 9:1 DM conversion for 180 days.
You can tweak that for the real world, but it gives you an idea of how the math works.
Is it algebra hieroglyphics how the heck did you come up with that;)
 

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