Finishing Heifers

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oldstyle244

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I am brand new to raising cattle. I bought 2 heifers to raise and then take to the processor; there are a few of us splitting them. They are brangus and I bought them early in the summer, the seller said they should be ready around December. I have them scheduled to go on 1/4/22. They are just grass feed and I do give them some cattle cubes once a day.

I have heard that I would want to finish them on cracked corn the last month, is that what I really want to do to add marbling and if so, can I just buy deer corn and "crack it".. I have looked at mills on Amazon and the reviews for cracking corn aren't great, so what would I use?
 

Rancher

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you will get mixed replies on this one, I'll start by saying you can buy cracked corn or even chicken scratch locally. We don't even use corn up here as price for freight is more then the corn! If you want to grain finish price ground barely and mix with a protein concentrate such as soybean meal or similar. BTW...welcome to the board
 

SBMF 2015

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Welcome to CT.
Feeding corn the last 30days won't gain you what you want. The last 90 days maybe. 180 days or more would be my recommendation.
IMG_20210928_140909.jpg
He was part of a load that went to the packers Tuesday. They avg 1,428lbs he was a yield grade 2, low choice. He'd been eating corn, but not getting pushed hard. He was around 17mos old. Needed a little more time and corn.
 

Warren Allison

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Buy regular shelled corn at your local TSC, Co-op, feed store, etc. Deer corn has an additive that is deadly to horses...there is a warning on the bags. Dunno about cows, but deer corn is more expensive than shelled corn anyway. Cracked corn will be 50 cents to %1 more than shelled, but there is no reason to feed that to cattle.
 

ClinchValley86

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Much prefer eating heifers!

I like 2 months on corn minimum. Ideally 120-150 days. Depends on what animal condition and size you're starting with.

Start at .5 percent. Work up to 1.5-2 percent and feed that til its time. Will flavor it well. Whole or cracked, doesn't matter.

It isn't worth the money to pay extra for cracked corn. Less than 10 percent gain with cracked Corn over whole.

You'll see it in the poop either way.
 
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ClinchValley86

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Welcome to CT.
Feeding corn the last 30days won't gain you what you want. The last 90 days maybe. 180 days or more would be my recommendation.
View attachment 10224
He was part of a load that went to the packers Tuesday. They avg 1,428lbs he was a yield grade 2, low choice. He'd been eating corn, but not getting pushed hard. He was around 17mos old. Needed a little more time and corn.
Its hard to book appointments so far in advance and get the finish level exactly right.
 

Bestoutwest

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How old are they?
and
What is their current estimated weight?

You basically have only about 50 days to finish. Be careful trying to push them with a hotter ration to make up for the shorter finishing schedule. Bad stuff can happen and quickly.
Please elaborate. I've heard of "hot feet" but what does that mean (if it's even a thing)? What other things happen?
 

Son of Butch

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I am brand new to raising cattle. I bought 2 heifers to raise and then take to the processor.....
I have looked at mills on Amazon and the reviews for cracking corn aren't great, so what would I use?
Welcome to CT.
Where are you located?
'oldstyle' sounds like Wisconsin to me, but brangus sounds like maybe Texas.
Where do farmers in your area buy their feed?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Unless your heifers are quite old, I would not think they will be finished. Whole shell corn is best.
Start with 1% of their body weight. If they weigh 800#, that would be 8#---- 4# am and 4# pm EACH.
After 1 week, if they are cleaning it up good,, you can raise it to 2%. Another week, if cleaning up good, you can feed 3%. Be sure they continue to have all the grass or good hay they want to eat.
Watch their manure. They should NOT need any protein if getting decent hay/grass.
If manure is hard like a horse, they definitely need some protein. If it gets too lose, they are getting too much protein....or, too much grain too fast.
Welcome to the boards.
 

Son of Butch

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Hmmm appears we are talking to the wall.
oldstyle posted his question on Friday afternoon at 3:35 rancher replied shortly after 6 pm and oldstyle hasn't returned since 6:32 pm Friday.
New members - sheesh
 

Bestoutwest

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Hmmm appears we are talking to the wall.
oldstyle posted his question on Friday afternoon at 3:35 rancher replied shortly after 6 pm and oldstyle hasn't returned since 6:32 pm Friday.
New members - sheesh
I learned something....it's not all lost.
 

J+ Cattle

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Since the original poster bailed do you mind if I hijack the post.

Corn is not something that is normally grown in my area but milo (grain sorghum) is, would it be an acceptable substitute for corn?
What adjustments would need to be made for feeding milo?
 

Stickney94

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Hopefully the below posts -- from the Univ of MN ration balancer. I've never fed milo -- but in the 70s/80s my dad grew milo and used it as livestock feed. I know he always preferred it for feeding to corn but I don't know all the details as to why.


FEEDSTUFFDMTDNNEMNEGNELCPUIPNPNCFADFNDFeNDFEEASHCAPKCLSZn
%%Mcal/cwt%%%%%%%%%%%%%%ppm
Corn Grain Rolled8888986591954239344.320.020.300.40.050.1318
Corn Grain Whole8888986591958239604.320.020.300.40.050.1318
Sorghum Grain (Milo) Flaked8290100689411623615383.120.040.280.40.10.1418
Sorghum Grain (Milo) Ground89828959851155361553.120.040.320.40.10.1418
 

J+ Cattle

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The numbers look very close with a slightly higher protein content.
Here it's a crop rotation for dryland cotton and there's opportunity to purchase direct from the farm so cutting out the middle man fees.
 

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