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Low percentage hanging weights

Roc

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I seem to be getting low and inconsistent hanging weights, and am wondering if anyone has suggestions for what is causing this, and what can be done to improve it. I just sent 4 animals to the butcher all the same age (20 months) and breed (black Angus) all grass fed and finished one heifer live weight 1335lb got 54% hanging weight and three steers around 1150lb live weight that got 50% hanging weight. Being grass fed I expect lower percentages, but was figuring it should be closer to 58%.Thoughts?
 

Roc

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They had access to food, so I guess that could be part of it. I still don't understand why these 4 animals all treated the same would be that different.
 

Son of Butch

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Expected hanging weights
steers average 62% and heifers 61%
grass fed steers average 59%
grass fed heifers average 58%
additionally % can vary by 3% depending on gut fill, also manure knots and mud will vary live weight to h.w. %

What stands out is the same age heifer's live weight was 185 lbs heavier than her brothers 1335 vs 1150 lbs
A 13.8% difference and she had 4% advantage hanging 54% vs 50% when the steers should've had the advantage.
h.w. 721 vs 575 lbs for the steers That is a huge difference. I assume they were all fed the same otherwise
I would question % protein and energy fed. 20 months of age and the steers were not yet close to finished.
So, yes you have reason for concern and there certainly is room for a lot of improvement.
I'd say you need better grass...
BUT why the same age heifer out shined her brothers puzzles me.
 

Roc

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Yes all the same feed. If only I had a whole herd like that heifer. What would you consider a target age for a grass finished beef?
 

farmerjan

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Agree that it is unusual that the heifer was that much heavier. I always figure a 50% hanging weight on my grass fed/finished jerseys, as minimum. Have had as high as 72% and I had the weight tickets to prove it, but most are in the 55% range. Jerseys don't have the bone density of the beef breeds so usually are a little higher in the dressed weight percentage for us. But I don't think that an animal is grass finished until it is pushing the 26 month mark. They need to mature a little and marble more with age, and I just don't see it in the jerseys that are done too soon. Can't help you much since we do few beef animals.
 

Son of Butch

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Roc":3ba2cp1f said:
Yes all the same feed. If only I had a whole herd like that heifer.
What would you consider a target age for a grass finished beef?
As a goal 20 months.
Your heifer almost did it, I think another 30 days would have helped her % dressed.
But your beef steers probably needed at least another 90 days if not 4 more months to really get finished.
You'll want to observe more cod fat and pin bone coverage with tail head fat to keep you from butchering too soon
rather than just butchering at a pre-set target of 21 or 23 months. I think 20 months is a good realistic goal for you,
even though you may not hit it with the next group depending on your grass quality.
 

frieghttrain

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Roc":2s5whxhi said:
I seem to be getting low and inconsistent hanging weights, and am wondering if anyone has suggestions for what is causing this, and what can be done to improve it. I just sent 4 animals to the butcher all the same age (20 months) and breed (black Angus) all grass fed and finished one heifer live weight 1335lb got 54% hanging weight and three steers around 1150lb live weight that got 50% hanging weight. Being grass fed I expect lower percentages, but was figuring it should be closer to 58%.Thoughts?
Out of the seven most common beef breeds Limousin ranks number 1 in dressing percent.
 

Stocker Steve

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Son of Butch"You'll want to observe more cod fat and pin bone coverage with tail head fat to keep you from butchering too soon rather than just butchering at a pre-set target of 21 or 23 months. I think 20 months is a good realistic goal for you said:
Economically - - you only want to take grass feds though one northern winter. But modern feedlot genetics to not usually finish that fast on grass. Some people find they can finished most heifers, but not most steers, with a one winter program. You either need different genetics, or higher energy forage, and/or heifers only, to produce finished animals after one northern winter.

Your steers should have gone back to grass this spring. I think they should have been finished after the spring flush.
 

BC

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What kind of grass were these animals eating. I think you need to rethink your program and time your harvest to when the animals have just finished the best and highest quality forage you have available. You may have to plant some annuals to get that quality.

On a side note, dressing percentage increases the fatter the animal gets. Your animals may not have been fat enough to harvest.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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frieghttrain":1j0xl7f5 said:
Roc":1j0xl7f5 said:
I seem to be getting low and inconsistent hanging weights, and am wondering if anyone has suggestions for what is causing this, and what can be done to improve it. I just sent 4 animals to the butcher all the same age (20 months) and breed (black Angus) all grass fed and finished one heifer live weight 1335lb got 54% hanging weight and three steers around 1150lb live weight that got 50% hanging weight. Being grass fed I expect lower percentages, but was figuring it should be closer to 58%.Thoughts?
Out of the seven most common beef breeds Limousin ranks number 1 in dressing percent.
Yes, but they are a poor fit for grass fed operations. A purebred Limi will not marble well on grass only. You could end up feeding that steer for 3 years before he ever gets close to finished. We often get dressing %s in the upper 60s with Limi steers, but they were pushed big time to finish at just over a year. Some of our show steers even got a top dress of corn oil on their grain!
 

frieghttrain

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Boot Jack Bulls":2t54o3e9 said:
frieghttrain":2t54o3e9 said:
Roc":2t54o3e9 said:
I seem to be getting low and inconsistent hanging weights, and am wondering if anyone has suggestions for what is causing this, and what can be done to improve it. I just sent 4 animals to the butcher all the same age (20 months) and breed (black Angus) all grass fed and finished one heifer live weight 1335lb got 54% hanging weight and three steers around 1150lb live weight that got 50% hanging weight. Being grass fed I expect lower percentages, but was figuring it should be closer to 58%.Thoughts?
Out of the seven most common beef breeds Limousin ranks number 1 in dressing percent.
Yes, but they are a poor fit for grass fed operations. A purebred Limi will not marble well on grass only. You could end up feeding that steer for 3 years before he ever gets close to finished. We often get dressing %s in the upper 60s with Limi steers, but they were pushed big time to finish at just over a year. Some of our show steers even got a top dress of corn oil on their grain!
Gotcha :oops: I guess I should do my research before I open my big mouth :lol:
 

Nesikep

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A "Grass fed only" ranch here runs only Limo bulls... I do agree though, I think too much Limo isn't good for a grassfed operation when I look at my animals.. Gelbvieh was a little better there.. they quit making frame a little sooner and filled out.

I don't have live weights, but one older steer (28 months) was 950 hanging and 640 in the freezer (67%), butcher said it was exceptional quality... Gelbvieh/SH/Herf was the breeding there


I think this guy was around 650 lbs, beautiful meat again, but the yield wasn't there with 390 lbs take-home (60%).. Same butcher... a little younger, about 24 months.. Closely reltated to the above... Gelbvieh/Saler/Herf
 

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