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yearlings on grass

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Anonymous

Guest
We have some extra pasture and are planning on buying some yearling to run on it for 3 or 4 months. How many acres per head would be necessary and how would you supplement them? Also, do different types of calves gain better on grass than others?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It depends on whether your land is irrigated or not. In our section of the country, forty acres per cow/calf unit is considered about right for non-irrigated land. If you start having to supplement with hay and grain, then you start upping the cost of a pound of beef. It depends where in the nation you are going to be grazing these animals. My local feed store guy has been very helpful in giving the information you are asking for. Check with your county extension agent. There are a lot of resource people around your area, the best ones being the ones who are actually raising beef on the land you are living in.

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Anonymous

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I don't know about average daily gain, but what is the cost of an implant? We don't use implants.... sort of consider them to be like steroids, or something... if the animals won't grow on what you have, then they are starting to cost you too much money. The fewer hormones and antibiotics you can use getting your beef, the better your beef will be.

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Anonymous

Guest
A lot depends of the quality of your grass. If you have lush spring growth you may get 2-2.25 lb/day. If you have a lot of dry grass you may be looking closer to 1-1.5 lb/day. Alsom unless you are selling to a market that pays a premium for non-implanted beef you will want to implant. The implant replaces some of the hormones in steers that are missing after castration that increases the ability to grow and allows the animals to gain more on less feed thereby increasing profits.

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Anonymous

Guest
> I don't know about average daily
> gain, but what is the cost of an
> implant? We don't use implants....
> sort of consider them to be like
> steroids, or something... if the
> animals won't grow on what you
> have, then they are starting to
> cost you too much money. The fewer
> hormones and antibiotics you can
> use getting your beef, the better
> your beef will be.

I have to disagree strongly with virtually everything in this message. For every dollar invested in implants, you will get a 15-17 dollar return. Implants are inexpensive. There has been some very good research that shows that the only time that implants have a negative impact on beef palatibility is when a very aggressive implant strategy is used (repeated use of implants, use of TBA implants, etc.) The level of hormone added to beef by using implants is an increase of .003% - that's right- three one thousandths of one percent. Humans have thousands of times higher levels than this coursing through their veins at all times. We get thousands of times more estrogen from eating sweet peas than we do eating implanted beef. In my opinion, you are foolish to not take advantage of the benefits of implants.

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Anonymous

Guest
Can't argue with science, if that is what it is. There is a saying that figures never lie, but liars figure. I guess I am just afraid of "aggressive" implanting. I don't agree with the hormones in milking cows, either, but that is just my personal opinion. I see by your figures that it is no big deal. Nowadays, with the way the public in general reacts to what agriculture is doing in this area, I suppose I sound a bit hysterical. I will have to be more careful to indicate when something is my personal opinion (which the use of implants is) and when I have science or experience backing me up. Thank you for your points, because they sure changed my point of reference when considering implants which I (personally) will never use. I was going to say something stupid like "why castrate if you are going to replace the hormones a bull loses by being made into a steer", BUT.... who could handle a herd of bull calves. I have a friend who has enough space to allow his bull calves to stay bulls until they are fourteen months old. He says he is letting nature put the grow on the bulls. He is also in the business of trying to sell breeding bulls before they are a year old. If they don't sell by fourteen months old, he castrates them and sells them for beef.

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Anonymous

Guest
Your concerns are valid. Public perception is probably the most important issue here. We have a small (but growing) number of radicals that believe that hormones are a terrible thing. Europe had their own committee (hand picked by them) to investigate hormones in beef (the Lamming Commission). This committee told the EU that there was no danger. The EU folded to public hysteria and banned hormone implanted beef. We must not give in to emotion and hysteria. However, if the public is willing to pay for the higher costs of production of non-implanted beef, then let's give it to them. Save for a few niche markets, the public hasn't offered to do this (yet). Many human doctors have said that they feel that the reason that we have soo many girls reaching puberty at such an early age is because of the estrogens in beef. To many people, this seems logical. In actuality the physiology is absolutely backwards. If you are familiar with hormonal implants, one of the concerns is using estrogen implants in replacement heifers. Why? Because they can actually retard the growth and development of the reproductive tract, thereby delaying the onset of puberty. There is so much misinformation flying around implants that we need to watch what we say. I would be the first to drop them if the public was willing to pay for the beef. It's like the vegetarians telling us how irresponsible we are feeding grain to cattle. They say we can feed the hungry in Africa with that grain. All we have to do is send it over there. I say, go ahead. Buy all the grain you want and send it over. These farmers struggling to survive would love to have another market. I've rambled long enough.

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Anonymous

Guest
I notice the people that think we ought to be sending grain to Africa, or wherever, aren't doing a thing to grow their own grain to do it, nor do they hold the African (or wherever) governments accountable for not providing their own grain. I think the reason we have younger females reaching maturity speaks to the health of the individual. Or, what about the preservatives? Too many variables to lay it all at the feet of beef. Interesting to find out that the implants seem to work well in steers, but don't enhance the heifers (could be a MALE thing, eh? lol). Anyway, thanks for your enlightenment on the subject.

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Anonymous

Guest
> we got away from steer on grass( I dont implant beef for my table but I sure dont worry about ordering it in a resturant) you will make more gain by looking into rotational grazing than implants, and carry more animals on the same ground.

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