Finish feeding before slaughter??

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Beeman, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    What and how much do you finish feed and for how long before slaughter. Looking for prime type of beef finish, obviously not going for grass fed finish. Currently on pasture with hay available and feeding pelletized bulk as a supplement.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would like to know the answer to this question too. I have a Dexter steer that has been on pasture all summer and doing very well, but I would like to know what kind of grain and how much to feed him from now until we butcher him.
    Thanks,
    Mickey
     

  3. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Beeman, I have sent several steers to slaughter without varing from my daily program. Pellets in the AM. Pellets in the PM. and pasture or day and nignt. In fact my program is exactly what you are doing now. The only change I alway make is to up the 14% pelleted grains, usually double the amount one month before butchering. Holstein and Jersey steers both produced outstanding meats with a taste that's out of this world....Hope my advice helps....I try to keep things simple here at my place...TJ
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I only feed grain, about 2-2.5lbs, in the AM, my dealer says it's 13%. How much are you feeding in lbs.? and how much do you up it to?
     
  5. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    The last few months to fnish I have mine on Total Grain, I fill a Huge tub and they eat as much as they want. Grain fed till the end is the only way to go.
     
  6. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

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    We just put up 4 Holstein steers today to grain feed for 30 days prior to slaughter. We give the 4 of 'em a 5-gallon bucket of grain once or twice a day (depending on whether DH is feeding or FIL is feeding). My in-laws swear by grain feeding to improve marbling in the meat.

    -Joy
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Right now I feed 1.5 to 2 pounds in the morning and in the evening, mainly because I think my pastures are sub-par, and also because the animals enjoy extra food. If I was sending a steer to slaughter I would double the feed amount to 3 pounds in the morning and 3 pounds in the evening for 30 days. There are many different ways to finish a steer, I guess it's dependent on your wallet size and knowledge of animals. 14% or 13% protein who cares. Once again all my animals eat 14% and are fat and happy, so I like keeping the program simple........Bon Appetite....
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Could you explain or define "put up"?
     
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I just mentioned the percentage as it was fresh on my mind as I bought a barrel today, I agree no difference. I'm with you on keeping it simple and affordable. Your pasture sounds like mine especially when we had no rain in August, it's green now after past weeks rain.
     
  10. kscowboy

    kscowboy Well-Known Member

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    I have mine on fescue pasture , at about 900 lbs they go onto chop corn for 90 days , start slow and gradually move them up to 2.5-3 % of body weight a day.
    Towards the end they will eat some 25 - 30 lbs per day if your budget can afford it. Makes for fabulous meat , this year with the feed cost I did not supplement early on and just kept em on pasture and minerals. In past years I'd supplement them all along , just watch thier poop as you start them out , maybe skip a day here and there if they get too loose.
     
  11. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Beeman, "putting up" is taking them off pasture and penning or small paddock. I buy 14% because I feed it to my dairy goats also. One percent does make a difference with goats but rarely makes a difference in cattle....just feed them (steers) a little more....TJ
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted their definition, in my mind it meant what you stated but for some reason a lot gets lost in translation on forums.

    People state grain with no explanation whether they mean bulk mixed grain or commercial pelletized feed. Now we have chop corn which in my mind means chopped sileage (corn), but I could be wrong. Besides it's not really available to me.
     
  13. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    To get the most out of corn it should be fine ground,almost like corn meal.

    Chopped,cracked or rolled corn looks the same going in and coming out,so your animals not getting that much out of feeding it.

    Mix it with a sweet feed and feed at least 10 lbs. of ground corn a day and you will see a big difference in just a few weeks.
     
  14. kscowboy

    kscowboy Well-Known Member

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    chop corn is exactly what it is called , chopped corn , you can get this from any farmers feed outlets. It is not cleaned , has a lot of meal in it. there have been a multitude of studies that the animal extracts the starches and nutrients regardless of the input , whole , cracked , chopped. I do not use the other feeds as I have ample hay and lush pasture so no need for the feed supplements. If your penning then you need the supplements plus the availability of good hay. Need to keep track of that pocketbook also , you can spend away all of the profit / benefit pretty easily. Good hay and minerals are less expensive than bag feeds to raise your calves up to the finishing point. Bag feeds have jumped so high this year that they have made the process darn expensive. Just control your costs where you can.I have found that the 90 day period is as important as the total poundage. It takes time to have an impact on taste and marbling. We figure a steer is worth about 1200 dollars to us at the end , selling as butcher beef unless you doing it just for fun you have to watch your inputs. I'm seeing folks selling 1/4's and 1/2 's for 4 bucks a lb , or trying anyway , seems like a tough sell but probably is an accurate price if you want a profit on your beef. We raise about 15 or so a year and its a good deal for family and friends but I'd be hard pressed to think you can make a living doing it with today's ridiculous feed prices.

    Good luck with it !
     
  15. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    Beeman one thing that hasn't been mentioned is the cattle will need access to roughage while on grain. Straw or some kind of long hay such as sorghum, or lower quality grass unless your feeding a TMR ( totally mixed ration) which will already have a roughage product mixed in.

    To get the finish you want you'll have to get them up 2 to 3% of their body weight daily in grain for 90 to 120 days. The pellets your feeding now are probably fine to use, check with your feed supplier and get his opinion. He should know what feeds are available and what his other customers are doing.

    Take it slow on bringing them up on feed add a pound or two a head a week. Splitting the feed and feeding twice a day wouldn't hurt. When they get up to 10 to 15 lbs a day per head slow down to adding a pound or so every couple weeks. It is a lot better to take it slow on increasing grain then to do it to fast. If the back off feed cut them back and don't try to increase their feed for awhile.

    Chopped corn is rolled or processed corn grain. Corn chop is another way of saying it.
     
  16. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Typically finishing cattle are put on a ration of 85% grain and 15% roughage to fatten them up in 90 to 120 days. Ground up corn, more common in your area, is fed along with silage to have the cattle put on weight quickly. Where backgrounded calves are fed at a rate of gain of 1 to 1.5 lbs per day, feedlot cattle are fed to achieve a rate of gain of 2 to 3 lbs per day. Depending on how heavy the cattle are when they start their finishing ration, the larger cattle (~900 lbs) are only in the feedlot for 15 to 30 days, whereas the smaller cattle (weanlings ~750 lbs) are in for the average 100 days. Both wt. sizes are fed the same high grain, low forage diet.
     
  17. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

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    We "put up" the steers in a small section of pasture, separate from the other cattle, so that we can feed just them. They graze in addition to their feed ration. We get our feed in bulk from a local dairy, who mixes their own. It is heavy on corn, with cotton seed meal & candy factory rejects (think pieces of m&m's, toffee, etc...) mixed in. When we don't have this feed, we feed pelletized "dock feed" from the local co-op or a corn-gluten mix that we get from a local feed mill.

    The ones we're finishing now are about 600 lbs, which is smaller than some like, but these are going in our freezer, and we need the beef sooner than later. We've also found that folks in this area can't afford the combined cost of the animal & kill bill if the poundage is much higher than 600 lbs, and if we want to sell direct to the consumer, we have to bear that in mind.

    -Joy
     
  18. Cason

    Cason Well-Known Member

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    I have Angus heifers. They've been on native prairie grass all summer. I will bring them (or at least a couple) to the finishing pen in the next few weeks, and tweak them with cracked corn. I dislike all the fat.. prefer grass.
     
  19. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With my longhorn cross calves, I feed grain and hay for 90 days. For the last 30 days I feed as much grain as they will eat. They've always graded high choice. If I grain them on pasture they don't eat as much grain so I usually end up feeding them for 120 days.

    Bob
     
  20. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Feed available to me is basic bulk pelletized commercial feed, gluten, shelled or cracked corn. You can buy bags of all stock type feed which has some loose grain and a sweetener but it's expensive.