feed recipe

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by wheresdabeef, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. wheresdabeef

    wheresdabeef Member

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    S.E. MI
    I would like your opinions on the following: I have 12 angus steers currently in feed lot, have access to hay anytime, I have been going thru about 3 ton of grain a mo. I have it delivered by the co-op as follows: 6000 lbs ground corn, 500 lbs of 40% beef pellets, 50 lbs of minerals w/selenium, 50lbs salt. I have it augered into a steer stuffer type feeder that they have access to anytime. I have had good luck with this arrangement over the last ten years, but am wondering if I am using the right mix. This is the first board I have been on that has people who are knowledgeable about this type of matter. I typically spend $350-400 per month on this mix, raise the steers to around 900-1000 lb. hang weight then sell for $1.40 a lb. hang wgt. with buyer paying processing. I have been buying steers at a $1.00 lb from a local fellow when they are anywhere from 300-600lbs. usually keep them a year or so then sell them when their fat. This year I am going to get rid of them lighter than I use to, around 350-400lb halves. What do ya think??? Thanks in advance for your expertise!! Jim
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how you are making any money. Using the figures you gave, I came up with about $2000 over the feed/calf costs, but that wasn't counting hay and labor. I figured using 12 600 pound calves fed for a year at $400/month.

    My feed is 14% protein (just corn and soybean meal), plus free choice mineral and salt. They get silage and no hay. I try to have them up to at least 1000 pounds (preferably 1200) by 15-16 months for direct meat sales at $1.75/lb hanging, plus processing. If I don't sell them that way, they keep eating up to 1300-1400 pounds and go to the sale barn.

    Your feed works up to about 10% protein and it's taking you too long to finish them (assuming they are 6 months old when bought). I'd up your protein and get them finished quicker. I'd also charge more. At first I thought I'd never get that kind of money for them, but I do and it keeps growing slowly but surely. I try to price them so I end up with about $1/live weight.

    I'm puzzled by your "lighter halves". If your cattle are hanging at 60% of live weight, your halves would be much smaller than 350-400 pounds??? What am I missing?

    Jena
     

  3. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    missouri
    was wonder how he is making any money too...but what suprised me was my wife said.....thats alot feed for a year and $$$$ and she doesn't work with my books
     
  4. wheresdabeef

    wheresdabeef Member

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    Hi, thanks for the replies, first of all I'm sure I'm not making any money, this has just turned into an expensive hobby. Started out just raising a couple beef for the family so I knew what I was feeding. In fact once I take two whole beeves out of the mix for personal consumption I'm probably losing more than the above stated post. I am sure that there are other hobbies out there that cost far more in terms of money as well as personal issues. It is hard to look at 15-20 Angus feeders and only take two or three! As far as moving them when they are lighter weight most people don't seem to be able/or willing to lay out $1000 a pop for beef. Last year my halves were averaging 525-550lb and I increased price from $1.25lb to $1.40lb for the first time only because market was high. My cow guy said maybe I was getting them too heavy. I have used soybean meal but a couple people remarked on the taste, although I'm not sure if there was a difference. I am blessed to have a very good job that allows me to pursue this hobby. I would like to know how to figure out what the protein yield is on a given feed mix. I am open to suggestions as to how to become more economical, probably should just get a couple feeders every year and say forget the rest eh! Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Some questions:

    Are you feeding the cattle out until they reach a live weight of 900-1000 pounds or a hanging weight of 900-1000 lbs. With a yield of 60%, a hanging weight of 900-1000 pounds suggests these cattle are finishing awful big (1540-1670 lbs) for Angus steers.

    It goes without saying they should have access to clean fresh water.

    The other thing that isn’t clear is whether these steers get the same ration from 300 lbs. to finishing. Say you get them at 550 lbs., are they green when you get them or have they seen any dry feed? If they’re green, you want to step them up slowly on about 14% crude protein (corn-protein supplement mix) until they are receiving 2.5% of bodyweight.

    Here’s Pearson’s square, it’s how to mix a ration for desired crude protein

    Supp..38………………..4
    …………… 14………….
    Corn..10……………….24

    The Pearson’s square first column is crude protein on a dry matter basis of the ingredients. The pelleted grower supplement is say 38% cp on a dry matter basis, while ground shell corn is 10% cp on a dry matter basis. In the middle of the Pearson’s square is the desired crude protein percent for the grain mix. And the right column of Pearson’s square is the parts of each ingredient. Get this by subtracting diagonally the smaller number for the larger number.

    For supplement, 14 -10 yields 4 parts pelleted supplement
    For corn, 38 – 14 yields 24 parts ground shelled corn.

    This ration would be 14.3 % (4/28)grower supplement and 85.7% (24/28) ground shelled corn. You might want to put a little molasses in this if they aren’t used to eating dry feed, + your minerals and vitamins.

    At this weight, they need to be getting about 10 lbs. of this feed and about 7.5 lbs. of good grass hay per day.

    Once the cattle get to about 750 lbs., you can start transitioning them to a finishing ration, which can be lower in crude protein and you want to increase the feed and decrease the hay. After they are fully on this ration, they should be able to handle total dry matter intake of 2.75%-3% of their weight. When they hit 900 lbs., they should be eating around 25+ lbs of this mixed feed per day, counting hay, but they only need 2-3 lbs. long grass hay/day.

    So, suppose you want a finishing ration of 13% crude protein (It should be at least 11%) and you are using ground shell corn and a 40% pelleted supplement.

    Here’s your Pearson’s square:


    Supp..40………………..3
    …………… 13………….
    Corn..10……………….27

    3 parts pelleted supplement to 27 parts ground shelled corn. So (3/30) 10% pelleted supplement and 90% ground shell corn. A one-ton mix would have 200 lbs. of pelleted supplement and 1800 lbs. ground shelled corn. You want to make sure your minerals and supplement are such that the ration has about 0.6% potassium, 0.5% calcium, and 0.35% phosphorus. The coop should be able to have the tests on the corn and the tags on the supplement to gauge this, and a forage test on your hay wouldn’t hurt.

    I’d suggest feeding them a dry feed with an ionophore (e.g. Bovatec or Rumensin) added to stimulate their rumen activity. I’d also let them have free-choice access to minerals and salt.

    There’s a lot that we don’t know about these calves. How long they’ve been weaned and what they’ve been fed before you get them. The other thing we don’t know is whether you put them right on the steer stuffer or bunk feed, and exactly what you’re feeding them at different weights. Have they been implanted when you get them?

    I don’t use steer stuffers any more, although I did have decent results when I fed out Holstein steers on them (from about 900 lbs.) The reason I don’t like using them is that I can’t tell exactly how much they’re eating every day. When you bunk feed, you can read the bunk to see their intake better. You might also want to try to gauge better how much hay they are eating. I have had steers that will eat as much hay as you put in front of them, which makes them gain a bit slower. I feed only small square bales twice a day to get a better control on their hay intake. I’ll admit, I do things the hard (e.g. labor intensive way.

    I’ve never been able to tell whether a steer is finished simply by weight. Without seeing them, I can’t tell what weight your steers are finishing at, but you’re presumably going to send them for processing not based on an expected carcass grade but what your customers want. Do they want extensive marbling? Your feed conversion goes down at heavier weights, so cost per lb. of gain is going to go up the heavier you finish.

    I hope the Pearson’s square stuff helps.
     
  6. wheresdabeef

    wheresdabeef Member

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    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    S.E. MI
    milkstoolcowboy, some answers to the questions: first of all, all wgts. referred to are hang wgts. I butchered a steer in Dec. which hung out at 1070# for my family. I do not have the means, nor the courage to try to tape one of these critters to guesstimate live weight. I took two of the steers to the sale barn last fall that I did'nt have buyers for that ended up around 1550lb ea live wgt, got a good price for them too! That is what I meant by finishing them out lighter for smaller halves, 350-400lb range hang wgt. I keep fresh water in front of them at all times in the form of 300 gallon water tanks.
    Here is what happens when I get the steers: My guy calls me and says he is going to get rid of them so bring your trailer and get up here. They are typically still on the mothers on open pasture with access to creep feeder (cracked corn, oats) and round bales of orchard grass type hay, I go up there and help him round them up to a large circle pen, probably 40-50 mothers with their calves usually 300-400lbs. We sort out the steers and load em up, I go weigh the load then bring them home and turn them loose in the pen (2 acres), then we listen to them bawl for momma for 2-3 days until they settle down then to business as usual. As soon as they get to the pen they have access to the ground feed, and all the hay they choose to eat, my cousin does the hay so I have access to any and all that horse people turn their nose up to. I usually put up 600-700 small squares a year in a semi trailer on the property. The calves have been vaccinated, and normally castrated, although once in a while one slips through which I end up banding as soon as I notice it.
    I lost a steer a couple years ago due to what I considered grain overload, bloated and I did'nt catch it in time, but other than that I have experienced no other issues, the animals are healthy, no implants, no antibiotics, and seem to do well. The way I have been determining when the steer is ready for the freezer is by looking at the brisket as well as the hump above the tail, when they seem to be filled out nicely off they go, what they weigh is what they weigh! They are fed the same thing from the day I get them until they go to slaughter or sale barn. As far as I can tell from Pearson's square the only thing I need to do is up my supplement from 500lb to 600lb, which should put me in the ballpark, 6000lb corn/600lb 40% beef pellet. What do you think?