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I received a 1 year old steer for feed out and slaughter purposes. I have 15 acres but I don't want to feed all the grain to my cow, calf and donkey who also are on site.

I tried letting the steer just graze with the cow and calf and cut him from the "herd" at feeding time but its just a struggle and time waster.

So I put the steer in a separate pasture. In two days he was back with the cow and calf. I guess he jumped the 5 strand barbed wire fence with no problem...?

SO my only other option is to keep him in a 20 x 25 pipe fence pen that you can see in the picture, 24/7, and just let him live there until slaughter time.. Give him free choice grain and water and a Moorman block with Rumensin. I'll also throw a flake of coastal in there once a day.

Questions....

1. Is this an acceptable practice?
2. Might the lack of exercise atrophy the muscles and I end up with just a weak, fat, steer?
3. DO I need to instead, pen him all day on grain and graze him all night on pasture throughout the winter instead?
 

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1 flake of hay a day probably won't cut it he still looks pretty small why not grow him out on pasture some more then pour the feed to him when its time to finish he still looks like he could use a few hundred pounds of frame work before filling him out that would be a lot of feed to buy food the same thing you could do with pasture
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's great advice and I was hoping to hear that.

I still have tons of grass and I sure would like him to be eating it rather than buying $9 bags of grain every three days..
 

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It has always been standard practice to pen up steers the last few months for full hay and grain in our neck of the woods.
Most of our clients pasture raise until the last 3-5 months then pen them up in a confined pen (your pen size or smaller) with free choice alfalfa and grain as the animal can handle.
They don't get skinny they get bigger and fatter. The lazier the better. That's the point of penning them up in a small area.
It's no surprise he went back to the herd. They don't like to be alone. Especially when they see their family/friends. Need strong fences to keep them separated alone.
Good luck! :)
 

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I wouldn't pen him up full time. If you have grass to graze I would leave him in with your cow. My guess is that if you feed him grain on top of what he's getting, he will come running for it no matter where he is. I certainly wouldn't deprive him of any grass that could be eaten.
 
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