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Effects of intensive winter management, partial season grazing, and sorting by feedlot in weight on performance and economics of yearling steer production systems

Jeffrey D Folmer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

A two-year experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of intensive winter management, partial season grazing, and sorting by feedlot initial weight on the performance and economics of yearling steer production systems. Normal yearling development consisted of a wintering period where steers graze corn residue or are fed hay in a drylot area. During the winter steers in the normal system received 2.27 kg (DM) wet corn gluten feed is fed daily. The intensive management system involved utilization of implants during the winter, feeding extra wet corn gluten feed (2.72 kg/d), and feeding an ionophore with the wet corn gluten feed. In addition, intensive system steers were removed early from summer pasture and placed on feed for finishing, while normal system steers grazed the entire summer before being placed on feed. Once in the feedlot a sorting treatment was applied to half of the steers. Steers were sorted into heavy 25%, middle 50%, and light 25% weight groups. Weight groups were marketed as follows: heavy 25% two weeks prior to unsorted control steers, middle 50% one week after unsorted control steers, and light 25% three week after unsorted control steers. Performance, carcass, and economic data were analyzed for both the systems and the sorting treatments in separate analyses. Steers in the intensive system gained faster and were more profitable if sold after the winter or summer grazing period. However, there were no differences in overall system profitability after the feedlot finishing period. ^ Sorting yearling steers by feedlot initial weight increased final weight, hot carcass weight, and (by design) increased days on feed. In addition, sorting decreased percentage overweight carcasses compared to unsorted control steers. However, sorting had no effect on feedlot profitability. Results of this experiment indicate that yearling steers can be produced in an intensive system and fed during the summer instead of the fall with no effect on profitability, and that sorting yearling steers by feedlot initial weight, and marketing them accordingly, may increase sale weight and days on feed, but may have no effect on feedlot profitability. ^

Subject Area

Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Folmer, Jeffrey D, "Effects of intensive winter management, partial season grazing, and sorting by feedlot in weight on performance and economics of yearling steer production systems" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3147138.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3147138

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