Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2001


Published in Nebraska Beef Cattle Report 2001, published by Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


A two-year summary of growing/ finishing systems indicates that steer calves wintered at 1.5 lb/day had lower slaughter breakeven (P < .05) costs compared to animals wintered at 0.5 lb/day. Additionally, feeding wet corn gluten feed as an energy source to increase winter gains tended (P < .15) to produce slaughter breakevens which were lower than the same winter gains produced by feeding corn. Restricting animal gain over the winter (0.5-1.0 lb/day) resulted in 25-32% compensation on grass compared to controls (1.5 lb/day). Comparison of calf finishing vs. yearling growing/finishing systems showed that steers wintered with a “fast” rate of gain (1.5 lb/day) profited $28.85/head compared to losses by steers wintered with a “slow” rate of gain (0.5 lb/day; $-30.24/head) or calf finishing ($-20.87/head).