Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version

January 1999


Published in 1999 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Published by Agricultural Research Division & University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension , Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In North American beef production systems, the entire spectrum of restriction and compensation is found. The area of compensatory gain is complex and not well understood, but critically important to the economics of cattle feeding. Several compensatory gain studies from the University of Nebraska have been compiled. The range in compensation observed with cattle grazing season-long is 19-88 percent with a mean of 53 percent. From these grazing studies, days of restriction appear to be related to percentage compensation. In the feedlot, even relatively short restrictions trigger compensatory gain; however, feed efficiency response to compensatory gain is