Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



2017 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP104. Lincoln, NE.


© 2016 The Board Regents of the University of Nebraska.


A pooled- analysis of UNL feedlot pens examined the effects of steer age and body weight on feedlot growth performance. For data analysis, pens were divided into 3 subclasses based on steer age (calf- fed, short yearling, or long yearling) and, grouped based upon initial body weight (500 to 1200 lb, in 100 lb increments) within each age class. As initial body weight increased, DMI (lb/d) for the whole feeding period increased quadratically in calf-fed steers and increased linearly in short and long yearlings. A quadratic increase in ADG was observed in calf- feds as initial body weight increased. No differences in ADG were observed for short and long yearlings due to initial body weight. As heavier cattle were placed within age group, feed conversion increased linearly. Predicting DMI is more consistent when expressed as % of body weight. Predicting intake and growth performance over the entire feeding period, in order to facilitate management decisions, is dependent upon steer age and initial weight when starting the finishing diet.