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Matching cattle type and feedlot performance

Quick facts

  • Starting weight and age greatly affect feed intakes.

  • Large-framed cattle have more efficient gains because they are less mature than small-framed cattle at equal weight or age.

  • Strive to produce carcasses with 2 square inches of ribeye area per 100 pounds of carcass weight.

  • Weight accounts for 88 percent of the differences in feed intake within a given breed, but only 14 to 33 percent between breeds.

  • Implants can improve cattle performance.

Predicting breakeven prices is key to profit in cattle feeding. You must predict feedlot performance correctly to compute breakevens. The following vary greatly from one group of cattle to another:

  • Average daily feed intake (ADFI)

  • Average daily gain (ADG)

  • Feed conversion (F/G)

  • Days on feed

  • Carcass traits

  • Disease and death rates

Knowing how the following factors affect feedlot performance can help you match cattle type and feedlot performance.

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Pete Anderson, former Extension beef cattle specialist

Reviewed in 2018

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