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University of Minnesota Extension

Reducing feed cost of gain in the feedlot

Quick facts

  • You can use alternative feeds such as corn gluten feed, distillers byproducts or small grains to improve cost of gain.

  • Evaluate alternative feeds to optimize feed use and cost.

  • Always process small grains but avoid excess processing as it will reduce feed efficiency.

  • High moisture feeds improve intake but may not improve daily gain.

Feedlot profitability

Two measures determine the cost of your feed choices:

  • Average daily gain (ADG)
    • Relates to the days on feed.
    • Mainly affects the nonfeed cost of gain.
  • Dry matter (DM) needed per pound of gain
    • Relates more closely to the feed cost of gain.

Using alternative feeds


Authors: Alfredo DiCostanzo, Extension animal scientist and Hugh Chester-Jones, professor, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Sciences

Reviewed in 2021

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