Is my beef finished?

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
ksmit454
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Is my beef finished?

Post by ksmit454 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:28 pm

These are Angus, they are 17 & 18 months old. I have been finishing them on a grain ration since June 1st. Butcher is set to come September 14th. This is my very first time finishing beef so I’m not sure if I’m on track. Will September 14th be too late? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much!!
Also - they are getting about 10-15lbs per head per day of grain and a flake or two of hay. They have access to pasture too.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by rollinhills » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:39 pm

they don't look finished to me, bump them up to about 20 lbs a day and all the hay they want to eat you might make it by september.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by ksmit454 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:47 pm

rollinhills wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:39 pm
they don't look finished to me, bump them up to about 20 lbs a day and all the hay they want to eat you might make it by september.
Ok awesome thank you so much! This was the response I was hoping for. They are easily at 15lbs pet head per day and I can get them up to 20lbs pretty easy. I throw hay for they but they also have free gazing. Thanks again!

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by rollinhills » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:56 pm

if they are on full feed they should have more than they will eat at a feeding that way you know they are getting plenty.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by ksmit454 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:58 pm

rollinhills wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:56 pm
if they are on full feed they should have more than they will eat at a feeding that way you know they are getting plenty.
Ok thanks, good advice! I do notice they aren’t finishing their grain in one sitting, but will go on to the hay and come back for grain later.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by greggy » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:27 am

Hard too tell by photos, looks similar size to my bottle heifers of 700lb or so.

I am not giving mine a lot of feed as I do not want them over conditioned as will breed soon, I find they sort of go in spurts, he looks rounded enough though, but prob should be more so if on free feeds of grain and good hay....he is not chasing the girls round the paddock is he ? ;-)

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by Stickney94 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:51 am

My dad's old adage was -- "if you look at them head on and the front legs both come out of the same hole they aren't ready". haha

In short, take a look at their brisket.

But I'd agree with others you need to feed a bit more, particularly the hay. I've had my best luck balancing around 15-17 lbs of corn with all the hay they can eat (no implants, no ionosphores).

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by ksmit454 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:39 pm

greggy wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:27 am
Hard too tell by photos, looks similar size to my bottle heifers of 700lb or so.

I am not giving mine a lot of feed as I do not want them over conditioned as will breed soon, I find they sort of go in spurts, he looks rounded enough though, but prob should be more so if on free feeds of grain and good hay....he is not chasing the girls round the paddock is he ? ;-)
Lol! Nope these not just have each other for now! But it is difficult to tell by the picture, I should take one with me next to them. They look to me to be closer to 1,000lbs but I will try to get a picture for size difference. This sounds silly but I truly was worried about them being overly finished because they look huge to me. But again, these are my very first cattle so it’s all new to me 😊

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by ksmit454 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:42 pm

Stickney94 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:51 am
My dad's old adage was -- "if you look at them head on and the front legs both come out of the same hole they aren't ready". haha

In short, take a look at their brisket.

But I'd agree with others you need to feed a bit more, particularly the hay. I've had my best luck balancing around 15-17 lbs of corn with all the hay they can eat (no implants, no ionosphores).
What a great adage from you dad!! Love it. Ok thank you for the advice. They aren’t being harvested until mid September so I hope they will be good and finished by then. They are on about 15lbs of grain now but I have not been free feeding hay. I will start that too. Is there a particular kind of hay that is better for finishing? I have rye grass, alfalfa, and orchard in the barn right now (I work at a feed store so I get a variety of hay).

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by Stickney94 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:32 pm

ksmit454 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:42 pm
Is there a particular kind of hay that is better for finishing? I have rye grass, alfalfa, and orchard in the barn right now (I work at a feed store so I get a variety of hay).
There are "ration" calculators that may give you a better answer (I use one from the Univ of Minnesota).

As you increase the amount of grain/corn you risk the animals developing acidosis or getting very runny/loose stools or even developing bloat. So, I'd suggest using some mixture of grass and alfalfa if it is not hard to pitch/fork them both. Start 50/50 and if their stools get to runny/loose move to more grass and less alfalfa.

If it's hard to fork both, then I'd just use grass hay.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by sstterry » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:30 pm

Just my :2cents:, but after they are on 20lb per day for a week to 10 days (if they are handling it well) then bump them up to 25lb. The last few weeks I would just make the grain free choice so they can have all they want. It definitely takes time to develop the intra-muscular fat deposits (marbling).

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by Little Joe » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:02 pm

What are you feeding them? I finish with a ration that is 50% pulverized corn, 25%ddg, 25% corn gluten pellets with 25lbs feed grade lime per 1,000# of feed. I generally feed 1-1.5% of body weight in grain and all the grass they can eat. I also rotational graze and run the ones I’m finishing one paddock ahead of the other cows so they get the best grass. I bought 800 lb steers the first of February and finished them to about 1250 by mid June. Never fed over 15 lbs per head per day but they had plenty of excellent grass or wheat pasture.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by Little Joe » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:07 pm

Look for fat built up around the tail head, I like to see a few wrinkles around the tail head and brisket should start to look like a cantaloupe. Some will start to fill out where the testicles were. Also there should be some fat showing on the flank area. I’m no expert by any means but the people who buy beef from me love it so I must be doing something right. Finishing is kind of an art, once you know what you’re looking for.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by Little Joe » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:13 pm

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These were a few of the ones I finished last year, this was about 45 days before slaughter. The charolais has quite a bit of finish at this point but the black one had more frame so he still liked a little bit.

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Re: Is my beef finished?

Post by sstterry » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:45 pm

Little Joe wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:02 pm
What are you feeding them? I finish with a ration that is 50% pulverized corn, 25%ddg, 25% corn gluten pellets with 25lbs feed grade lime per 1,000# of feed.
I have always heard that corn gluten will give the meat an off-taste. I don't know if it is true or not but I just feed straight corn. What is the purpose of the lime? To help prevent acidosis?

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