When's a steer ready for the freezer?

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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: When's a steer ready for the freezer?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:32 pm

sstterry wrote:Is 800# small for an 18-month-old calf? I sent a 10-month-old to the market yesterday and he was 875# (albeit he was a bull calf).

I do not consider an 18 month old animal, a calf. They are yearlings. And, yes, if you are talking live weight, 800# is very light. The OP's yearling appears to be thin/light muscled, definitely underweight.
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Re: When's a steer ready for the freezer?

Postby rockroadseminole » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:38 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:I just had 3 calves "harvested" last week. Two steers & a heifer. 12-13 months of age.
On 10-15-18 weighed on 10-16 Carcass Wt Dressing %
Z74E 1225# 782# 64%
ZC9E 1160# 720# 62%
3S3E 1140# 726# 64%
they were weaned in May and put on whole shell corn, with a little 30% protein pellets. They were up to about 15#/day last few months. By the looks of them, they should easily go Choice, YG 2
Pick up meat next week.


That sounds like good yield rates but I really don’t know.

I’d be curious to know how the heifer grades vs the steers. 15# per day of feed? Where’d you start them and how’d you determine the increase? Never fed one out before and want to do a steer and a heifer this year.
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Re: When's a steer ready for the freezer?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:45 pm

Standard amount starting a calf is 1% of their body weight. You can increase every 7 days, building up to 3% of their body weight - if they will eat it.
Mine had some pasture + hay all summer. If I had a better balanced ration of grain, I should have been able to put more weight on them, but I am extremely happy with those weights and the carcasses. Talked to the butcher this evening and he was raving about their marbling and how big their muscles were.
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Re: When's a steer ready for the freezer?

Postby HDRider » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:42 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Standard amount starting a calf is 1% of their body weight. You can increase every 7 days, building up to 3% of their body weight - if they will eat it.
Mine had some pasture + hay all summer. If I had a better balanced ration of grain, I should have been able to put more weight on them, but I am extremely happy with those weights and the carcasses. Talked to the butcher this evening and he was raving about their marbling and how big their muscles were.

How many days do you feed 3% of body weight?
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Re: When's a steer ready for the freezer?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:07 am

I will start by saying I am not a nutritionist, but my husband was and I go by years of his advice/knowledge.
My calves are about 7-8 months of age when weaned. I start them out at probably less than 1% to get their system switched to a grain diet. They need about a 14% ration at that age, ending up only needing maybe 10%. Supposedly, the bugs in their system changes in 7 days, that is why it is safe to change/add to their diet every week. I build them up to full feed. Some cattle may never eat more than 2% - some lots more. My goal is to butcher (harvest) at 12-13 months old. I only feed fall born calves for meat because during the summer is the only time I have an empty lot with water to feed out any animals. During the winter, ALL lots available to maintain cattle are full.
So, back to how many days??? They really never got to 3% of just grain. That would be 30# for a 1000# animal. They maxed out at about 15# - 20# of grain. But, they were on grain from May to October - about 5 months. I think you could get cattle to eat more grain during the winter months, but they wouldn't utilize it as well, needing more maintenance requirements. Evidently, they were eating ENOUGH. A 720# to 780# carcass is the right size, and they are easily Choice, and only just past their 1st birthday.
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