• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Introduction
 Method of procedure
 Experimental results
 Summary and conclusions
 Acknowledgement
 Literature cited














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 418
Title: Weight changes of cattle on a Florida range
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015130/00001
 Material Information
Title: Weight changes of cattle on a Florida range
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 23 p. : ill., charts ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kirk, W. Gordon ( William Gordon ), 1898-1979
Shealy, A. L
Knapp, Bradford, 1905-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1945
 Subjects
Subject: Rangelands -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Weight   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 22-23.
Statement of Responsibility: by W.G. Kirk, A.L. Shealy and Bradford Knapp, Jr.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "In cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture"--T.p.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015130
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000925228
oclc - 18237800
notis - AEN5876

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Introduction
        Page 5
    Method of procedure
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Experimental results
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 22
    Acknowledgement
        Page 22
    Literature cited
        Page 22
        Page 23
Full Text



December, 1945


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
HAROLD MOWRY, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
(In Cooperation with U. S. Department of Agriculture)







WEIGHT CHANGES OF CATTLE ON A

FLORIDA RANGE


By
W. G. KIRK, A. L. SHEALY and BRADFORD KNAPP, JR.


Fig. 1.-Native cows showing typical color markings.


Bulletin 418










BOARD OF CONTROL


J. Thos. Gurney, Chairman, Orlando
N. B. Jordan, Quincy
Thos. W. Bryant, Lakeland
M. L. Mershon, Miami
J. Henson Markham, Jacksonville
J. T. Diamond, Secretary, Tallahassee




EXECUTIVE STAFF

John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the
University"
H. Harold Hume, D.Sc., Provost for Agricul-
ture
Harold Mowry, M.S.A., Director
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Asst. Dir., Research
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Asst. Dir., Admin.'
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor3
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editors
Jefferson Thomas, Assistant Editor3
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Managers
K. H. Graham, LL.ID., Business Managers
Claranelle Alderman, Accountants




MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE

AGRONOMY

W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist'
Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Agronomists
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
Roy E. Blaser, M.S., Associate6
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Associate
Fred A. Clark, B.S., Assistant


ANIMAL INDUSTRY

A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., An. Industrialist' s
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandman3
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologist3
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarians
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist'
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.3
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist
R. S. Glasscock, Ph.D., An. Husbandman
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Asso. in Dairy Mfg.
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.4
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Hush.'
C. L. Comar, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech.
J. E. Pace, B.S., Asst. An. Husbandman'
Katherine Boney, B.S., Asst. Chem.
Ruth Taylor, A.B., Asst. Biochemist
Peggy R. Lockwood, B.S., Asst. in Dairy Mfs.


ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL

C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agri. Economist' 3
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associates
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Associate5
D. E. Alleger, M.S., Associate

Orlando, Florida (Cooperative USDA)
G. Norman Rose, B.S., Asso. Agr. Economist
J. C. Townsend, Jr., B.S.A., Agr. Statistician2
J. B. Owens, B.S.A., Agr. Statistician2

ECONOMICS, HOME

Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1
R. B. French, Ph.D., Biochemist

ENTOMOLOGY

J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist'
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate3
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant

HORTICULTURE

G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist'
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort.
Byron E. Janes, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
R. Wilmot, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
R. D'. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Victor F. Nettles, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.'
J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort.5
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2


PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist'1
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist and Botanist
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist

SOILS

F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Chemist' 3
Gaylord M. Volk, M.S., Chemist6
J. R. Henderson, M.S.A., Soil Technologist
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
L. G. Thompson, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
L. H. Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Biochemist'
R. A. Carrigan, B.S., Asso. Biochemist
G. T. Sims, M.S.A., Associate Chemist
T. C. Erwin, Assistant Chemist
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
Geo. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. Microbiologist5
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor'
Olaf C. Olson, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor'

1 Head of Department.
2 In cooperation with U. S.
s Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
SIn Military Service.
6 On leave.












BRANCH STATIONS


NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY

J. D. Warner, M.S., Vice-Director in Charge
R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asso. Agron.
R. C. Bond, M.S.A., Asso. Agronomist


Mobile Unit, Monticello

R. W. Wallace, B.S., Associate Agronomist


Mobile Unit, Milton

Ralph L. Smith, M.S., Associate Agronomist


Mobile Unit, Marianna

R. W. Lipscomb, M.S., Associate Agronomist


Mobile Unit, Wewahitchka

J. B. White, B.S.A., Associate Agronomist



CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED

A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
V. C. Jamison, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Entomologist
W. W. Lawless, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Asso. Chemist
H. O. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
T. W. Young, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
J. W. Sites, M.S.A., Asso. Horticulturist5
J. B. Redd, Ph.D., Insecticide Chemist



EVERGLADES STA., BELLE GLADE

R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist4
F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agron.
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
Physiologist
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
B. S. Clayton,'B.S.C.E., Drainage Eng.2
W. D. Wylie, Ph.D., Entomologist
W. T. Forsee, Jr., Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.4
Robt. L. Cassell, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
R. W. Kidder, M.S., Asst, An. Husb.
R. A. Bair, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
Earl L. Felix, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.
C. C. Seale, Asst. Agronomist


SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD

Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Charge
P. J. Westgate, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
H. I. Borders, M.S., Asso. Plant Path.


W. CENT. FLA. STA., BROOKSVILLE

Clement D. Gordon, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry
Geneticist in Charge2


RANGE CATTLE STA., ONA

W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Associate Agronomist
Gilbert A. Tucker, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.4



FIELD STATIONS

Leesburg
G. K. Parris, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge

Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist

Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Truck Horticulturist

Monticello
S. O. Hill, B.S., Asst. Entomologist2 4
A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asst. Entomologist2

Bradenton
J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Horticulturist in
Charge
E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
A. L. Harrison, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
David G. Kelbert. Asst. Plant Pathologist
E. L. Spencer, Ph.l., Soils Chemist
Robert O. Magie, Ph.D., Hort., Glad. Inv.
Arthur J. Pratt, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.

Sanford
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in Charge
A. Alfred Foster, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
J. C. Russell, M.S., Asst. Entomologist
Ben F. Whitner, Jr., B.S., Asst. Hort.

Lakeland
E. S. Ellison, Meteorologist2
Warren O. Johnson, Meteorologist2

1 Head of Department.
2 In cooperation with U. S.
3 Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
SIn Military Service.
6 On leave.









WEIGHT CHANGES OF CATTLE ON A

FLORIDA RANGE'

W. G. KIRK, A. L. SHEALY and BRADFORD KNAPP, JR. 2

CONTENTS
Page
Method of Procedure .............................................. ... ............... 6
Experimental Results ........................................ ........ ... 8
Weight Changes with Mature Native Cows ............................... 8
Changes in Weight of First- and Second-cross Heifers ........ 12
Discussion ............................................... 18
Summary and Conclusions .......................................................... 22
Literature Cited .................................. ................. 22

Stockmen observe annually that mature cattle on improved
ranges of the Coastal Plains of the Gulf States gain rapidly from
early spring until late summer and that immature animals make
good growth and fatten well during these months. In areas
where controlled burning of native pastures has been practiced,
an abundance of nutritious forage results and the carrying
capacity of such ranges is much greater during the spring and
early summer months than in the winter. During the fall the
amount and quality of the forage decrease and usually cattle
only maintain their weight. In the winter, because of the low
feeding value of the forage, cattle lose virtually all the gains
made in the more favorable months of the year. The lack of,
sufficient high quality forage during the winter months is the
significant factor which (a) limits the carrying capacity of
the range, (b) retards the development of immature cattle,
(c) limits the size of mature animals, (d) decreases the poten-
tial beef producing capacity of the range and (e) lowers the
quality and degree of fatness of many slaughter animals. Al-
though it is well known that the condition and thriftiness of
the range herds change from season to season and from year
to year, there were no data to show what happened over a period
of years.
The object of the investigation reported herein was to deter-
mine the weight changes of mature native cows and develop-
ment of grade heifers when all of their feed was obtained from
the range.

SIn cooperation with the Division of Animal Husbandry, Bureau of
Animal Industry, Washington, D. C., and Foremost Properties Incorporated,
Penney Farms, Florida.
2 Knapp, Animal Husbandman, USDA, formerly stationed at the Florida
Experiment Station.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


METHOD OF PROCEDURE

This investigation was conducted at Penney Farms, Florida, on
land and with cattle belonging to Foremost Properties, Incor-
porated. In November 1932 a selected group of native cows was
divided into 3 experimental herds of 40 cows each and placed
in separate pastures. In March 1933 a fourth herd of cows was
added. Figures 1 and 2 show the type of native cows used.
The following breeds of bulls were used throughout the in-
vestigation: Herd 1, Hereford; Herd 2, Devon; Herd 3, Brah-
man; and Herd 4, Red Polled. It is not within the scope of
this bulletin to discuss the relative merits of the 4 breeds of
bulls used in grading up a herd of native cows.
Beginning in June 1933 the native cows, with all their grade
offspring kept for breeding purposes, were weighed at 3-month
intervals until March 1941. The herds were weighed between
the 15th and the 25th of March, June, September, and December
of each year. Only group weights were obtained, as none of
the animals had individual identification marks. After the
December weighing in 1936 each of the 4 herds of original
native cows was reduced to 24 animals, as some of these animals
had passed their period of usefulness and there was a sufficient
number of grade heifers of breeding age to replace the cows
removed. During 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936 the heifers were
allowed to remain with the herd; however, in 1937 and each
year thereafter they were removed in March following their


Fig. 2.-Native cows in which red color predominates.







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range


birth and returned to their respective herds a year later when
they were 2-year old heifers.
The breeding season was controlled throughout the experi-
ment. The bulls were placed with their respective herds at
the date the herds were weighed in March and removed in
September. Usually there were some calves to weigh in March;
however, the greater number were born in April and May.
The pastures consisted mainly of native grass on cut-over
pine land. There was a scattering of young pines on the flat-
woods, with pines and other trees along the creeks and in the
lower areas. Palmettos were numerous and in places there
was a heavy growth of gallberries.
The range vegetation was predominantly wiregrass, with a
considerable number of broad-leafed native grasses. Maiden
cane and Paspalum grasses were more numerous in the lower
areas. In old fields, along trails, and in places where cattle
congregated there were good stands of carpet and Bermuda
grasses. In most respects the pastures were typical of large
areas in northern and central Florida. From 15 to 20 acres
of range were available per animal over 1 year old. Camp (1) s
found in a survey made in 1931 in Alachua County, Florida,
that cattlemen allowed 22.6 acres of cut-over pine land per cow,
although it was estimated that 10 acres of such range would
support a mature animal for the entire year.
Areas in each pasture were burned during the winter or early
spring but no systematic plan was followed. The burning was
done after a rain or in the late afternoon in an effort to control
fire.
The pastures were located from 1 to 3 miles from the scale
pens, and at weighing time the cattle were driven to the scales.
In some instances cattle hid in the dense underbrush, and in
periods of heavy rainfall areas in each pasture became impass-
able, which prevented gathering some of the cattle for weighing.
The cattle had access from time to time to common salt,
steamed bonemeal, and "salt sick" supplement. The "salt sick"
supplement consisted of common salt, 100 pounds; red oxide
of iron, 25 pounds; and copper sulfate, 1 pound. Beginning
in 1939 1 ounce of cobalt chloride was added to the supple-
ment. The minerals were placed in a 3-compartment box in each
of the pastures.
Italic figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

WEIGHT CHANGES WITH MATURE NATIVE COWS

The average weight changes of mature native cows at 3-month
intervals from June 1933 to March 1938 are given in Table 1.
These same data in graph form are shown in Figure 3. The
average monthly temperatures and precipitation during this
period are given in Table 2 while these same data in graph form
are shown in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5, respectively.
700





t 550

50 .


March March March March March
1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
Fig. 3.-Average weight curves of native cows at 3-month intervals from
June 1933 to March 1938.

It is to be observed from Table 1 and Figure 3 that there was
a great seasonal variation in average weights of cows during the
5-year period. The average weight of the cows in March for the
5 years was 541 pounds; June, 623 pounds; September, 645
pounds; and December, 621 pounds. The average gain per cow
was 82 pounds from March to June and 22 pounds from June
to September. There was an average loss of 24 pounds from
September to December, but the largest average loss, 80 pounds,
occurred from December to March.
80

~ 70

60 --- --



S40
0 0 I- I 7 'I '- I
March March Mrch March March I March
1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
Fig. 4.-Mean minimum temperatures for monthly intervals from January
1933 to December 1938.








Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range


1933 1934
Fig. 5.-Precipitation


March tarch
1935 1936
for monthly intervals
to December 1938.


March March
1977 1938
from January -1933


TABLE 1.-AVERAGE WEIGHT OF NATIVE COWS AT 3-MONTH INTERVALS FROM
JUNE 1933 TO MARCH 1938.


Number Change in Average
Year Weigh of Average Weight from
Period Animals Weight Previous Weighing
Gain Loss
Pounds Pounds Pounds

1933 June 121 588
September 160 624 .36
December 139 586 .... 38

1934 March 140 541 .... 45
June 154 633 92
September 154 652 19
December 140 618 .... 34

1935 March 158 519 .... 99
June 160 636 117
September 160 '664 28
December 123 673 9. 9

1936 March 160 550 .... 123
June 160 613 63
September 160 631 18
December 96* 620 .... 11

1937 March 45** 580** .... 40
June 93 645 65
September 94 664 19
December 79 609 .... 53

1938 March 83 545 .... 64


Average March 594 541 .... 80
Weight Cows June 692 623 82...
for 5-Year September 741 645 22
Period December 577 621 .... 24

*Each of the 4 herds reduced to 24 animals.
**Forty-eight cows were fed 1.3 pounds of cottonseed meal, 41 percent protein, daily
for a 98-day period in the winter of 1936-37 and their weights are not included in the
average for larch, 1937. The 48 cows fed cottonseed meal averaged 611 pounds or 31
pounds more 'than did those kept entirely on the range.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


It is seen from Table 1 that the greatest average gain, 117
pounds, for a 3-month period was from March to June, 1935,
and the greatest loss, 123 pounds, from December, 1935, to
March, 1936. Thus, the largest gain and loss for any 3-month
period of the 5 years occurred within a year. It is seen from
Table 24 and Fig. 4 that low temperatures are common from
November to February, with frost occurring most frequently
in December and January. In December 1935 there was frost
on 6 days and the mean minimum temperature for the month
was-40.10 F., the lowest for any month during the 5 years and
7.5 F. below normal for the month of December. In 1936
freezing weather occurred on 5 days in January and 2 days
in February. Because of the numerous frosts during this
3-month period the nutritive quality of the feed on the range
deteriorated rapidly, resulting in average loss of 123 pounds
per cow.
In the winter of 1936-37 the average loss in weight from
December to March was 40 pounds, the lowest'for any winter
period. Although frost occurred on 4 days in November and
2 days in December 1936 there was no freezing weather in
January and February of 1937. The monthly minimum tem-
peratures for this period were above those for the same period
in the other 4 years. Thus, improved feed conditions prevailed
during this winter as compared with the winter of 1935-36,
and weight losses were much reduced.
The average weight of the cows in March 1935 was 519
pounds, while in December of the same year they weighed 673
pounds, a gain of 154 pounds during the 9 months. It is ob-
served from Table 1 that these 2 weights represent the lightest
and heaviest average weights obtained during the 5 years.
SFactors which may cause loss of weight other than the lack
of sufficient high quality feed on the range during the winter
/ period include the following: (a) extended periods of heavy
rainfall when pastures become excessively wet; (b) cold, driv-
\ ing rains; and (c) birth of calves. It is to be seen from Table 2
and Fig. 5 that the rainfall for January and February 1936
was 11.85 inches, which was 6.36 inches above normal for those
months. -Low temperatures coupled with heavy rainfall during
the winter of 1935-36 made conditions unfavorable for cattle
on the range.

SOfficial records of the U. S. Weather Bureau.








Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range 1

TABLE 2.-SUMMARY OF WEATHER RECORDS FROM JANUARY 1933 TO
DECEMBER 1938.


Temperature Re
No. No.
Year Month Days Days
Be- from Low-
low 40 to est*
33 F. 33" F._


1933











1934











1935











1936


January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December


1










3
1
1






1
4

3
4
1









5
2







4
2


6 34
2 28
4 37
45





8 36
5 33

4 27
6 32
2 30
.... 38





4 32
5 16

5 27
5 26
1 30
.... 43
43





3 33
10 23

3 26
4 26
1 39
1 40




4 26
1 30


oc rds in Degrees Fahrenh3it


Mean Mean
Maxi- Mini-
mum mum


S70.5 50.8
73.3 53.0
75.8 51.2
77.8 58.2
89.6 67.8
90.3 67.4
89.7 71.6
90.7 71.4
90.9 71.3
83.1 63.8
74.5 49.1
74.6 49.8

70.5 49.7
68.4 44.9
74.6 51.6
80.6 52.0
83.3 65.5
88.9 71.2
91.2 71.1
90.5 71.3
91.4 69.2
85.7 63.0
77.2 53.3
68.3 46.5

69.4 47.5
70.0 45.4
81.1 56.9
82.6 58.3
89.1 65.6
91.7 69.4
87.9 71.1
90.7 72.1
86.5 70.3
85.2 63.6
76.8 54.5
60.3 (40.1

67.5 46.3
68.2 45.8
74.3 53.8
81.8 56.8
87.1 64.1
88.5 68.6
90.7 71.5
92.0 71.7
91.5 70.1
84.4 65.0
73.0 50.2
68.5 50.2


Mean 'Precipi-
for station
Month in
Inches


60.6
63.2
63.5
68.0
78.7
78.8
80.6
81.0
81.1
73.4
61.8
62.2

60.1
56.6
63.1
69.3
74.4
80.0
81.2
80.9
80.3
74.4
65.2
57.4

58.4
57.7
69.0
70.4
77.4
80.6
79.5
81.4
78.4
74.4
65.6
50.2

56.9
57.0
64.0
69.3
75.9
78.6
81.1
81.8
'80.8
74.7
61.6
59.5


2.86
2.55
3.74
8.40
3.71
1.62
6.27
7.57
8.21
3.24
0.59
0.56

0.44
4.56
2.58
6.03
6.52
8.57
6.33
5.01
1.68
5.75
0.52
0.86

1.74
2.05
0.69
2.72
2.67
5.14
11.18
12.12
11.03
0.40
0.67
1.97

3.97
.7.88
2.87
0.46
3.09
7.21
7.00
5.11
1.08
8.13
0.10
2.63








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 2.-(Continued).

Temperature Records in Degrees Fahrenheit


Year



1937










1938


No.
Days
from
A01o 4,^


3:


No.
Month Days
Be-
low
33 F.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November 2
December 4

January 3
February 1
March
April
May
June ..
July ....
August .
September .
October ....
November 2
SDecember 3


Low-
est*


Mean
Mini-
mum


Mean Precipi-
for station
Month in
Inches


Mean
Maxi-
mum


77.9
68.6
73.1
80.0
86.5
91.4
91.1
90.3
86.8
80.0
70.7
67.1

66.3
73.8
81.9
82.8
88.7
87.9
88.6
93.0
87.3
79.9
76.2
68.7


3.32
4.60
3.03
5.81
2.68
2.74
4.72
13.92
4.49
4.40
3.88
1.76
1.90
2.24
1.38
0.68
5.34
9.63
5.11
5.95
4.62
9.19
0.74
0.53


*Only lowest temperatures from November to April included.


CHANGES IN WEIGHT OF FIRST- AND SECOND-CROSS HEIFERS

The mature native cows used for live weight records given
Sin Table 1, beginning in 1933, were bred to purebred Here-
ford, Devon, Brahman and Red Polled bulls and the offspring
of these matings are the first-cross animals. The heifers born
in 1933 were mostly grade Herefords with a few grade Brah-
mans and some native animals. In each instance, the first-cross
heifers were mated to bulls of the same breed as their sire to
produce second-cross heifers. All heifers of the first-cross were
considered as one group and all second-cross as a second group.
Most of the bull calves were sold as vealers and any reserved
for other purposes were removed when a year old. The data
presented, therefore, concern changes in weight of heifers only.
As it was impossible to obtain all the cattle in each herd at\
each roundup, the number of animals recorded changed from/
time to time.


3 F.


6
6






3
7

6
1







4
7


68.8
58.7
61.2
64.8
75.2
80.8
81.4
80.8
78.0
70.0
60.5
55.8

56.4
62.8
69.5
70.5
77.0
79.2
79.2
81.7
77.6
68.6
65.9
56.0







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range


The average weights of the first-cross heifers, grouped by
year of birth, are given in Table 3 and the same data are shown
as group curves in Fig. 6.


.400


f


March Sept. March Sept. March Sent. March Sept. M;irch Sert. M-rch Sept. March Sept. March Sept. March
1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941
Fig 6.-Growth curves of first-cross heifers grouped according
to year of birth.

The cylic nature of the weight curves in Fig. 6 indicates how
external conditions, such as temperature and rainfall and their
relation to amount and quality of forage, influence weight
changes. The greatest weight-increases, whether of calves,
yearlings or 2-year 61d heifers, were from March to June when
there was a plentiful supply of feed on the range. From June
to December there is a steady deterioration in the quality of
the forage with a consequent decrease in rate of gain. From
December to March freezing weather killed much of the forage
and lowered the quality of that which remained to such an
extent that it was nutritionally inadequate to support the grow-
ing animal. The close similarity of the curves for the various
groups of heifers indicates that changes in weight were not'
affected by inherent differences among the groups.
The weight changes for the second-cross heifers were not as
uniform from year to year as were those for the first-cross. The
first-cross animals were out of mature cows while the larger















Age and
Weigh
Period


Calves
March
June 28
September 30
December 31

1-year old
March 28
June 28
September 26
December 26

2-year old
March 18
June 20
September 19
December 19

March 17


TABLE 3.--AVERAGE WEIGHT CHANGES OF FIRST-CROSS HEIFERS GROUPED ACCORDING TO YEAR OF BIRTH.

Year of Birth

1933* I 1934 I 1935 ( 1936 1 1937 1938 I 1939


Number
of Average
Animals Weight


Pounds


- 131
- 218
- 250


- 258
- 304
- 330
- 346


- 345
- 504
- 560
- 546

- 465


Number Number Number
of Average of Average of Average
Animals Weight Animals Weight Animals Weight


Pounds


- 80
- 158
- 220
- 261


- 254
- 367
- 460
- 429


- 457
- 498
- 561
- 521

- 479


Pounds


- 101
- 189
- 254**
- 281


- 289
- 390
- 430
- 447


- 428
- 481
- 505
- 495

- 455


Pounds

- 116
- 123
- 242
- 258


- 267
- 359
- 418
- 429


- 382
- 484
- 554
- 546

- 521


Number
of Average
Animals Weight


Pounds


- 202
- 254
- 268


- 260
- 357
- 464
- 432


- 387
- 558
- 601
- 575

- 453


Number
of Average
Animals Weight


Pounds


75
143
219
233


- 262
- 336
- 410
- 377


- 359
- 507
- 568
- 513

- 373


*Mostly grade Herefords with a few grade Brahmans and some native animals.
**Calculated weight.


Number
of Average
Animals Weight


Pounds


5 300
4 447


----~--


I


.


, ,









TABLE 4.-AVERAGE WEIGHT CHANGES OF SECOND-CROSS HEIFERS GROUPED ACCORDING TO YEAR OF BIRTH.

Year of Birth

Age and Weigh Period 1936 I 1937 | 1938 I 1939 | 1940
Number Number Number Number INumber
of Average of Average of Average of Average of Average
Animals Weight Animals Weight Animals Weight Animals Weight Animals Weight
Pounds Poundsl Pounds Pounds Pounds

Calves
March ...................................... 3 59 .... 12 81 16 101 23 82
June .............................. 10 114 10 124 13 142 30 230 20 188
September ........................... 10 215 8 175 12 248 27 280 27 247
December ............................ 9 212 9 220 9 262 27 266 28 264
1-year old
March .................................. 9 196 8 219 11 280 27 253 18 224
June ...................................... 9 276 7 319 6 344 24 317
September ........ ................... 9 289 7 449 10 326 26 344
December .............................. 9 349 7 390 10 324 20 367
2-year old
March ................................ 9 320 7 388 10 324 20 319
June ............................................ 7 466 7 516 9 420
September ........................... 7 529 7 567 12 507
December .............................. 7 492 8 539 8 433
March ................................... 7 465 8 478 6 384







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

number of second-cross animals were heifers' first calves. Knapp,
Baker, Quesenberry and Clark (4) have shown that calves from
2- and 3-year old cows do not weigh as much up to weaning as
calves from more mature cows. However the first- and second-
cross heifers born the same year show parallel weight changes
throughout the year, indicating that the seasonal feed supply
was the factor responsible for much of the difference. The
growth pattern of cattle on this Florida range is similar to
that shown by Lush, Jones, Dameron and Carpenter (5) for
Texas and Knapp et al (4) for Montana.
600 rii I I I I I


0o1 .- I
March March
1936 1937
Fig 7.-Growth curves


March March March March
1938 1939 1940 1941
of second-cross heifers grouped according
to year of birth.


The number of animals weighed and average weights of all
first- and second-cross heifers grouped according to age are
given in Table 5, and the graphic presentation of these same
data is shown in Fig. 8.







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range


TABLE 5.-AVERAGE WEIGHT CHANGES OF FIRST- AND SECOND-CROSS CATTLE.

Age and First-Crqss* Second-Cross**
Weigh Order of Number Number
Period Weighing of Average of Average
Animals Weight Animals Weight
Pounds Pounds
Calves
March 1st 73 98 54 86
June 2nd 182 155 83 172
September 3rd 154 233 84 240
December 4th 189 260 82 255

1 year
March 5th 180 255 73 239
June 6th 176 351 51 313
September 7th 166 414 52 346
December 8th 168 404 46 358
2 years
March 9th 147 390 46 330
June 10th 136 503 26 440
September 11th 144 554 26 529
December 12th 140 542 23 488

3 years
March 13th 109 477 21 446
June 14th 111 543 10 583
September 15th 117 606 14 592
December 16th 107 555 12 552
4 years
March 17th 98 488 9 507
June 18th 86 603 3 595
September 19th 83 645 4 657
December 20th 51 596 4 576
5 years
March 21st 50 562 2 499
June 22nd 51 621
September 23rd 52 685
December 24th 28 651

6 years
March 25th 32 609
June 26th 32 645
September 27th 32 689
December 28th 12 624

7 years
March 29th 15 516
June 30th 14 680
September 31st 14 688
December 32nd 14 617

*Cattle sired by purebred Hereford, Devon, Brahman and Red Polled bulls and out of
native cows.
**Cattle sired by purebred Hereford, Devon, Brahman and Red Polled bulls and out of
first-cross cows.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


It is seen from Table 5 that there was little difference in
average weight of first- and second-cross calves. The 1-year
and 2-year-old first-cross heifers weighed considerably more
than did the second-cross animals, but for the 3-year and 4-year
old cattle the weights were approximately the same. Because


Mach rch rch Ma rch rMach Mah arch Mrh arch March
Fig. 8.-Average weight changes of first- and second-cross heifers.


March


of the larger number of first-cross cattle, the average for this
group could be considered more representative. It was observed
that many second-cross cattle did not appear to be as hardy as
those of the first-cross. However, there were individual second-
cross animals that were superior in beef characteristics to the
first-cross, and appeared to have the hardiness of their native
granddams.
DISCUSSION
Native cows on this Florida range weighed on the average
645 pounds in September and 541 pounds the following March,
a loss of 104 pounds. On Montana ranges, Knapp, Baker,
Quesenberry and Clark (4) have shown that the average vari-
ation in weight of Hereford cows from 5 to 10 years of age was







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range


less than 50 pounds per year. Feeding either cottonseed cake
or alfalfa hay during periods of unfavorable feed conditions
was responsible for this comparatively small weight variation.
Kirk and Crown (3) state that cows on a carpet grass pasture
in Florida lose weight rapidly after the first frost. The imme-
diate loss in weight is reduced "fill", as grass is less palatable
after being frozen. If freezing weather occurs frequently, as
it did in the winters of 1934-35 and 1935-36, range cattle do
not obtain sufficient nutrients from available feed for body
maintenance, and gains made the previous summer are utilized
for body needs.
Weight loss is only one of a series of losses arising from a
lack of nutritious forage on the range, particularly when asso-
ciated with severe weather. Death takes a toll of old cows and
of heifers carrying their first calves. Immature animals fail
to develop into satisfactory individuals for herd replacements.
Cows in poor flesh do not give enough milk to nourish their
calves properly, while other animals fail to breed regularly.
Guilbert (2) stated:
"An adequate plane of nutrition means keeping the cows in
better shape than many cowmen think necessary. The repro-
ductive process is very sensitive to under-nutrition, and the
margin in difference in losses and gains of cows that calve
every year compared to those that miss is surprisingly small."

Fig. 9.-First-cross calves sired by Hereford bull (March weighing).



























Fig. 10.-First-cross calves sired by Devon bull and out of red cows
(September weighing).

Malnutrition and death cut the calf crop to a small percent-
age of what would normally be expected. Thus, the total effect
of a hard winter may so reduce the herd that 1 or more years
will be required to make it a profitable enterprise again.
The average gain per cow from March to June was 82 pounds.
Some of this increase in weight was made by cows that did not
breed the previous season. It will be recalled that more than
1/2 of the calves were born from March to June and the cows

Fig. 11.-First-cross heifers sired by Brahman bull (March weighing).







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range 21

with calves were giving milk. These 2 factors would tend to
reduce the weight of the cows, but on the average they made
good gains. This shows that there was a plentiful supply of
nutritious forage on the range during this 3-month period. The
cows continued to gain from June to September but at a reduced
rate. During the September to December period there was an
average loss of 24 pounds, showing the steadily decreasing
quality of the range forage.
The yearly growth curves obtained by Lush, Jones, Dameron
and Carpenter (5) with grade cattle on a Texas upland range
are similar to the growth curves obtained in this experiment.
They state:

"Variations from the typical rate of growth in some years
are very directly connected with variations in the weather and
the conditions of the pasture in these years."

In spring and summer young animals grow rapidly, while in
fall and winter forage may be insufficient to promote growth or
prevent weight losses. First-cross cows that weighed 606 pounds
in September, when they were 3 years old, weighed 488 pounds
the following spring, a loss of 118 pounds. Many of these
animals were first calf heifers, with some decline in weight due
to calving. However, even before calving many of these cattle
became extremely unthrifty. Cattlemen have found that this
is the most critical time in the growth of the animal.

Fig. 12.-First-cross 2-year-old heifers sired by Red Polled bull.


















... ...7ft A. ,
B ff- i..- ,, .-. ,-' i.M. ."


)







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
This bulletin presents data on seasonal weight changes of
native cows and the development of grade heifers that obtain
all their feed from the range. Any change in beef character-
istics and market grade of first- and second-cross animals over
the native cow have not been considered. These animals were
weighed in groups in March, June, September and December
from June 1933 to March 1941.
Mature native cows lost 24 pounds on the average from Septem-
ber to December and 80 pounds from December to March. For-
age on the range started to deteriorate in September, and freez-
ing temperatures in December and January of most winters
further lowered its nutritive quality so that cattle lost weight
rapidly.
Mature native cows gained 82 pounds on the average from
March to June, even though many of the cows dropped calves
during this period. The abundance of nutritious forage on the
range allowed the cows to put on weight rapidly. From June
to September the cows gained only 22 pounds, making a total
for the March to September period of 104 pounds.
The average weight of the first-cross cows was 685 pounds
in September when 51/2 years old. Their weights when 61/2 and
71/2 years old were 689 and 688 pounds, respectively. The
heaviest average weight, 673 pounds, for the mature native
cows in December 1935 was only 12 pounds less than the first-
cross animals when 51/2 years old.
Seasonal variation in the amount and quality of forage on the
range was considered the important factor responsible for weight
changes of range cattle throughout the year.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Acknowledgment is made of the valuable assistance of W. W. Henley
and R. M. Crown, formerly of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station,
in obtaining data contained in this bulletin; and of George L. Spurlin,
Foremost Properties, Incorporated, Penney Farms, Florida, in caring for
the experimental herds.

LITERATURE CITED
1. CAMP, PAUL D. A Study of Range Cattle Management in Alachua
County, Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 248: 1-28. 1932.
2. GUILBERT, N. R. Supplemental Feeding of Range Cattle. The Pacific
Stockman, June, 1942.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
This bulletin presents data on seasonal weight changes of
native cows and the development of grade heifers that obtain
all their feed from the range. Any change in beef character-
istics and market grade of first- and second-cross animals over
the native cow have not been considered. These animals were
weighed in groups in March, June, September and December
from June 1933 to March 1941.
Mature native cows lost 24 pounds on the average from Septem-
ber to December and 80 pounds from December to March. For-
age on the range started to deteriorate in September, and freez-
ing temperatures in December and January of most winters
further lowered its nutritive quality so that cattle lost weight
rapidly.
Mature native cows gained 82 pounds on the average from
March to June, even though many of the cows dropped calves
during this period. The abundance of nutritious forage on the
range allowed the cows to put on weight rapidly. From June
to September the cows gained only 22 pounds, making a total
for the March to September period of 104 pounds.
The average weight of the first-cross cows was 685 pounds
in September when 51/2 years old. Their weights when 61/2 and
71/2 years old were 689 and 688 pounds, respectively. The
heaviest average weight, 673 pounds, for the mature native
cows in December 1935 was only 12 pounds less than the first-
cross animals when 51/2 years old.
Seasonal variation in the amount and quality of forage on the
range was considered the important factor responsible for weight
changes of range cattle throughout the year.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Acknowledgment is made of the valuable assistance of W. W. Henley
and R. M. Crown, formerly of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station,
in obtaining data contained in this bulletin; and of George L. Spurlin,
Foremost Properties, Incorporated, Penney Farms, Florida, in caring for
the experimental herds.

LITERATURE CITED
1. CAMP, PAUL D. A Study of Range Cattle Management in Alachua
County, Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 248: 1-28. 1932.
2. GUILBERT, N. R. Supplemental Feeding of Range Cattle. The Pacific
Stockman, June, 1942.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
This bulletin presents data on seasonal weight changes of
native cows and the development of grade heifers that obtain
all their feed from the range. Any change in beef character-
istics and market grade of first- and second-cross animals over
the native cow have not been considered. These animals were
weighed in groups in March, June, September and December
from June 1933 to March 1941.
Mature native cows lost 24 pounds on the average from Septem-
ber to December and 80 pounds from December to March. For-
age on the range started to deteriorate in September, and freez-
ing temperatures in December and January of most winters
further lowered its nutritive quality so that cattle lost weight
rapidly.
Mature native cows gained 82 pounds on the average from
March to June, even though many of the cows dropped calves
during this period. The abundance of nutritious forage on the
range allowed the cows to put on weight rapidly. From June
to September the cows gained only 22 pounds, making a total
for the March to September period of 104 pounds.
The average weight of the first-cross cows was 685 pounds
in September when 51/2 years old. Their weights when 61/2 and
71/2 years old were 689 and 688 pounds, respectively. The
heaviest average weight, 673 pounds, for the mature native
cows in December 1935 was only 12 pounds less than the first-
cross animals when 51/2 years old.
Seasonal variation in the amount and quality of forage on the
range was considered the important factor responsible for weight
changes of range cattle throughout the year.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Acknowledgment is made of the valuable assistance of W. W. Henley
and R. M. Crown, formerly of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station,
in obtaining data contained in this bulletin; and of George L. Spurlin,
Foremost Properties, Incorporated, Penney Farms, Florida, in caring for
the experimental herds.

LITERATURE CITED
1. CAMP, PAUL D. A Study of Range Cattle Management in Alachua
County, Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 248: 1-28. 1932.
2. GUILBERT, N. R. Supplemental Feeding of Range Cattle. The Pacific
Stockman, June, 1942.







Weight Changes of Cattle on a Florida Range 23

3. KIRK, W. G., and R. M. CROWN. Sugarcane Silage, Shocked Sugarcane
and Carpet Grass as Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd. Fla.
Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 373: 1-19. 1942.
4. KNAPP, BRADFORD, JR., A. L. BAKER, J. R. QUESENBERRY and R. T. CLARK.
Growth and Production Factors in Range Cattle. Mont. Agr. Exp.
Sta. Bul. 400: 1-13. 1942.
5. LUSH, JAY L., J. M. JONES, W. M. DAMERON and 0. L. CARPENTER.
Normal Growth of Range Cattle. Tex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 409: 1-34.
1930.




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