Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; 96
Title: Steer-feeding
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026384/00001
 Material Information
Title: Steer-feeding
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Alternate Title: Steer feeding
Physical Description: p. 27-37 : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Scott, John M ( John Marcus )
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1909
 Subjects
Subject: Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by John M. Scott.
General Note: Cover title.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00026384
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000921804
oclc - 18160109
notis - AEN2272
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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







BULLETIN No. 96.


Florida

Agricultural Experiment Station.






STEER-FEEDING.


BY
JOHN M. SCOTT.


Fig. 1. Two year old grade, weight 620 pounds. Good form for a feeder.

The Bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address in Florida upon
application to the Director of the Eiperiment Station, Gainesville, Fla.
The Record Co.. St. Au..stine,. Fla.


JANUARY, 1909.


*;
;?-Z












CONTENTS.
PAGE
Cattle Feeding in the South ............................... 29
Cattle Feeding in Florida ................. ................. 29
Need of More Beef and Better Cattle ......................... 29
Improved Blood Increases Meat Yield ......................... 30
Grading Up Not Difficult ................. ................. 30
Feeding Experiment ...................................... 30
How the Experiment Was Conducted. .......................... 31
The Feeds Which Were Compared ............................ 31
Results of the Experiment ................... ............ 34
Finatfcial Results .. .................... .............. 35



IMPORTANT FACTS.

1. Florida farmers can produce good beef with Florida-grown feeds.
2. Beef can be produced practically as cheaply in Florida as elsewhere.
3. The feeding period required to fatten cattle in Florida is shorter
than in the Northern States.
4. The average daily gain that may be obtained in Florida by proper
methods of feeding is larger than the Northern feeder can expect.
5. A combination of corn, velvet beans in the pod, and some rough-
age (such as cottonseed hulls, crab-grass hay, or sorghum hay),
with a nutritive ratio of 1:6 or 1.:7, will give best results.
(By nutritive ratio is meant the ratio between digestible protein and
carbohydrates; thus, a feed containing one pound of digestible
protein to six pounds of digestible carbohydrates would have a
nutritive ratio of 1:6.)
6. To make cattle-feeding profitable we must use well-bred bulls of
the beef breeds.








STEER-FEEDING.
BY JOHN M. SCOTT.

CATTLE-FEEDING IN THE SOUTH.
With the present development of agriculture in the South, few sub-
jects have received more attention from public men than the feeding of
animals for meat products. The idea is that the South should not only
supply its own meats, but also that Southern farmers should feed out
as much as possible of the cottonseed meal and other rich protein
feeds produced here, which are now shipped away to other States, and
by this means also, to a large extent, replace commercial fertilizers with
barnyard manure. The fertility of the land would be increased by the
addition of the manure produced by feeding protein feeds, and also by
the growing of legumes, such as velvet beans, cowpeas and beggar-
weed-all of which are excellent feeds to use in the production of
meat.
CATTLE-FEEDING IN FLORIDA.
Cattle-feeding as an industry is in its infancy in Florida. While
many farmers own a few cattle, and a few farmers own large herds,
yet fattening for the market has received but little attention. But like
some other agricultural undertakings, cattle-feeding has seldom been
thoroughly tried, and few men have given to the industry serious atten-
tion or protracted effort. From results obtained on the Station farm
we are led to believe that this industry will become one of no small im-
portance.
With the clearing of new lands, and the further introduction of im-
proved farm machinery and up-to-date methods of handling and caring
for the various farm crops, a considerable area will be added to that
already in cultivation. Feeds of all kinds will become in consequence
more plentiful, and it follows that a strong and increasing demand
will be felt for ways and means of disposing of these products. The
custom of growing only one money crop-cotton-is fast being re-
placed by the better practice of alternating numerous other crops, such
as corn, velvet beans, sweet potatoes and forage crops, which are ex-
cellent feed for all classes of live stock. Probably no better way can
be suggested for marketing farm products than to feed them to live
stock on the farm. When an- feedstuff that is rich in ammonia
(ammonia in feedstuffs corresponds to protein) is fed to animals,
only a part of the ammonia is retained in the animal body; hence the
manure produced is rich in ammonia. It should be remembered that
ammonia is the most costly of the fertilizing elements that we have to
buy. Therefore if we can produce it on the farm and at the same time
grow a good crop of feed, it serves us a double purpose; and this can
be done by growing leguminous crops and feeding them to live stock
on the farm.
NEED OF MORE BEEF AND BETTER CATTLE.
Florida' does not produce enough meat to supply perhaps more than
a quarter of what it consumes, but depends upon the Northern States-







30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

for probably about three-fourths of all its meats. This certainly is not
because we can not raise beef, pork, or mutton in Florida; for we do
actually raise large numbers of cattle, hogs and sheep. From the re-
sults of the test given in this bulletin we find that we can produce beef
nearly as cheaply here as elsewhere; but at the present time fat cattle
on foot sell for considerably less per pound than do fat cattle in the
Northern States. On the other hand, the meat on the block is practi-
cally the same in price. This is due largely to the inferior grade of live
stock common in the South, and can only be changed by the improve-
ment of the grade of cattle.
IMPROVED BLOOD INCREASES MEAT YIELD.
The native cows and steers resemble animals of the dairy breeds
with regard to beef production. They lack the width and thickness
of loin, the round full quarter, and the-thick well-covered rib, which
are so characteristic of animals bred for beef. The beef steer makes
its increase in weight in these parts-the parts that are most valuable
for meat. The frame of the native animal is small and narrow, and
while it makes a good gain in weight when fattened, yet the gain is
made in those parts of the body that are of little food value, as the fat
around the kidneys and viscera. The animal that makes the gain in
weight in the valuable cuts, such as the loin, quarter, and rib, is natu-
rally the most profitable.
GRADING-UP NOT DIFFICULT.
The improvement of cattle by grading-up is not difficult. The one
important point is the selection of a good sire. The sire should be a
pure-bred animal of one of the beef breeds, and not produced from a
cross or mixture of breeds. The usual objection is the cost of a pure-
bred sire. This may be $100 or $150. True, this does seem a great
price to one who is accustomed to purchase a native bull for $25. But,
if a farmer has a herd of fifty cows, the increased value of the first lot
of calves would more than pay for the pure-bred sire. Suppose that
the first calves from the pure-bred sire number thirty; at the end of
three years the gain in selling price over native stock would be more
than $300, or twice the cost of the sire. This leaves out of considera-
tion the younger calves, and supposes that all are sold for beef, while
in reality the heifers would be retained to improve the herd.
FEEDING EXPERIMENT.
The experiment was conducted for the purpose of securing infor-
mation on the following points:
1. What combination of our feeds will give the best results for
beef production?
2. What will be the cost of producing a pound of gain?
3. How long a feeding period is required to fatten Florida-grown
cattle for the local market?
4. What average daily gain in weight should the Florida feeder
expect ?






Bulletin No. 96.


HOW THE EXPERIMENT WAS CONDUCTED.
Sixteen head of steers were used in this experiment. These steers
were bred and raised by S. H. Gaitskill, of McIntosh, Fla., and were
from native Florida cows, sired by a well-bred Shorthorn bull. The
steers were divided into four lots of four steers each,.as nearly equal
in weight and quality as possible. Each lot was weighed at the begin-
ning, and every thirty days until the end of the experiment. The
weighing were all done in the morning, after feeding hay and grain,
but before watering. The weights given are averages of three weigh-
ings on three consecutive days. The weights were all taken on a pair of
wagon scales which were located near the feed-lots. A chute connected
the yard with the scales. The feeding-yard for each lot of steers was
75 by 100 feet.













l g. d.. ZLc-ls ul L-L L. l iil oII. lest.



I *~







Fig. 3. Three steers of Lot 1 at end of test.

THE FEEDS WHICH WERE COMPARED.
The crab-grass hay, velvet beans, and sorghum silage used in this
feeding test were grown on the Station farm, and for the experiment
were estimated at $4.00, $6.00 and $3.00 per ton, respectively-which
is about the actual cost of production. The corn, cottonseed meal,
and cottonseed hulls were purchased on the market, and when deliv-
ered at the railroad station cost: corn, $1.58; cottonseed meal, $1.50:






32 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

and cottonseed hulls, $0.73 a hundred. The steers in lot I were fed
corn, cottonseed meal and crab-grass hay; lot II, corn, cottonseed
meal, sorghum silage, and cottonseed hulls; lot III, corn, velvet beans
in the pod, and cottonseed hulls, and lot IV, cottonseed meal and
cottonseed hulls. TABLE I.

RATIONS PER THOUSAND POUNDS LIVE WEIGHT.


Corn ....................................................
Cottonseed meal..................................
Crab-grass hay...................................
Sorghum silage.....................................
Cottonseed hulls .................................
Velvet beans in pod ............................


Nutritive ratio.......... ................


Lot I
Pounds
10.50)
3.75
13.50



1:6


Lot II
Pounds
6.00
5.00

20.(10
14.00

1:6


Lot III
Pounds
8.00


10.00
12.00
1:6.5


*Lot IV
Pounds

6.50

25.00

1:4.8


*On February 16, the feed for this lot was changed to one pound of meal
to three pounds of hulls. This was done because the steers did not eat their
feed well, and appeared to have too much roughage for the amount of con-
centrate they were getting.


tadM


Fig. 4. Steers ot Lot 11 at beginning ot test.


Fig. 5. Steers of Lot II at end of test.
The steers were all started on a preliminary feeding on January 1,
1908, and this was continued for two weeks, when all the steers in each
lot had become accustomed to the feeds and surroundings. On Jan-
uary 15, 1908, the feeding test proper began, and lasted eighty-four
days, closing April 8, 1908.


_ __






Bulletin No. 96. 33

TABLE II.

FEEDS CONSUMED.

Lot 1 Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds
Corn................................................... 3314 1880 2528 .........
Cottonseed meal................................. 1179 1576.5 ......... 1963
Crab-grass hay................... .............. 4370 .........
Sorghum silage................................. ......... 6288 .. .. ........
Cottonseed hulls ................................ ....... 4408 3144 6174
Velvet beans in pod ........................ ........ ........... 3760 ........
Totals .................................... 8863 14152.5 9432 8137
Average daily roughage per head. 13.00 31.83 13.83 18.37

Table II shows the amounts of feeds consumed by each lot of steers.
From the table it will be seen that there was little difference as to the
average daily roughage consumed by the steers in lots I and III; but
the steers in lot IV ate more. The apparently large daily amount of
roughage consumed by the steers in lot II is due to the silage fed,
which contained about 75 per cent. of water.


Fig. 6. Steers of Lot IIl at beginning of test.


Fig. 7. Steers of Lot III at end of test.






34 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENT.

TABLE III.
WEIGHTS AND GAINS BY PERIODS.

DATE Lot I Lot II Lot II Lot IV
Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds
- --- I .. .
January 15-Beinning ...................... 29!20 2891 2818 2869
February 14-Thirty days................... 3218 3128 3106 3010
March 15-Sixty days.......................... 3481 3127 3415 3166
April 8-Eighty-four days.................... 3)88 3782 3800 3490
Pounds gained in first 30 days .............. 29d 237 288 141
Pounds gained in second 30 days ......... 263 299 309 156
Pounds gained in last 24 days............... 307 I 355 385 324

Table III shows the weights and gains by periods. The steers in
all lots except lot IV made good gains from the beginning to the end
of the feeding experiment, and in the last 24 days of feeding the steers
in lot IV also made satisfactory gains. The weights are the averages

TABLE IV.
WEIGHTS AND GAINS.

Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds
Weight at beginning of test................. 2920 2891 2818 2869
Weight at end of test .......................... 3768 3782 3800 3490
T otal gain............................................ 86 891 982 621
Average gain per head ....................... 217 225.25 245.5 155.25
Average daily gain per head ................ 2.583 2.681 2.922 1.s48
Average daily gain per 10)0 lbs. live wt. 3.538 3.712 4.147 2.576
Pounds feed for one pound of gain........ 10.21 15.883 9.604 13.103
Cost of one pound of gain .................. $.007 I .10;5f $.0755 $.1200

Table IV shows the weights and gains per lot and per head, the
average daily gains, the pounds of food required to make one pound
of gain, and the cost of one pound of gain. A glance at this table
shows that the steers in lot III not only made the best gains, but the
-cost per pound of gain was considerably less than for the other lots of
steers. It will be noticed that the cost of one pound of gain decreases
as the average daily gain increases. The amount of feed consumed
'does not wholly determine the average daily gain or the cost per pound
(of gain. But the nutritive ratio of the rations fed, as is seen in the
case of lot IV, to a large extent controls the average daily gain, and
the cost per pound of gain. The nearer a balanced ration is fed
(nutritive ratio 1:6 or 1:7), the larger average daily gain may be
expected, and the cheaper will be the gain per pound.
It will be seen that the steers in lot IV, on cottonseed meal and
cottonseed hulls, made only an average daily gain of 1.848 pounds.







Bulletin No. 96. 35

while the steers in lot III, on corn, velvet beans in the pod, and cotton-
seed hulls, made an average daily gain of 2.922 pounds. This does
not mean that cottonseed meal is not a good meat producer, but that
the combination of feeds in the case of lot IV was not what it should
have been. When feeding cottonseed meal and cottonseed hulls only,
it is impossible to combine them so as to give a balanced ration. Then
again the farmer can grow such feeds as velvet beans, corn, and some
roughage (such as crab-grass hay, or sorghum hay) much cheaper
than he can buy cottonseed meal and cottonseed hulls, and as good
and perhaps better and cheaper gains could have been obtained if lot
III had been fed crab-grass hay or sorghum hay instead of cottonseed
hulls.
FINANCIAL RESULTS.
TABLE V.

LOT I. Dr. Cr.

By 4 steers, 3788 lbs. live weight, (6 $.03i per Ib.......... ................ $132.58
To 4 steers, 2920 Ibs. live weight, @ $.025 per lb.......... $73.(0 ...............
To 3314 lbs. corn @ $1.5S per hundred .................. 52.6 ...............
To 1179 lbs. cottonseed meal @ $1.50 per hundred........ 17.(8 ...............
To 4370 lbs. crab-grass hay Cv $4.00 per ton ............. 8.74 151.78
Loss ..................... ........ .. ....................... ........ ... .. $ 10.20

LOT II.

By 4 steers, 3782 lbs. live weight, @ $.0'5 per lb.......... ................. $132.37
To 4 steers, 2-;91 lbs. live weight, @ $.02'5 per lb......... $72.27 ...............
To 1880 lbs. corn @ $1.58 per hundred.................. 2 .70 ...............
To 1576.5 lbs. cottonseed meal @. $1.,.0 per hundred... 23.65 ...............
To 61288 lbs. sorghum silage @ $3.0 I per ton................ 9.43
To 4408 lbs. cottonseed hulls @ $.73 per hundred ......... 32 18 1l7.23
L oss .............. ......... ... ........ ........ ........ ....... ............... $ 34.86

LOT III.

By 4 steers, 3800 lbs. live weight. @ $.035 per lb.......... ............... $133.00
To 4 steers, 2818 Ibs. live weight. @ $.025 per lb ......... $7 .45 ...............
To 2524 lbs. corn @ $1.5S per hundred ...................... 39.94 ...............
To 3144 lbs. cottonseed hulls @ $.73 per hundred......... 22.95
To 3760 lbs. velvet beans in pod @ $6.00 per ton........... 11.-8 144.62
L oss........................ ..... ... ..... ..... ........ .... ......... ... $ 11.; 2

LOT IV.

By 4 steers, 3490 lbs. live weight, @ $.035 per Ib............................ $22.15
To 4 steers, 28,9 lbs. live weight, @ $.025 per lb ......... $71.72 ...............
To 19 3 lbs. cottonseed meal @ $1 50 per hundred........ 29 41
To 0174 lbs. cottonseed hulls @ $.73 per hundred......... 45.07 140.23
L oss .......... ...... ..... ......... .................. ............... ... $ 2 1.08






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.


Fig. 8. Steers of Lot IV at beginning of test.


- --V-


Fig. 9. Steers of Lot IV at end of test.

The above table shows the cost of the feeds consumed and the loss
on each lot of steers, figuring the feeds at the cost delivered at the
railroad station.
It will be seen from the table that all steers were fed at a loss
varying from $11.62 to $34.86 per lot. This may be accounted for in
three ways. First: the financial condition of affairs throughout the
United States during the past winter was such that the prices of such
products were considerably lower than if conditions had been normal.
In fact there were very few if any cattle purchased before November
1, 1907. and fed out during the winter, but what were fed at a loss of
$5 to $10 per head. This does not apply to Florida alone, but to the
entire cattle-feeding section of the United States.
Second: the steers were fed late in the season, and at the time
the cattle were sold, grass-fattened animals were being put on the
market; hence the prices at the time were lower than they had been
a month earlier. The buyer said at the time, that if the steers had
been put on the market a month earlier, they would have been worth
$.04 a pound, which is $.50 a hundred more than what they brought.






Bulletin No. 96. 37

If then we figure them at this earlier price, the results will be dif-
ferent.
Lot III would then show a gain of $7.39; lot I, a loss of 26c; lot
IV, a loss of $6.63, and lot II, a loss of $15.95.
Third: at the present time local buyers throughout the State make
very little if any difference in the price per pound between half fat
and well finished cattle. Hence there is no inducement for the feeder
to go to extra expense to supply a first-class cut of beef. It is right
that the middleman should allow the feeder a difference in price, just
as he charges a different price to the consumer. The consumer would
rather pay a difference of one or two cents a pound between the price
of good and poor beef; for the fatter the animal, the sweeter, the
juicier, and the more tender is the meat.




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