Everglades Station Mimeo Report 57-9 March 1, 1957
FEEDING STEERS FROM WEANING TO FEED LOT
R. W. Kidder
Associate Animal Husbandman
Feeding Weaned Calves. For a number of years in the Everglades Station
herd the calves have been weaned when seven months old. Prior to the last
three calving seasons these calves often weighed 50 to 60 pounds less at 12
months than when weaned. The calves were weaned in the summer when rainfall
is often heavy and the pasture very succulent.
When calves of this age were confined to a dry lot and fed green grass,
freshly mowed, their maximum daily consumption was between 25 and 30 pounds
coach. At 80 percent moisture, 30 pounds of grass will provide the animal with
six pounds of dry matter containing 4.2 pounds of total digestible nutrients.
Phis size calf will require approximately four pounds of total digestible
nutrients for maintenance and 3.5 pounds for a pound per day gain or 7.5 pounds
3f nutrients daily. Morrison's "Feeds and Feeding" shows that a 400 pound calf
should be fed from 9 to 11 pounds of dry matter containing 6.2 to 7.2 pounds
:f total digestible nutrients. Experience at the Everglades Station indicates
bhat this size calf cannot consume the fifty pounds of grass which is necessary
bo provide about ten pounds of dry matter and seven pounds of digestible
For three years these calves have been fed a concentrate ration made up
essentially of 200 pounds ground snapped corn, 200 pounds citrus pulp and 100
pounds 41 percent cottonseed meal. In 1954 the calves received three pounds
3ach per day for about three months. During 1955 and 1956 this was increased
ob four pounds of the feed with one half pound of cane molasses. The calves
lave responded with gains of 0.4 to 1.8 pounds per day on the four and one
aalf pounds of feed with pasture.
During 1955, three trials were conducted to determine the value of aureo-
aycin in this calf ration. The results were reported at the 1956 field day.
En each trial there was a slightly higher average daily gain for the lot
In 1956, two experiments were conducted with four groups of calves in
3ach one. The results of these two trials are shown in Table 1. Half of the
:alves received aureomycin at the rate of 45 milligrams daily. Phonothiazine.
Tas included to give all of the calves a daily intake of 2.0 grams. ";..
Table 1. Summary of weight gains of calves in 1956, with and without aureomycin.
Experiment 1(96 days on Test Experiment II(84 days on test)
Lot No. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Sex Heifers Balls & Steers Heifers Bulls & Steers
Number per lot 16 17 10 9 11 11 10 10
Aureomycin 0 -- 0 0 1 0 4
Initial wt. Ibs. 416,0 428,5 491.5 462.0 I414.5 415.0 470.5 465.5
Final wt. Ibs. 522*5 528.5 617.5 596.0 477.0 481.0 544.5 556.5
Total gain 106.5 100.0 126.0 134.O 62.5 66.0 74.0 91.0
Av. daily gain 1.11 1.04 1,31 1.40 0,74 0,79 0.88 1.08
Differences in weight gains were small in all four of these trials, and
were in favor of the aureomycin ration except in the heifer group of the first
In Table 2 the average daily gain in each of the seven comparisons of 1955
and 1956 are given. Averages of the seven trials in 1955 and 1956 are shovn in
Table 2. Average daily gain of calves in seven lots resulting from feeding
Sex Year No Aureomycin Aureomycin Difference
Heifers 1955 0,89 0,93 .o4
Bulls & Steers 1955 0.97 1.06 *09
Steers 1955 1.12 1.16 *04
Heifers 1956 1.11 1.04 -.07
Bulls & Steers 1956 1,31 1.40 .09
Heifers 1956 0.74 0,79 .05
Bulls & Steers 1956 0.88 1.08 .20
Table 3, Average of seven trials during two seasons of calves with and without
No Aureomycin With Aureovmcin
Days on test 93 93
Number of animals 121 121
Initial wt. av, lbs. 432 430
Final wt, av. lbs, 525 529
Total gain Ibs. 93 99
Av. daily gain lbs. 1,00 1,06
The use of aureomycin in rations for weaned calves needs further study, It
may be good insurance to use it continuously as a preventive measure for pro-
blems which may occur only in unfavorable seasons.
Growing Yearling Steers. The method by which stocker steers are carried
for 12 months prior to their finishing period in the feed lot may represent the
difference between profit and loss on such a program.
Beginning November 1, 1955 an experiment was conducted in cooperation with
Shawnee Farms, Clewiston, Florida to determine:
1. Effect of feeding concentrate feeds to yearling steers during the
winter months on subsequent gains the following spring and summer.
2. Value of feeding concentrates to steers on pasture during the summer
prior to being placed in the feed lot.
For this experiment, 120 crossbred steers were divided into two groups of
60 steers each. Group A steers were on pasture and fed five pounds each daily
of a concentrate feed containing a mixture of ground snapped corn, citrus pulp
and cottonseed meal. Group B was placed on limited pasture with grass silage
and a small allowance of molasses. This feeding program continued for four
months, November 1955 through February 1956. Group A steers showed a 20 pound
loss in weight while group B steers gained a similar amount each in the four-
The 120 steers were together in one pasture with no supplementary feed
during the months of March, April and May. During this period of 90 days they
gained between 125 and 130 pounds each or an average of 1.5 pounds per day.
On June 1 the 120 steers were divided into two groups One third of the
steers(l0 head in Lot E) received five pounds of feed each daily while the
other 80 continued on pasture alone. The 40 steers on feed gained about 120
pounds each in 60 days or about two pounds per day. Those on pasture alone
gained about one and one fourth pounds per day during June and July.
The steers were weighed again on August 1 and the 80 steers on pasture
alone were divided into two lots of 4O steers each, Half of them(hO head in
Lot D) were fed five pounds of feed daily along with those in Lot E which were
fed through June and July. The other half(hO head in Lot C) continued on
pasture alone through August and September and gained essentially a pound each
daily. The steers in Lot E which had been fed the previous two months only
gained 0.8 pound per day during this period but those started on feed August 1
gained one and one fourth pounds each daily.
For the month of October the steers were grouped in three lots which were
made up by subdividing the previous groups. Lot F containing 19 steers was
continued on pasture alone. Lot G including 56 steers was fed five pounds of
feed each daily with pasture. Lot H composed of 38 steers was given ten pounds
of feed each daily. Lot F on pasture alone gained 32 pounds each in 30 days.
Lot H on pasture with ten pounds of feed daily gained 62 pounds each in 30 days
or two pounds per day. Lot G, on half as much feed as Lot H, showed a gain
record of 32 pounds each which was just equal to those on grass alone. The
data in Table h indicates a need for continued study of the problems involved,
Table 4. Average gain per steer
for each period in the Shawnee Farms experiment.
Winter Period, 120 days,
(Nov.1,1955 to Mar.1,1956)
Spring Period, 90 days.
(Mar.1,1956 June 1,1956)
First Feeding Period, 60 days
(June 1, 1956 Aug.1,1956)
Group A Steers
Pasture 5 lbs. feed
- 20.6 lbs,
Group B Steers
Pasture + silage
plus 5 Ibs.feed
Second Feeding Period, 60 days
plus 5 Ibs.feed
plus 5 Ibs.feed
Third Feeding Period, 30 days
Lot F Pasture
Lot G Pasture
Lot H Pasture
plus 5 lbs.feed
plus 10 lbs.feed
Most of the steers were marketed in the good grade after 90 days in the
feed lot. Half of the steers received stilbestrol implants but there were no
significant records in the slaughter data that these were more profitable than
the half without implants. Carcasses from the stilbestrol steers were slightly
I s .
Weed control with CDEC was excellent and seemed equally effective for
suppressing weed and grass seed germination. In the pre- and post-emergence
experiments CDEC was applied before emergence of the weeds, The control,
however, was better in the pre-emergence tests than in the post-emergence one
at similar rates of CDEC(Tables 1 to 3). Duration of weed control depended
on the rates used and lasted four to six weeks for the four and eight pound
rates, respectively. There was a saving in man hours/acre for weeding and
thinning when using CDEC as compared with the hoed check(Table 1),
Table 1. Effect of pre-emergence weeding of cabbage with CDEC on stand,
weight of six weeks old plants and weed control.
Weight of Man Hours/A
Twenty Weed Weeding and
Stand Plants Control./ Thinning
1, Check(Hoed) 78 275 7 29.7a*
2. CDEC 8 Ibs./A 76 255 8 12,6
Significance NS NS S"'
1/ Zero, no control; 10, perfect control,
D*:- Different at 1% level.
Pre-emergence weeding with CDEC caused a significant retardation in
growth in the young cabbage plants(Table 2). This effect appeared to be
temporary only since the weight of plants older than six weeks were not signi-
ficantly different from that of the check(Table 1) and not dependent on the
rate of CDEC used(Table 2). Stand, number, weight and quality of marketable
cabbage heads were unaffected by CDEC either as pre- or post-emergence treat-
ment(Tables 1 to 3).
Table 2. Effect of pre-emergence weeding with two rates of CDEC on stand,
number and weight of cabbage.
CDEC 4 lbs.
CDEC 8 Ibs.
1/ Zero, no control, 10,perfect control
*H Hoed check vs. CDEC-4 lbs. different at 1% level.
*?* Hoed chock vs. CDEC-4 and 8 lbs. different at 1% level.
Table 3. Effect of post-emergence weed control with
stand, number and weight of cabbage.
CDEC on weed control,
CDEC 4 lbs./A
1/ Zero, no control; 10,perfect control,
* Significant at 1% level.
There was a difference in the degree of wood and grass control between
the pre- and post-emergence experiments. This seems to depend on the time
of CDEC application. It appears that delaying the application of CDEC
resulted in the failure to obtain control of a few weeds and a few grasses
which already were in the process of germination at the time of treatment
in the pst-emergence experiment. This property, at first thought undesir-
able, was used to great advantage however in controlling weeds as a post-
emergence treatment in crops such as onions and celery, but in order to
obtain good results it is necessary to apply the chemical as an early
pre-emergence treatment to weeds, The post-emergence experiment showed
that CDEC at four pounds has no effect on stand or/and yields of cabbage.
It should be possible therefore to produce a cabbage crop free of most weeds
for a period of four to six weeks by a pre-emergence treatment with CDEC.
After this time, if cultivation is accomplished the fresh soil could be
treated with four pounds of CDEC, This second spraying of the herbicide
probably will give commercial weed control to harvest under most conditions.
CDEC produced a temporary check in growth when applied as a pre-
emergence treatment. Cabbage, however, appeared to be very tolerant to
the chemical over a wide range of doses, which of course makes it more
desirable for commercial use.
Soil moisture was apparently sufficient for CDEC action. It was not
determined if CDEC would control weeds and grasses under dry surface soil
conditions. However, in muck soils subjected to wind erosion, it was
observed that dry surface night result in transport of the treated soil
resulting in poor control of weeds.
Pre- and post-enerlence treatments of CDEC were applied to cabbage
growing on organic soils.
Rates of four to eight pounds as pre-energence and four pounds as post-
energence treatments gave good weed and grass control with no effect on
yields or quality of the crop.
For best results CDEC should be applied before emergence of the weeds,
Grateful acknowledgment is duc the nannfenent of A. Duda and Sons for
providing the experimental field for the post-enerrence experiment and
to Drs. J. N. Sinons and HJ..Burdine for reviewing the manuscript.