j9f Range Cattle Station
Siviimeo Series HCS 66-3
M ay, 1966
PHOGRAiS FOiR DEVELOPING LOW AND HIGH
GiADE CALVES ON PASTURE IN 3OUTH FLO1IDAI/
H. L. Chapman, Jr.2/
Florida is a deficit beef-producing state despite many attributes
favorable to beef production. iiany calves are shipped out of state
annually. /With increased pasture acreage n;any calves could be
kept in the state, successfully developed out and sold off of pasture
or out of feedlot. The quality of cattle is increasing rapidly but
many calves produced in Florida are mediuri quality feeders or
less. This necessitates proper planning in order to profitably utilize
both low and high quality calves in beef production programs.
A number of factors affect the type of program to use in
developing calves. 3ome of these are presented below. None of
1/ presented at 1966 Deef Cattle .hortcourse, University
2/ Anii.al Nutritionist and Head, :iCange Cattle Experiment
Station, Ona, Florida
these factors can be considered alone. They are all interre4tted
and must "al1 be carefully appraised in establishing the economic
feasibility of any production program. Factors that should be
specifically considered include:
1. The quality of cattle, pasture, feed and management
should be in proper balance.
2. Good quality pasture is essential if a supplemental feeding
program is to be successfully utilized.
3. More return will usually.berealized by the proper use
of concentrate feeds with good pasture than from pasture
Alone. Do not exceed 1% of body weight when supple-
menting on pasture. Medium and common steers should
be fed less than this amount.
4. The kind of supplemental feed can vary to take advantage
of price fluctuations of ingredients as long as the rations
are properly balanced, nutritionally.
5. Good and choice calves have potential for feeding both
on pasture and in feedlot; medium feeders or below should
be used only in pasture programs.
6. Proper culling is essential in a stocker operation -
sell the poor-door.
7. Calves should be dehorned.
8. Production of steers fromrcalves is a high-risk business
that requires :knowledge of market and price trends,,,
9. Stocker inventories usually should be completely turned
over during a 12-month period.
10. If the initial cost of calves exceeds cost of gain necessary
break-even selling price 'increases as the purchase weight
11. If the cost of gain is more than the initial cost of gain
the necessary break-even selling price decreases as the
purchase weight of the animal increases.
Concentrate feed should be used to supplement nutritional
deficiencies in pasture but-should not be considered a substitute
for pasture. The better the quality of pasture the more the benefit
usually received from the supplemental feed. The purpose of the
feed is to increase gain, slaughter grade, dressing percent,
buyer acceptability and inventory output.
To properly utilize supplemental feed it is necessary to
properly manage and evaluate available pasture forage. This can
be done by chemical analyses, appraising the leaf-stem ration and
by estimating the quality of available forage. Do not overstock
pastures with cattle.
The nutritional requirement of steers are related to body
size. Suggested "rules-of-thumb" for estimating some needed
nutrients for maintenance are presented in Table 1. When using
the T.D.N. maintenance levels in Table 1 it is suggested that about
3.5 pounds of additional T.D.N. be furnished per pound of gain
desired. The suggested "rule-of-thumb"will be satisfactory in most
cases. Digestible protein levels for calves to gain 1.0 Ib.a day
correspond to about 0.13 to 0.15 percent of their body weight.
Phosphorus needs for maintenance correspond to about 0.02 of
body weight stated as grams. Cobalt requirement is estimabd
to be 0.07 to 0.10 milligram per 100 Ibs. of body weight.
Supplemental feeds to be fed to steers on pasture can utilize
a wide variety of ingredients, as long as the final ration is balanced
nutritionally. Examples of rations that have been successfully used
for this purpose are presented in Table 2. In addition 'to the
ingredients presented in Table 2 it is recommended that the ration
contain 2,500 I.U. of vitamin A per pound of feed and that diethyl-
stilbestrol be used. The diethylstilbestrol may be implanted in the
ear or mixed in the feed. When implanted at least six months
should elapse before additional stilbestrol is used. The maximum
amount of implanted stilbestrol should be 24 mg per animal on grass
pasture and 12 mg on grass-clover pastures.
The primary nutrients to consider when supplemental-feeding
on pasture are protein, energy, phosphorus, cobalt, copper, vitamin
A. Balance the amount of supplemental feed with the quality of
pasture and cattle. Suggested maximum levels of feed to provide
stockers on pasture are presented in Table 3.
Regardless of the production program there is no substitute for
good management. The ability to intelligently buy and sell; the
experience of properly evaluating cattle and pasture quality; the
knowledge to properly feed; constant attention to small details ---
all are vital to a successful enterprise. None can be left out.
Approximate daily levels 'of total digestible nutrients,
digestible energy, digestible protein, and phosphorus
required for maintenance of beef cattle.
Animal Digestible. Digestible
weight TDN1/ energy/ .. protein./ Phosphorus.3/
(lb) (lb) (therms) (lb) (gm)
300 2.8 5.6 0.25 8
400 3.5 7.0 0.30 9
500 4.1 8.2 0.35 : 10
600 4.6 :9.2 0.40 12
700 5.2 10.4 0.'45 14
800 5.7 11.4 0.50 16
900 6.2 12.4 0.55 18
1000 6.7 13.4 0.60 .20
1100 7.2. '14.4 0.65 20
1200 7.7 15.4 0.70 20
1/ Brody, S. Bioenergetics and
Co., N.Y:. 1945.
2/ Calculated from Swift, R.W.
J. Animal Sc. 16:753. 1957.
2/ Calculated from Mayriard, L.
Animal Nutrition, 5th edition.
The Caloric Value of TDN.
A. and J. K. Loosli.
McGraw-Hill Book Co.,
Table 2. Examples of rations of various protein content that can be satisfactorily
Crude protein level (
Ingredient 10 12 14 16 18 20
Dried citrus pulp (Ib) 800 800. 765 705 625 565
Blackstrap molasses (lb) 250 250 250 250 250 250
Cottonseed meal (Ib) 50 100 125 175 250 300
Urea 262 (lb) 10 20 30 40 45 55
Hominy feed (!b) 850 790 790 790 790 790
Dicalcium phosphate (Ib) 40 40 40 40 40 40
Cobalt sulfate (gm) 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8
2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000
Crude protein (%) 10.4 12.5 14.2 16.3 18.3 20.4
TDN (%) 74.8 73.8 73.3 72.6 72.0 71.3
1/ Crude protein and TDN content calculated
from Morrison, F.B., "Feeds and Feeding",
Table 3. Suggested maximum levels of supplemental feed to
provide stockers on good posture (% of body weight).
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
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site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
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