1 A Refresher Course on Finishing Cattle in Tennessee Genetics, Quality and Efficient Production for Marketing
2 Producing Beef The process of turning grass into highquality, edible protein
3 The Process 1. Procure 2. Finish 3. Process 4. Market
4 Selection for VAB Frame Score Finish early and at a lighter weight Earlier maturity at desired fat thickness Gender Heifers will finish earlier with a smaller carcass weight Steers will grow faster and yield higher Breed type Crossbreeding Growth curve dynamics Established carcass quality traits
5 Weight at Choice for Different Frame Scores
6 Frame Scores X Weight at Equal Fatness (29% fat) Frame Score Steer Heifer
7 USDA Feeder Cattle Frame Size LARGE Indicates growth Related to slaughter weights at which cattle should attain standard fat thickness MEDIUM SMALL
10 Selection for VAB Temperament Affects gain and carcass quality One-bad-apple scenario Safety Efficiency Output relative to input Dollars in verses dollars out
11 Selection for VAB Selection tools Expected progeny differences (EPDs) Ultrasound DNA profiles Residual feed intake (RFI) Temperament scoring On-farm records Performance Carcass quality Profitability
12 Response to Heterosis Trait Heritability Heterosis Reproduction Low High Growth Moderate Moderate Carcass High Low
13 Production Nutrition All forage vs. concentrate vs. hybrid Health Vaccinations, treating sick animals, biosecurity Natural vs. Organic vs. Conventional Regulations and labeling Antibiotics, implants and ionophors Who will buy this and how much will they pay?
14 Typical Commodity Feeds Oilseeds Cottonseed and soybeans Energy feeds Hominy, Bakery waste Energy/Fiber Soyhulls, Beet pulp, Citrus pulp, Rice bran, Wheat mids Medium protein Brewer s grains, Corn gluten feed, Distiller s grains High protein Cottonseed meal, Feather meal, Peanut meal Forage extenders Cottonseed hulls, Peanut hulls, Rice hulls
16 Health Vaccinations are acceptable under natural and organic programs Maintain immunity as the first line of health management Treat sick animals under guidance of your veterinarian and according to your marketing. Consider an alternate herd
17 Vaccination Strategies Open Herd Vaccination Schedule Mature cows making up resident herd (annually) 1. Vibrio/Lepto at mid-gestation 2. IBR, BVD MLV prebreeding (nonpregnant) or IBR, BVD killed at mid-gestation Nonpregnant Replacements (prebreeding) 1. IBR, BVD modified live virus SQ 2. Vibrio/Lepto Replacements which are pregnant 1. Killed BVD; IBR killed or IN 2. Vibrio/Lepto
18 Harvesting Decisions Harvesting too young Harvesting too light Harvesting what would be considered non-fed Based on product need rather than physiological end points.
20 USDA Yield Grade Fat thickness Carcass weight % Kidney, pelvic, and heart fat Ribeye area
21 USDA Quality Grade Marbling Maturity Color & Texture
23 Identifying Finished Cattle
29 System Suggestions If you are a cow/calf operator Calculate value of gain beyond feeder price Remember to include ALL costs Use sire genetics that accommodate both conventional and locally raised systems Use it as a diversification tool No need to go 100% Consider a hybrid finishing system Less marketable in some niches More feasible on most operations Market live animals Less regulation and processor concerns
30 System Suggestions If you are a stocker operator Calculate value of gain normal selling point Remember to include ALL costs Procure animals that fit locally raised systems Use it as a diversification tool Again, no need to go 100% Consider a hybrid finishing system Less marketable in some niches More feasible on most operations Market live animals Less regulation and processor concerns
31 System Suggestions Forage Finishing Select or breed for smaller framed cattle with good carcass quality Heifers are likely the best option Intensify forage system and grazing management. Have a mix of fescue/clover, summer annuals and winter annuals Understand the affect of days on feed for total cost of finishing.
32 System Suggestions Concentrate Finishing Select or breed for moderate framed cattle with good carcass quality Heifers and steers are both options Plan ahead for buying feed at lowest cost Compare cost on nutrient not ton basis Understand the affect of rate of gain on carcass quality
33 System Suggestions Hybrid Finishing Select or breed small or moderate framed calves with good carcass quality Add grass gain when grass is available and move to more concentrate with hay when grass is dormant OR enhance year-round forage nutrition with supplementation to increase stocking rate
34 Hybrid Finishing Example
35 Hybrid Finishing Example
36 Take-Home Message Consider ALL costs in decision making. Select the appropriate animals to fit the market and production type. Total forage finishing requires more days on feed and more planning. Plan ahead for nutrition and health.