early weaning, range, feedlot, calves, carcass
Steer and heifer calves produced at Ft. Meade were used to evaluate early weaning and accelerated feeding as a management tool when retaining ownership of calves. Calves were weaned at 5 1/2 (EM) or 7 mo (NW) of age and started immediately on a 60% grain feeding program. Slaughter dates represented mean calf ages of 385 or 425 days and days on feed ranged from 179 to 257 days. Range conditions were good and early weaning had little effect on calf weight at any point in the feeding period. Feeding high grain diets to EW calves did not have any detrimental effects on feedlot performance when compared to NW. Early weaned calves produced carcasses that were 5 lb. heavier (P<.05) than carcasses from NW cattle but had no other effects on carcass traits. Days on feed affected marbling scores independently of calf age or weaning group. EW appears to be a useful tool for reducing marketing interval for retained ownership cattle and for improving marbling scores of cattle at young ages.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1988 South Dakota State University
Pritchard, R.H.; Robbins, M.A.; Gee, D.H; and Pruitt, R.J., "Effect of Early Weaning on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics of High Growth Potential Feeder Calves" (1988). South Dakota Beef Report, 1988. 11.