Cows grazing native range year round at the SDSU Cottonwood Research Station were allotted to 3 management systems; Group 1) a calving season starting in mid March with calves weaned in late October, Group 2) a calving season starting in mid March with calves weaned in mid September, and Group 3) a calving season starting early May with calves weaned in late October. Following weaning the steer calves are transported to the Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm. For two calf crops the steer calves have been fed a high grain diet for maximum gain from weaning to harvest. Group 2 had a lower mean average daily gain than Groups 1 and 3. Feed conversion was not affected by treatment. There was not a consistent indication that groups weaned at a younger age (Groups 2 and 3) had more health problems than Group 1. Group 3 had the highest mean dressing percentage and carcass weight. Weaning at a younger age and a longer time on feed resulted in higher marbling scores for Group 2 compared to Group 1. This advantage in marbling was not observed for Group 3.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 2000 South Dakota State University
Pruitt, R. J.; Johnson, B. J.; Epperson, W. B.; and Rops, B. D., "Effect of Calving Time and Weaning Time on Feedlot Performance - A Preliminary Report" (2000). South Dakota Beef Report, 2000. 9.