Effects of Weaning Age, Creep Feeding, and Type of Creep on Steer Performance, Carcass Traits, and Economics

D. W. Shike, Dan B Faulkner, M. J. Cecava, D. F. Parrett, F. A. Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Spring-born, Angus × Simmental steers (n = 168) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: early wean with program- fed high concentrate (EWP), normal wean with creep (NWC), normal wean with fiber creep (NWF), and normal wean with no creep (CON). Steers were weaned at 63 ± 1.3 d or 189 ± 1.3 d of age. The EWP steers were programfed a high-concentrate diet to gain the same as steers on the 2 creep-fed treatments from the time of early weaning until normal weaning. The NWC had greater (P <0.05) ADG during creep period and greater (P <0.05) supplemental G:F than NWF steers. During the combined finishing period there were no differences in ADG, DMI, or G:F between the EWP and the NWC and NWF. For the overall duration of the trial, CON steers had lesser (P <0.05) ADG and required more (P <0.05) days to harvest than other treatments. The EWP steers had a greater (P <0.05) marbling score, percentage of steers grading Average Choice or greater, and percentage of steers grading Low Prime or greater than NWC and NWF steers. The CON steers had lesser (P <0.05) carcass values than the other treatments. Program-feeding early-weaned steers high-concentrate diets improved carcass quality compared with creep feeding, but it also resulted in greater costs per steer. Type of creep did not influence overall performance, carcass quality, or carcass value. Early weaning and creep feeding resulted in greater overall ADG, greater hot carcass weight, greater costs, and improved value of carcasses than normal weaning with no creep feed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Beef cattle
  • Carcass quality
  • Creep feeding
  • Source of energy
  • Weaning age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science


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