Production systems comparing early weaning to normal weaning with or without creep feeding for beef steers

S. E. Myers, Dan B Faulkner, F. A. Ireland, L. L. Berger, D. F. Parrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A 2-yr study was conducted to determine the effects of three weaning management systems on cow and steer performance. Cow-calf pairs were randomly assigned to one of three treatments, in which the steer calves were 1) early-weaned (yr 1, 177 ± 9 d; yr 2, 158 ± 21 d of age) and placed on a finishing diet (EW), 2) supplemented with grain for 55 d on pasture (yr 1, 177 to 231 d; yr 2, 158 to 213 d of age) while nursing their dams and then placed on a finishing diet (NWC), and 3) on pasture for 55 d while nursing their dams (yr 1, 177 to 231 d; yr 2, 158 to 213 d of age) and then placed on a finishing diet (NW). In yr 2, potential breed differences were evaluated using steers of three breed types: 1) Angus × Hereford (BRI); 2) Angus × Simmental (CON); and 3) Angus × Wagyu (WAG). In yr 1, EW steers gained 100% faster (P = .0001) than the average of NWC and NW steers, and NWC steers gained 32% faster (P = .02) than NW steers before weaning. In the feedlot, EW steers had lower intakes (7.70 vs 8.16 kg/d, P = .008) and better feed conversions (.170 vs .153, P = .002) than the average of NWC and NW steers. Marbling score was improved for EW steers compared with the average of NWC and NW steers (P = .003). In yr 2, EW steers had higher gains (P = .0006) during the entire study than the average of NWC and NW steers, and NWC steers had higher gains (P = .003) than NW steers. The EW steers had lower intakes (7.29 vs 7.68 kg/d, P = .0008) and better feed conversions (.160 vs .141, P = .0001) than the average of NWC and NW steers. The CON steers were heavier at slaughter than BRI steers (P = .01), and BRI steers were heavier than WAG steers (P =.0004). Early weaning improved the percentage of steers grading Average Choice or higher by 40%. The percentage of BRI steers grading Choice or greater was 21% higher and percentage of steers grading Average Choice or greater was 33% higher than CON. Cows with EW steers had higher ADG than cows with NW steers (.38 vs -.17 kg/d, P = .0001) before weaning. Cows with EW steers gained in body condition score (.23 vs .00, P = .04), and cows with NW steers did not change. Early weaning improved feed efficiency and quality grades of beef steers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-310
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume77
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

creep feeding
early weaning
Weaning
beef cattle
weaning
production technology
Diet
Nursing
Red Meat
cows
Angus
finishing
Wagyu
feed conversion
breast feeding

Keywords

  • Meat quality
  • Systems
  • Weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Production systems comparing early weaning to normal weaning with or without creep feeding for beef steers. / Myers, S. E.; Faulkner, Dan B; Ireland, F. A.; Berger, L. L.; Parrett, D. F.

In: Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 77, No. 2, 02.1999, p. 300-310.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Myers, S. E. ; Faulkner, Dan B ; Ireland, F. A. ; Berger, L. L. ; Parrett, D. F. / Production systems comparing early weaning to normal weaning with or without creep feeding for beef steers. In: Journal of Animal Science. 1999 ; Vol. 77, No. 2. pp. 300-310.
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N2 - A 2-yr study was conducted to determine the effects of three weaning management systems on cow and steer performance. Cow-calf pairs were randomly assigned to one of three treatments, in which the steer calves were 1) early-weaned (yr 1, 177 ± 9 d; yr 2, 158 ± 21 d of age) and placed on a finishing diet (EW), 2) supplemented with grain for 55 d on pasture (yr 1, 177 to 231 d; yr 2, 158 to 213 d of age) while nursing their dams and then placed on a finishing diet (NWC), and 3) on pasture for 55 d while nursing their dams (yr 1, 177 to 231 d; yr 2, 158 to 213 d of age) and then placed on a finishing diet (NW). In yr 2, potential breed differences were evaluated using steers of three breed types: 1) Angus × Hereford (BRI); 2) Angus × Simmental (CON); and 3) Angus × Wagyu (WAG). In yr 1, EW steers gained 100% faster (P = .0001) than the average of NWC and NW steers, and NWC steers gained 32% faster (P = .02) than NW steers before weaning. In the feedlot, EW steers had lower intakes (7.70 vs 8.16 kg/d, P = .008) and better feed conversions (.170 vs .153, P = .002) than the average of NWC and NW steers. Marbling score was improved for EW steers compared with the average of NWC and NW steers (P = .003). In yr 2, EW steers had higher gains (P = .0006) during the entire study than the average of NWC and NW steers, and NWC steers had higher gains (P = .003) than NW steers. The EW steers had lower intakes (7.29 vs 7.68 kg/d, P = .0008) and better feed conversions (.160 vs .141, P = .0001) than the average of NWC and NW steers. The CON steers were heavier at slaughter than BRI steers (P = .01), and BRI steers were heavier than WAG steers (P =.0004). Early weaning improved the percentage of steers grading Average Choice or higher by 40%. The percentage of BRI steers grading Choice or greater was 21% higher and percentage of steers grading Average Choice or greater was 33% higher than CON. Cows with EW steers had higher ADG than cows with NW steers (.38 vs -.17 kg/d, P = .0001) before weaning. Cows with EW steers gained in body condition score (.23 vs .00, P = .04), and cows with NW steers did not change. Early weaning improved feed efficiency and quality grades of beef steers.

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