Raising Beef for the Freezer
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Raising Beef for the Freezer. Feeding Programs. Darrell Rankins, Jr. Extension Beef Cattle Nutrition, Auburn University. What do you want?. “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there” – Don Ball Majority of customers think they know what they want Flavor Tenderness

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Raising Beef for the Freezer

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Raising Beef for the Freezer


Feeding Programs

Darrell Rankins, Jr.

Extension Beef Cattle Nutrition, Auburn University


What do you want?

  • “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there” – Don Ball

  • Majority of customers think they know what they want

  • Flavor

  • Tenderness

  • Guaranteed Good


Traditional Program

  • Tender beef that tastes like what they are accustomed to eating

  • Calf is weaned at 7-9 months of age

    • 550 pounds

  • Economical grower diet

    • ADG of 2 to 2.25 lbs/day

    • 800 pounds (12 months of age)


Traditional Program

  • Finishing diet

    • ADG of 3.25 lbs/day for 100 days

    • 1,100 pounds (15 months of age)

  • Marbling

  • Aging


Grower Diet

  • ADG of 2 to 2.25 lbs/day

    • Soyhulls/corn gluten blend fed at 2.5% of BW per day and free-choice roughage

    • Blended diets fed free-choice

    • High quality grazing – not summer perennials


Finishing Diet

  • Corn – traditional taste – many other options exist

  • BE CONSISTENT while feeding corn

    • Increase 4 pounds/day every 2 days until you reach 16 pounds

    • Feed 2% of BW per day until slaughter

    • At least .5% of BW roughage (long stem)

    • TM salt


Non-traditional Program(s)

  • Infinite number

    • Grass-fed

    • Pasture-raised

    • Natural

    • Organic


Random Thoughts

  • Weigh your cattle!!!!


Random Thoughts

  • Write it down!!!!


Random Thoughts

  • Calf should never have a bad day

  • Ionophores

  • Minimal stress


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