Slaughter steers and heifers traded unevenly steady on high choice and 1.00 lower on low choice and selects. Holstein steers traded steady on high choice and 1.00 lower on low choice and selects. Feeder steers & heifers traded steady on medium-large 1-2 (give us a call if you have weaned, vaccinated calves to move.) (Market quotes are on mostly unvaccinated cattle) and unevenly steady on unweaned and medium-short 2-3. Slaughter cows traded 1.00 lower to 3.00 higher on better cows and steady on slower cows. Slaughter bulls traded 1.00-3.00 lower.
Hogue recommends sourcing calves directly from the farm instead of purchasing them at auctions, which can be a high-risk endeavor in terms of disease. “You can’t make this work if you don’t keep the calves alive,” Hogue said. Another advantage of direct-sourcing calves is that prices can be more negotiable. For instance, on Monday at New Holland Sales Stable, newborn Holstein bull calves weighing 65 to 135 pounds fetched $300 to $610 per hundredweight. mAt the same sale in 2013, calves were averaging $135 per hundredweight and in 2014, they brought $315 per hundredweight. Once a calf comes onto your farm, a tag stating the date and herd number needs to be placed in the ear immediately.
Without the date, you won’t be able to track how long the steer stays on the farm — an essential piece of information because animals should be reaching market weight before 18 months of age. For their first 14 weeks of life, bull calves should be raised as if they were replacement heifers, receiving high quality milk replacer, textured starter grain and clean water. No roughage should be introduced before 12 weeks of age. Ten to 14 days prior to weaning, bull calves should be dehorned and castrated. This is also the time to implant the calves with growth hormones. Unless the beef is to be direct-marketed as coming from nonimplanted cattle, Hogue strongly recommends using implants to boost an animal’s feed efficiency.
A target gain should be 2.4 to 2.6 pounds per day, reaching the 1,400 pound market weight in 18 months or less. With implants, steers can reach this weight in as little as 14 months. Once weaned and in the finishing phase, steers ideally should be fed a total mixed ration that’s 80 percent grain on a dry matter basis. “Feeding free-choice hay and free-choice grain can work too, as long as they never run out of either.
Features of Slaughter Holstein Steer
Holstein-Friesian bulls and steers were evaluated for meat production from birth until slaughtered at 800 or 1,000 lb. Bulls reached slaughter weights faster than steers, consumed less total feed per group, and were more efficient in converting it into meat. The 800-lb cattle consumed 32% less total feed per group and required 87 fewer days to reach slaughter weights than 1,000-lb cattle. Bulls had a slightly lower dressing percentage, due to their heavier hides and to the fatter steer carcasses.