Date of Award
Master of Science
A four-year study, using 116 fall-born calves per year, was conducted to evaluate the integration of intensive stocking of both cool- and warm-season grass pastures with drylot finishing. Four treatments were assigned on May 1st of each year respectively: 1) calves directly into the feedlot (DF); 2) calves stocking bromegrass pasture until early July and then moved to feedlot (JC); 3) calves stocking bromegrass pasture until mid-June at which time they were moved to warm-season pastures, until returned to the cool-season pasture from mid-August to October when they were placed into the feedlot (OW); 4) calves stocking bromegrass pasture until October and then moved to feedlot (OC). Each treatment consisted of 28 calves except for the OW treatment, which had 32 steers while on pasture. Cool-season pastures were divided into 24, 1.7 acre paddocks while the warm-season pastures consisted of 16, one-acre paddocks. Individual steer weights were obtained in 28 day intervals and daily DMI was recorded throughout feedlot finishing. Steers were fed to 1250 lb and harvested at which time carcass measurements were obtained. Treatment did not influence pasture (P>0.97) or feedlot gains (P>0.37) for the JC, OC, and OW treatments. The DF steers had higher overall ADG (PO.001) and lower feedlot daily DMI (P<0.03) compared to the OW treatment. Furthermore, treatment did not have a significant influence on carcass characteristics. Using 10 year averages for purchase price, live and carcass price, and feed ingredient prices, the DF, JC, and OC treatments were the most profitable and the OW treatment was least profitable (P<0.001). These results indicate that both cool- and warm-season pastures, provided to cattle for varying lengths of time prior to feedlot finishing, do not negatively affect carcass composition, and that cattle that are fed on a cool-season pasture is an economical alternative to direct placement of cattle into feedlot finishing programs.
Roy Allen Edler
Edler, Roy Allen, "Integration of cool- and warm-season grass pasturing systems into cattle finishing programs" (2005). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 18805.