Evaluation of intensive vs extensive systems of beef production and the effect of level of beef cow milk production on postweaning performance.

J. M. Lewis, T. J. Klopfenstein, R. A. Stock, M. K. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Charolais-sired calves from three groups of beef cows, similar in growth potential and mature size but different in genetic potential for milk production (5.6, 7.7, 9.0 kg/d; low, medium, and high, respectively), were allotted to two beef production systems each year for 3 yr. At weaning, calves in an intensive (Int) system went directly into the feedlot for finishing (236 d); calves in an extensive (Ext) system were wintered on corn residues (195 d), grazed pasture (115 d) and then were finished (122 d). Postweaning effects of increased weaning weight due to increased level of milk were small and not affected by growing-finishing system. Only the steer calves from the low milk-producing cows showed evidence (P less than .01) of compensatory growth postweaning in response to reduced levels of milk during the suckling phase. Cattle from the Ext system were heavier (P less than .01) before (388 vs 233 kg) and after (595 vs 531 kg) the finishing phase than Int system cattle. During finishing, cattle from the Ext system made more rapid gains (1.70 vs 1.36 kg/d) and consumed more feed (12.4 vs 8.5 kg/d, 2.52 vs 2.19% of average BW) but were less efficient (.137 vs .160, gain/feed) than cattle from the Int system (P less than .05). Extensive systems of beef production produced more total kilograms of beef per animal but they were 196 d older at slaughter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2517-2524
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume68
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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