Submitted to: Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2000
Publication Date: 9/15/2000
Citation: PHILLIPS, W.A., COLEMAN, S.W., BROWN, M.A. BODY WEIGHT CHANGES IN STOCKER CATTLE DURING THE INITIAL GRAZING PERIOD ON WINTER WHEAT PASTURES.. JOINT ABSTRACTS OF THE AMERICAN DAIRY SCIENCE AND SOCIETY OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. 2000. v. 78(Suppl.2): Abstract p. 22. Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this experiment was to determine body weight changes that occur in stockers calves as they adjust to winter wheat pasture. Forty crossbred spring born calves (Av BW = 262) reared at the Grazinglands Research Laboratory were blocked by sex, breed and BW after weaning in the fall. Within each block calves were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. All four groups were limit fed a mixed diet with ad libitum access to grass hay for a 14-day training period. During the training period calves in Groups 1 and 2 (INTENSIVE) were weighed every 2 to 3 d, while the calves in Groups 3 and 4 (EXTENSIVE) were only weighed at the beginning and end of the period. At the end of the training period (day 14), the calves in Groups 1 and 3 were moved to winter wheat pastures. The remaining calves were left in dry lot without a change in diet. During the training period, calves weighed more frequently (INTENSIVE ) had lower (P=.03) ADG than calves weighed less frequently (0.87 vs 1.24 kg). Weighing frequency had no effect (P>.10) on weight gain during the 28-d grazing period, but calves placed on wheat pasture lost 6.9 kg of BW during the first 15 d of grazing as compared to a positive gain of 16.2 kg by calves that remained in dry lot. During the second half of the grazing season, calves on wheat gained 20.8 kg, while the calves in dry lot gained 13.2 kg. However, over the entire 28-d grazing period, calves on wheat had a lower (p<.05) ADG than the calves in dry lot (0.49 vs 1.03). From these data we conclude that calves placed on wheat pasture for the first time need 14 to 21 d to adapt to the new diet and begin to make positive weight gains.