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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #116445

Title: A COMPARISON OF ANIMAL PERFORMANCE UNDER EITHER CONVENTIONAL CONFINEMENT FEEDING OR FEEDING ON PASTURE FOR FINISHING BEEF CATTLE

Author
item GRAHMAN, WES
item Phillips, William
item Brown, Michael

Submitted to: Oklahoma Academy of Science Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2000
Publication Date: 8/20/2000
Citation: Grahman, W.L., Phillips, W.A., Brown, M.A. 2000. A comparison of animal performance under either conventional confinement feeding or feeding on pasture for finishing beef cattle. Oklahoma Academy of Science Proceedings. 80:150.

Interpretive Summary: ABSTRACT ONLY

Technical Abstract: Oklahoma is the production center of the U.S. beef cattle stocker industry. With improved cattle genetics and stocker management, stockers are heavier at the end of the production cycle and are sometimes discounted when sold in the spring. Stocker producers need management options that allow them to retain ownership of heavy stockers and finish then with on-farm resources to improve net returns. Our objective was to evaluate a new on- farm finishing system. Stockers (n=224) were assigned to be finished under a conventional confinement feeding systems (feedlot) or on pasture with ad libitum access to a high grain diet (pasture). Stockers finished on pasture consumed 220 kg less feed than stockers finished in the feedlot (1087 vs 1311 kg). An added bonus to the pasture system was the distribution of the animal waste generated by during the experiment over the pasture by the stocker, which reduced the cost associated with waste disposal under the feedlot system. We conclude that heavy stockers can be finished on grass pastures using available on-farm resources with less feed inputs as compared to a conventional feedlot feeding system and that the disposal of animal waste is done at less cost under the pasture system.