Typical Beef Feedlot Diets

Date of publication : 1/14/2009
Source : OMAFRA publication

High energy feed such as grain corn is most often used in finishing diets, however, other feeds general in combination with corn, or corn products, can also be used.  The key is to ensure the ration is balanced to achieve your target rate of gain.  Many feedlot operators aim for a gain of 100 lbs./month or an average daily gain of 3 lbs. or better per animal.  Listed below are a few sample feedlot rations to review.


Assumptions

  • Backgrounding yearling diets (Rations #1 and #2) - average daily gain ADG)  approximately 2.5 lbs. daily
  • Finishing diets (Rations #3 and #8) - average daily gain (ADG) - approximately 3 lbs./day
  • Dry matter (DM) intake - approximately 2% of body weight for finishing diets



Ration #1 - Backgrounding Diet (900 lb. yearlings)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Corn Silage

15

33

HM Corn  + Cob Meal

3.5

7.7

Corn Gluten

2

4.4

Mineral/Salt - Premix

.120

.26



Ration #2 - Backgrounding Diet (l,000 lb. yearlings)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Hay

1

2.2

Corn Silage

14

30

Dry Corn

5

11

Supplement

.6

1.3

Plus Salt



Ration #3 - Finishing Diet (1,250 Steers)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Dry Hay

1

2.2

Corn

7

15.4

Barley

4

8.8

Wheat

1

2.2

Supplement/Premix

.7

1.5

Plus Salt



Ration #4 - Finishing Diet (1,300 Heifers)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Corn Silage

8

17.6

Dry Corn

3

6.6

HM Corn & Cob

8

17.6

Corn Gluten

2

4.4

Plus Salt and Mineral


Ration #5 - Finishing Diet (1,200 Steers/Heifers)


Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Dry Corn

6

13.2

HM Corn

6

13.2

Corn Silage

4.5

9.9

Supplement

.7

1.5

Plus Salt



Ration #6 - Finishing Diet (1,100 Steers)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Dry Corn

8

17.6

Barley

2

4.4

Alfalfa Silage

2

4.4

Corn Silage

2

4.4

Soybean Meal

.5

1.1

Limestone

.07

.16

TM Salt

.04

.09



Ration #7 - Finishing Diet (Average Weight - 1,300 lbs.)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

HM Corn & Cob Meal

6.8

15

Dry Corn

5

11

Barley

2.3

5

Hay

.9

2

Supplement

.7

1.5

Plus Salt



Ration #8 - Finishing Diet (1,250 Steers)

 

Kgs.  Fed/Day

Lbs. Fed/Day

Dry Corn

11.4

25

Hay

1.4

3

Supplement/Premix

.7

1.5

 

Cost of Ration #8 (High Corn Diet) Calculated at Three Different Corn Prices

Assumptions

  • ADG - 3 lbs/day
  • Supplement - $350/t
  • Dry Hay - $100/t



Table 1

Corn Price

Total Daily Feed Cost

Total Feed Cost/lb. of Gain

$100/t

$1.50

50�

$120/t

$1.74

58�

$140/t

$1.98

66�


As indicated in Table #1, the price of corn can have a huge impact on cost of gain.  The other important factor that can influence the cost of gain is performance of cattle.  Average daily gain (ADG) and feed efficiency or feed conversion are both good measures of performance.  Factors affecting performance are:

  1. The Ration - quality of feed and balanced for essential nutrients.
  2. Environmental - air quality, animal comfort and bunk space.
  3. Quality of Cattle - genetics, body condition and health.

 

By Dennis Martin - Beef Feedlot Specialist/OMAFRA
Government of Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

 
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