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best feed to fatten a calf for butcher?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

i have a 18 month old holstein steer calf i need to fatten up. his kill date is the end of october. his weight is about 1000lbs now. but would like to put on as much fat over the next couple months as i can. the problem i am having is he is growing like crazy every day when i go out to feed he looks taller. but he really dont seem to have any muscle mass or fat. he was just dewormed again and i had the vet come and cut him about 2 months ago. he just keeps getting taller and taller. if i butcher him now like he is i know i wont get any thing but hamburger. and i have a freezer full of hamburger from 2 i had butcherd last year. thanks

post #2 of 14

My husband said and I agree, Holsteins are not bred for meat, so if you want good meat cow, do not get a holstein again, they are dairy. Thats why no one uses milk goats for butchering, not enough meat on them, you want a meat goat. Same with cows.

What Hubby did say though, is you want a good grass/alfalfa mix until the last couple of months which would be now, so start giving a grain mix now until butcher in addition to the grass/alfalfa mix. Cracked corn will add fat, and create good marbling to the meat and he said Millet is a good feed that cows LOVE and it has high protein (build muscle mass) and its cheap.

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Exhibition birds in White & Black Bearded Silkies
http://www.silverpulletpoultry.net
Colorado Poultry Association
www.freewebs.com/coloradopoultryassociation

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post #3 of 14

Rolled milo is another good thing to finish them out on.

I agree that a holstein isn't the best choice for butchering.


Edited by Katy - 8/15/09 at 1:15pm
I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
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I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
Reply
post #4 of 14

We fatten up our Brangus steers the last three months on corn, cracked or rolled.

If you really want to get him fat, hook up a t.v. out there and put on America's Funniest Cow Videos and give him a Happy Meal. 

Of chicken nuggets, NOT cheeseburger.

post #5 of 14

You want muscle mass marbled with fat for good cuts of meat.

Try a mix of corn and molasses (you can get this as fattening mix from a feed mill). You can also use high protein range cubes that are typically used for winter feeding to augment a fattening mix.

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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

well i bought him  mix of barley and corn rolled in molasses. i also have about 2 tons of sweet corn. the sweet corn is fresh out of the feild so its still wet but i cut it up in small peices and he loves it. cob and all. he is out in pasture with as much grass and clover as he can eat. i pulled him out of the herd today and have him in is own pasture now so i can grain him with out fighting the other cows. he is the last of my dairy calves its all beef breed calves from here on. thanks

post #7 of 14

Be sure not to suddenly feed him large amounts of grain after being on nothing but pasture.  That can cause acidosis which can kill him

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Acidosis/2005-02-16/Article.aspx?oid=821938

Mama to a Bloodhound, a Labradork, a GSP, 2 Black Mouth Curs; a cat; Lav Silkies; Chocolate OEGBs; Pekin Ducks; Embden and American Blue Geese; Bourbon Red turkeys; guineas; dairy goats; and 4 Quarter Horses! 

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Mama to a Bloodhound, a Labradork, a GSP, 2 Black Mouth Curs; a cat; Lav Silkies; Chocolate OEGBs; Pekin Ducks; Embden and American Blue Geese; Bourbon Red turkeys; guineas; dairy goats; and 4 Quarter Horses! 

Working on rebuilding my Orpingtons after a bobcat wipeout.
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggs4Sale 

We fatten up our Brangus steers the last three months on corn, cracked or rolled.

If you really want to get him fat, hook up a t.v. out there and put on America's Funniest Cow Videos and give him a Happy Meal. 

Of chicken nuggets, NOT cheeseburger.


yuckyuck

Official Leader of Kidnap Mike And Set Him Free group

Owner of TDB Rabbitry breeder of show quility American Sable and a surprise breed of rabbits I'll post which breed in July.
Breeder of Grand Champion Double B's Trent


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Official Leader of Kidnap Mike And Set Him Free group

Owner of TDB Rabbitry breeder of show quility American Sable and a surprise breed of rabbits I'll post which breed in July.
Breeder of Grand Champion Double B's Trent


I'm a full country boy.
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post #9 of 14

You need to feed grain mix with corn and or barley in it. Start gradually and work up to full feed. Contrary to popular opinion, Holsteins do make satisfactory beef but it takes longer.  They are bigger framed cattle than those bred for beef and it takes longer for them to quit adding muscle and to start adding fat for a nice finish.  Is your kill date set in stone?  You might consider delaying it a bit, depending on his condition. At eighteen months though, if you start pushing the grain (slowly so he doesn't get sick) he should start to lay down a good finish if properly fed.

Just for the record dairy goats can be and are used for meat.  When I had my goat dairy, my culls went for meat.  Had quite a customer base.  I also used to get good prices for milk fed kids of the dairy breeds. And there is a slaughter house near me that buys and processed a lot of dairy kids, mostly surplus bucks.

The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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post #10 of 14

I agree with Cassie. I grew up where Holsteins and dairy farming were common, and a lot of people raised Holstein steers for beef.

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