Winter supplementation and delayed weaning of an autumn calving beef herd under western Oregon conditions Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cc08hj756

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  • Two management systems were evaluated in terms of the effects on cow condition score and body weight changes and calf growth rates. The management systems evaluated were winter supplementation of energy, winter creep feeding and delayed weaning. The calves used in this study were born in September and October of 1981. The 48 cows and their calves were brought to a feedlot situation in December and allotted to four groups to allow controlled feeding of an energy or a non-energy supplement to the cows and a creep feed to the allotted calves. The cows receiving 3.64 kg rolled barley/head/day were not different in either body weight or condition score (1 to 5 condition score scale) from the cows fed a protein (non-energy) supplement which was fed at a level to provide the equivalent protein intake for all the cows. That is, there was no effect of the additional energy present in the rolled barley on the performance of the cows or their nursing calves. Creep feeding had a significant effect on calf end weight (P=.001) and calf rate of gain (P=.001). The creep fed calves were on the average 12.95 kg heavier at the end of the trial and gained an average of 9.34 kg more than the calves not creep fed. Creep feeding, though, in today's marketplace may not be a cost effective alternative for the commercial beef producer. Delayed weaning (DW) significantly increased the ADG of calves between the ages of 196 to 266 days of age (P=.001). Steers gained significantly faster than the heifers during this period (P=.001). DW calves did not have a significantly higher ADG than the control (C) calves during the postweaning period (to yearling age), but the DW ADG from 196 days of age to yearling age was still significantly greater than the C calves (P=.001). Postruminal digestion of milk during the experimental period may be the reason for the additional gains by the DW calves. Delayed weaning of fall born calves appears to be a sound management alternative under western Oregon conditions. Winter supplementation of cows and/or calves during the winter months did not realize significant changes in body weight and condition or the profitability of the sale of beef calves.
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