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It is recommended to feed 7 to 10% forage to avoid dry matter intake and metabolic problems from feeding high concentrate diets.  Holsteins consume between 7 and 20% (NRC for beef is 23%) more feed than traditional beef steers.  Intake predictions for Holstein steers should be increased by 8%.  Holstein steers use feed energy more efficiently to make protein and less efficiently for fat deposition than beef breeds.  In trials in America, during the finishing phase, steers previously on pasture had greater intake and daily gain, but were not more efficient than steers fed finishing rations throughout.  Holstein steers consuming supplemented and unsupplemented pasture before slaughter will be leaner, have lower carcass weights, and have generally lower quality grades than those fed exclusively in a feedlot when slaughtered at similar ages.

Restrictedly feeding (using compensatory growth) growing-finishing steer calves does not decrease feed efficiency and actually may improve feed efficiency. Restrictedly fed steers had reduced maintenance requirements, and lean tissue represented a greater percentage of their total gain.

Target live weights are 230kg at first housing, 300kg at turnout in Spring and 490kg at housing at 1.5 years.  Lifetime daily gain will be around 0.8kg/day.  Weanlings will grow at around 0.5 – 0.6kg during their first winter.  This will reduce costs and achieve compensatory growth at grass.  Steers should be 620 kg live weight at 24 months.  Typically they will grade at 80% O’s and 20% P’s, with a 50:50 mix of 3’s and 4’s.

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