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17-09-2013, 15:39   #1
RaggyDays
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Finishing Weanlings (Weanling to Beef)

Thinking about finishing the Weanlings Myself, currently they are feb/March born weight from 250 - 300 kgs. They are still on the cow and eating roughly 2kg Creep feed per day. But with the weather breaking I`m thinking of putting them into a shed and feeding them on from now until target weight (this could mean feeding them in a shed until mid-May next year)

Question is what target weight should I aim for and what feed amounts??

  • Ad-lib Silage/Fine Hay and Weanling crunch
  • Ad-lib Silage/Fine Hay plus a set amount of Weanling crunch say 3kg / day
  • As above but with a cheaper standard beef nut
Any other suggestions on how to go about it and what type of return is there out of it compared to just offloading them in the mart?
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17-09-2013, 17:43   #2
severeoversteer
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Originally Posted by RaggyDays View Post
Thinking about finishing the Weanlings Myself, currently they are feb/March born weight from 250 - 300 kgs. They are still on the cow and eating roughly 2kg Creep feed per day. But with the weather breaking I`m thinking of putting them into a shed and feeding them on from now until target weight (this could mean feeding them in a shed until mid-May next year)

Question is what target weight should I aim for and what feed amounts??

  • Ad-lib Silage/Fine Hay and Weanling crunch
  • Ad-lib Silage/Fine Hay plus a set amount of Weanling crunch say 3kg / day
  • As above but with a cheaper standard beef nut
Any other suggestions on how to go about it and what type of return is there out of it compared to just offloading them in the mart?
your first two options would only provide maintenance growth in the shed maybe 0.9 1.2 kg day ?

you need to be getting a minimum of 1.8 kg per day live weight gain when your feeding in the shed to make it pay and to do this its adlib meal and 1-2 kg of straw for roughage.

if you have access to home grown maize silage or good feeds , this is what makes it viable for most shed finishers

most important is when you feed , how you feed and how often, feed space, animal health, bullying, and comfort for animal, and right spec on animal when killed, and some factorys love bulls and some don't, a small batch of animals is hard to get economies of scale to its best in cases of buying feed, transport, better price for large lot in factory etc
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17-09-2013, 17:52   #3
Muckit
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If you really want to try finishing in that time frame, you are talking about housing all your bull calves and finishing them as bull beef at 16months - so killing them around the middle of June.

This is a good time as beef price will be at it's highest, but then again you will have pumped 2tonne of meal into them at that stage! I'I let Pudsey, Bob or someone else more experienced give you more advice, but I fear that if you don't have good quality weanlings that will pile on the pounds and you are not part of a purchasing group to buy a quality ration at a good price, you will struggle to even make your money back!
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17-09-2013, 18:14   #4
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OP what breed are the weanlings?

Kept mine last year, will keep you posted, grazed mine the second summer to try keep costs down. Ideally you would need your own barley or something similar. I'd say try heifers first, then if you get on well, try bulls, but it is hard to get them out at 16 months with enough fat cover on them.
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17-09-2013, 18:15   #5
Muckit
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your first two options would only provide maintenance growth in the shed maybe 0.9 1.2 kg day ?
You are being very kind there SOS. More like 0.5-.6kg/day with what was suggested.

What is your silage like OP? Did you get it tested? If silage is 70-72DMD you are looking at feeding 5-5.5kg of meal to get a kg of gain or 7-7.5kg of meal if your silage only 65DMD.
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17-09-2013, 18:24   #6
severeoversteer
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You are being very kind there SOS. More like 0.5-.6kg/day with what was suggested.

What is your silage like OP? Did you get it tested? If silage is 70-72DMD you are looking at feeding 5-5.5kg of meal to get a kg of gain or 7-7.5kg of meal if your silage only 65DMD.
I was taking into account a growthy continental weanling
but they might gain it if its a good nut and good silage,
silage is probably too wet for finishing such an animal in the shed
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17-09-2013, 18:48   #7
RaggyDays
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Weanlings are top quality Charli X Simmentals, I think I may be a bit conservative with there current weight as a few of them are tipping over 350kg now with just the younger ones around the 250kg mark
Silage was done in early June from reseeded ground with a good chicory/ryegrass mix so its top notch

I was reckoning getting them to 550Kg within 200 days or 6 months,
is this possible ??
I ve been quoted 330 yoyos a tone for bagged ration at 16% but does this sound a tad expensive ??
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17-09-2013, 19:05   #8
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Seems quite a number of weanling producers are getting into this finishing game, who up to now just sold off the cow, or maybe held over one winter and sold in with a bit more wright up.
I'm amazed at the number of fellas in my district signing up with Bord Bia QA scheme to get into this aspect of production. These are all lads on marginal land, and no access to cheap concentrates or straw.
Sort of reflects some of the suckler cow numbers being culled according to statistics from mart sales.

I must bull a few more heifers, to help fill the void left behind. -
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17-09-2013, 19:23   #9
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I will have a go I have never finished these type of bulls under 16 months but it should be similar to heavy bulls.

I be slow putting them into the shed as from now to mid June next year you are looking at 9 months or 270 days in shed which is a long time. Your bulls may be a bit light for this type of finishing. If you have good grass you could consider weaning them and on good grass and 2-3kgs ration they should do 1kg+/day. However you need a good ration so you need to specify a ration with cereals/soyahulls/rapeseed or soya mix to about 16% protein. This may well cost you in the region of 300/ton in a bag form. You should try to keep them outside until mid November That is 60 days so if you bulls average 280 now they would be housed at about 350kgs. You may well average more but my guess is that they will not cost/day about 1.3/day or 80 euro for 60ish days.

At housing on good silage (70DMD+) and 3kgs/day they should gain 0.8kgs/day. However you need a good ration that will balance the whole diet at about 15%. They should remain on this until Mid/Late February 90 days with a gain of 70kgs to bring them to 420kgs, You could increase ration to 4kgs for last month to maintain growth and maybe gain 75-80kgs.
Cost per day should be in the region of 1.5/day. so for 90 days it will cost 135 euro.

Now to get them on the finishing stage as it is you first time I would build them to 8kgs/day feeding 2-3 times if possible and carry them for the duration like that. Give them access to good silage and straw and increase up to 10 kgs in late May. 0.5kgs ever 3 weeks of an increase. On average it will cost 3 euro/day and I think they will on average gain 1.5kgs/day. In total 300 euro. this will give you a cost of 500 euro for feeding. and the bulls will average 60LW or there abouts. I think they will K/O about 345 kgs on average. The thing is can you commit to feeding twice a day at least form mid February and idealy from mid November.

While 500 should feed them you still need to dose them and hope the vet will not have to call too often or that one will not go wrong. Allow 100/head exigiences. How much will they make last year these type of bulls averaged abo6t 4.6/kg. The outlook is not as good I be thinking about 4.3/kg or around 1500 euro. However you need everything to be spot on gain/feed/management. Can you gain 70 kgs outside the reason I would keep them out is that 270 days is a long time inside. If the bulls are 280 will they make 650 in the mart. In 60 days time will they make 750+ at 350 kgs for 70 euro in inputs.

Are my calculations completely wrong as I have never done it. I am costing your ration @300/ton as I think you will be buying in bags by the half ton.

I started this an hour ago so have being coming and going to it so have not allowed for last few posts.
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17-09-2013, 22:13   #10
blockie
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tried it last year 15 of them ate about 25 ton got them up to about 600 kg mind you they werent briliant cattle to begin with id say average charolais weanlings my own breeding got em to factory they averaged 1400 between silage and ration i reckon they ate 600 each compelte waste of time in my opinion,reckon the only way is castrate em and small bit of grain for winter finish of grass following year ,ration just too dear
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