Feeding Programs for Dairy Steers

Mar 07, 2019

Feeding Programs for Dairy Steers

Feeding Programs for Dairy Steers:

When looking to feed dairy steers, you should design a feeding program that fits your labor, land, facility and equipment resources. 

  1. Two-stage program: moderate forage or pasture for middle weights, followed by low forage-high corn for heavy weights
  2. Single-stage program: low forage-high corn from 350 pounds to slaughter
  3. TMR Feeding or Fence Line/Bunk Feeding 
    • Advantages: You can feed differing types of feedstuffs. You can observe the steers intakes and overall health on a daily basis.
    • Disadvantages: You have higher equipment costs.       
  4. Self-Feeder (Steer Stuffer) Feeding
    • Advantages: You have low labor system with minimal equipment costs.
    • Disadvantages: You are not observing the animals for intakes and health issues.
Dairy steers require a high-energy diet.  Holsteins and other high-milk breeds have a higher energy requirement for maintenance.  When we look at growth rate, it is determined by the amount of energy consumed in excess of the animal’s maintenance requirement.      For the dairy steers, high-energy diets will maximize growth rates and minimize the number of days to reach their desired slaughter weights----meaning more profits for the producer.

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