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Tractor Talk Discussion Board

Re: Tough beef

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Posted by RodInNS on October 09, 2012 at 13:58:20 from (

In Reply to: Re: Tough beef posted by jackinok on October 09, 2012 at 12:31:11:

I'm not an advocate for grass fed beef... but I certainly won't sit here and say it can't be done. It is done... and done very widely thoughout the world except in north america...
From the information I've read over the years, the main component in getting a good carcass that will grade out well is consistent ADG from birth through to slaughter. Info I've read, albeit from the grass farmer type books... suggest that if ADG falls below 1 #/day you're going to run into problems with carcass quality. If you can keep them gaining 2.5-3#/day the quality on grass should be equal to feedlot beef with the exception that the fat will be more yellow...
The reason for angus and the other british breeds is that they can make that kind of gain on lush grass. The continental breeds, due to their higher body maintenance needs have a very hard time making gain on anything but the very best pasture... but they do respond very well to diets high in energy... meaning CORN.

The challenge as I see it with grass finishing of cattle is not in that it can't be done... it's a matter of keeping a forage in front of the beast that can provide enough energy. In a northern climate, THAT is a challenge. It's easy to keep forage here for 4-5 months that will probably do the job but after that it gets dicey...



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