FL Holstein Cross Bunk

As commodity prices soar, feed costs become a larger proportion of the cost of gain, and managing feed costs becomes a greater priority. Limit feeding of high concentrate diets can be a useful tool to improve feed efficiency and reduce the cost of gain, but tradeoffs exist. Limit feeding cattle throughout the entire finishing period improves feed conversion but has a negative impact on quality grade and carcass value. However, limit feeding cattle early in the feeding phase followed by ad libitum feeding can reduce feed costs without negative effects on carcass value. Thus, the optimum length and value of limit feeding depend on feed costs and carcass value.

Graph Limit Feeding Finishing Phase

Figure 1. Effect of feed costs and carcass value ($1.10 or 1.60/lb carcass) on most profitable length of time early in the feeding period to limit feed cattle and the premium for limit feeding over ad libitum feeding. Adapted from Hannon and Murphy (2019; https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz027).