KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the winter of 2010-11, 312 cattle were fed at Fairleigh Feeders, Scott City, Kan., through the National Hereford Feedout. This was the seventh year for the National Hereford Feedout, which allows producers from across the country to test Hereford or Hereford-cross steers and heifers.
The first 100 head of cattle began the test in December 2010. Bookcliff Herefords, Russell, Kan.; KEG Herefords, Valentine, Neb.; Linton Polled Herefords, Miller, Neb.; and MM Ranch Polled Herefords, Chanute, Kan., consigned cattle for the feedout.
The steers in this trial had an average daily gain (ADG) of 3.58 lb. per day. In the feed efficiency and cost of gain department, these steers had a feed efficiency of 5.10 lb. of feed per lb. of gain on a dry matter basis. The yard average was 5.73, giving the Hereford cattle a 12% advantage at the feedbunk.
In the cost of gain, the test cattle fed for $.86 per lb. of gain while the yard average was $.9657. This difference represents a cost savings of 12% again for the Herefords. The cost of gain in this trial and in the yard average does contain all costs, including feed, yardage, medicine and processing costs. This information is important to note, as it shows that the Hereford cattle cost less at the bunk and also in the overall costs, such as the cost that goes with treating sick cattle.
On the rail this set of cattle really proved their worth. They had an average ribeye area of 13.21, an average marbling score of 5.10 (Choice), a hot carcass weight of 817 lb., an average backfat score of .52 inches and an average dressing percent of 63%. These factors made them have an average Yield Grade of 3.02. Their average live weight was 1,289 lb.
Test coordinator and Kansas Hereford Association (KHA) Secretary Tom Granzow says, “Overall, many positive things can be said about this trial, but one thing comes to mind immediately. Because of severe weather and blizzard conditions in December, when these cattle were started, the days on feed were somewhat higher than in years past. This could explain the advantage to the yard average in gain. It is important to note that the Hereford cattle had an average Yield Grade of 3.02. With all those days on feed and the efficiency of the gain, in today’s market the Herefords showed the muscle and carcass merit to pay their way in an elongated feeding regimen. We have made tremendous progress in the muscle and carcass quality areas, without sacrificing our efficiency at the bunk and in the cost of gain. This equates to more flexibility in the marketing of the Hereford and Hereford-sired cattle.”