Make Your Feedlot Steers 21% More Efficient

Diamond H Livestock

© Copyright Diamond H Livestock

In January 2012, Diamond H Livestock, Saint Ignatius, MT, bought 106 half-breed Irish Black steer calves from three of its Irish Black bull customers. The calves, out of Angus-based cows, were weaned for 45 days, vaccinated with a modified live vaccine series and shipped to a commercial feedlot. The calves averaged 542 lbs. when they arrived to the feedlot (including a 5% shrink). The entire pen was harvested during a 3-week period, at which time the steers were 12-14 months of age with an average gross out-weight of 1,326 lbs.

The Results

Diamond H Half-Breed Irish Blacks

Average Daily Gain: 3.96 lbs.

Conversion*: 4.79

Feed Cost/Pound of Gain: $0.83

*pounds of feed required for 1 pound of gain

Average U.S. Feedlot Steer

Average Daily Gain: 3.30 lbs.

Conversion*: 6.09

Feed Cost/Pound of Gain: $1.08

*pounds of feed required for 1 pound of gain

Diamond H half-breed Irish Blacks

Average In-Weight: 542 lbs.

Average Out-Weight: 1,260 lbs. with 5% shrink (1,326 pounds gross average out-weight)

Carcass Information for Entire Diamond H Pen

105 Head Harvested (1 Death Loss)

Yield Percentage: 64.51%

Carcass Grades: 60% Choice (63 head) | 40% Select (42) | 9 head met Certified Angus Beef criteria

Yield Grades: #1-16 head | #2-55 head | #3-33 head | #4-1 head

Impressively, these Irish Black steers cost $115 less per head to feed compared to the national average steer finished in June 2012. In fact, the Diamond H steers saw $66 per head of profit even though they were purchased at a premium. The national average feedlot steer lost nearly $50 per head in the feedlot during the same timeframe.

This 2012 performance data proves the efficiency Irish Black genetics can bring to a cow herd. Whether on grass or in the feedlot, half-breed Irish Black cattle are 21% more efficient than other beef cattle - a trait that’s positively impacting Irish Black producers’ bottom lines.