Reduced-Fat Distillers Grains in Finishing Dairy Steer Diets

University of Minnesota/Ryan Cox

U.S. feedlots have relied on supplementing their feeder cattle supply by utilizing steers and naturally sterile (Freemartin) heifers derived from the 9 million dairy cows in the U.S. In any given year, approximately 4 million dairy calves are funneled to feedlots and finished at 1,300 to 1,400 lbs. to supply the U.S. with lean, highly marbled, and tender beef cuts and ground beef. As the supply of beef-sourced feeder cattle suffers from a declining beef cow inventory, or even as future efforts to re-populate the U.S. beef herd will reduce the number of heifers finished in feedlots, the importance of adequate feeding and management recommendations for cattle feeders to start, grow and finish dairy steers is needed.