Irrigated pasture for light weight beef calves
Young lightweight beef calves can be grazed on irrigated pasture with gains comparable—on a metabolic body size basis (wt 3/4)—with those for yearling cattle. When all or part of their diet was from irrigated pasture, more individual variation in average daily gain (ADG) occurred in calves as compared with yearling cattle. A high stocking rate can compensate for lower per head gain with calves. Steer calves gained approximately 10% more than heifer calves. Supplementation with rolled barley at 20% of expected dry matter intake did not improve gains but permitted a marked increase in stocking rate. Alfalfa cubes can be a successful supplement to calves on pasture when fed three times per week at a high stocking rate.