Easiest breed of cattle to finish off of forage based diet?

Jockers84

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Caithness
I’m wondering what breed of cattle are the easiest to finish (or as close as possible) off of a forage based diet only?
It’s not a trick question, just re-evaluating what we do here, currently looking at the cattle side of things. We can’t out-winter, as the land simply isn’t suitable for it, cows inside for 5month minimum.
Thinking average size of carcass, would be a part native AA bull.
 

Davy_g

Member
Location
Co Down
I'd think you would want a fair bit of native in there. got to balance them taking longer to get to finishing weight but negligible feed to get to finishing fat cover.
 

Flatlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lorette Manitoba
Across the US and Canada where grazing is the chosen way to finish for the most cattle black angus or Hereford seem to dominate. Your in a different climate and I’d imagine your forage would generally be better quality so less reliant on the need to supplement it with bag feed. Back before continental breeds became the order of the day a Hereford cross calf from a dairy cow was the ideal grass to meat animal.
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
We just sent a Sheeted Somerset heifer that finished on old pasture grass haylage, the bloke at the slaughterhouse thought it was fantastic, that's the second one we have taken they do seem to eat well
Have you eaten any of yours @topground ?
 

beardface

Member
Location
East Yorkshire
Our shorthorn do well off grass only. Cows seem always run to fat off naff baleage. Yearlings do well off spring grass. Would finish from 18 months onwards. Sell odd ones fat to neighbour for boxes, rest go store. If I had bit more shed space could easily finish before second xmas on a bit of rolled barley and good baleage.
 

MJT

Member
I think aslong as animal is half native (ideally out of a native cow) then aslong as the bull put to her isn’t too extreme and raw then the progeny should finish off grass no problem. Lim and lim x blue bull over our angus cows produces store cattle that are in great nick off silage over the winter and look like they’d fatten on forage no problem at all.
 
I have got some Angus stores out of dairy's here at the minute, 16-17 month old, on some wet 5th cut bale's that need using up and since January when I weighed them they have averaged over 1kg dlwg, I was planning on turning them out and selling them in the summer as big stores but with the rate they are growing I wonder if I could finish them on what they are on at the minute? They already look like they are to fat though.
 

Flatlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lorette Manitoba
I think aslong as animal is half native (ideally out of a native cow) then aslong as the bull put to her isn’t too extreme and raw then the progeny should finish off grass no problem. Lim and lim x blue bull over our angus cows produces store cattle that are in great nick off silage over the winter and look like they’d fatten on forage no problem at all.
Need a good milk producing mother too if you’ve a strong calf,
 

topground

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Somerset.
We just sent a Sheeted Somerset heifer that finished on old pasture grass haylage, the bloke at the slaughterhouse thought it was fantastic, that's the second one we have taken they do seem to eat well
Have you eaten any of yours @topground ?
@Henarar Fed guests at my youngest sons and my nieces weddings, their guests are still raving about the taste of real beef!
 

Jockers84

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Caithness
Thanks for all the replies, plenty to think about.
I’ve been trying a few different options the last few years, finding the native AA x Stab holds condition the best where as the Her x Sim gives the most marketable calf.
Plan to AI a few to a Wagyu for beef boxes, so eating quality should hopefully be there with the AA x Stab?
 

Old drover

Member
Livestock Farmer
Native breeds are all good. Depends on your system and end market.I like AA or Sussex both are very thrifty. Live where the crows would starve as we say hereabouts. Not that I would denigrate other breeds they all have their plus points.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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