What the BeefSpecs tool can do
The Beefspecs tool is provided free on the web by MLA. You can download and use it to predict the carcase weight and fat depth of your cattle after a period on feed.
It allows for the effects of breed type, frame size, feed type, growth rate and HGP treatment. For example:
Medium frame yearling steers starting at 330kg liveweight with 4mm fat depth and gaining 1.0kg/day for 90 days should finish at 218kg dressed weight with 6mm fat.
If the same steers gained 1.2kg/day they would reach the same carcase weight two weeks earlier and carry 7mm fat.
If they only gained 0.6kg/day they would take 150 days to reach the same weight, but would still carry less than 6mm fat.
The BeefSpecs tool can do calculations like this for a wide range of growing cattle across both northern and southern Australia.
To use it effectively you need to be able to estimate growth rate accurately, and this is affected by feed quality, quantity and stocking rate etc.
- This BeefSpecs Tip and Tool explains how to use the BeefSpecs calculator to work out how your animals will grow and fatten on their current feed. You will also be able to determine what management changes might be needed to alter their growth path to ensure more animals meet market specifications.
- Access the BeefSpecs calculator
Courses are available for beef producers in pasture and livestock production, through the NSW, Victorian, South Australian, Tasmanian and Western Australian state departments of primary industries. Also look at MLA's current events.