Improving cattle that are too lean for the market


These cattle did not grow fast enough during the finishing period to put on the required amount of fat.

If you bought them to finish for this market, the cattle were probably too lean or had too much European content to finish at this weight.

If you bred these leaner cattle:

  • The simplest option next time would be to carry them on to finish for a heavier market, or sell them as feeder cattle.
  • To do a better job of hitting this target market, give them better nutrition earlier in their life, with better quality pastures or supplements. This would allow them to reach the target weight earlier (at a younger age) and put on more fat.

It would also be possible to consider changing the genetics of the cattle so they are easier to finish at this weight, but this may reduce their potential growth rate and reduce their value as feeder cattle.

You can use the BeefSpecs tool to see how the weight and fat specifications of your cattle change as they grow. This can help you decide which market to target and predict when the cattle will be ready.