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  • The stocker cattle segment of the beef industry takes young, lightweight, weaned calves and develops them for the finishing phase. This gain is accomplished by utilizing pasture and range grazing, as well as other forage-based diets. Calves enter the stocker operation at 300 to 650 pounds and are grown to greater than 750 pounds. The growth of these calves is focused on frame, muscle and bone development, not fat deposition. Typically, moderately framed calves work well in stocker operations. Stocker enterprises are margin operators that capitalize on low-cost weight gains, compared to the finishing phase in a feedlot. The three most important factors of a successful stocker enterprise are management, calf health, and nutrition.

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