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Preconditioning Calculator

This calculator evaluates the economic opportunity from preconditioning by providing a summary of estimated net returns and projected breakeven price premiums of three different precondition programs.

More information is available in the Canfax Research Services fact sheet: Economic Considerations on Preconditioning Calves [English version | French version] (September 2015)

BCRC - Preconditioning Calculator

1. General Information

Choose your province from the drop-down list. In the yellow cells, enter calves' information. Weaning weight is calculated automatically.

Date of birth
Weight at birth (lbs)
ADG from birth to weaning (lbs/day)
Days from birth to weaning
Weaning weight (lbs)

2. Traditional Management

Marketing time and weight under traditional management is calculated automatically based on the data in "1. General Information".

Enter shrink % and your projected calf price at the estimated marketing time. Gross revenue under traditional management is calculated automatically.

For price projection tool -- check out the free Canfax app CFX Pro at https://cfxproapp.canfax.ca.

Marketing time
Marketing weight(lbs)
Shrink (%)
Pay weight(lbs)
Projected Price($/cwt)
Traditional Gross Revenue ($/head)

3. Preconditioning Program Costs

Enter target average daily gains (ADG) and projected shrink % for calves in a preconditioning program. The length of preconditioning programs can be adjusted (typically 30, 45, 60 days). Marketing time and weights are calculated automatically.

Enter preconditioning costs in yellow cells. Total precondition costs per calf for each of the three programs are calculated automatically.

Preconditioning Period (days)
Marketing Time
ADG (lbs/day)
Weight gain (lbs/head)
Marketing weight (lbs/head)
Shrink (%)
Pay Weight (lbs)

Preconditioning Costs

Feed, hay, and pasture ($/day/head)
Medicine and veterinary care ($/head)
Yardage(labor and equipment) ($/day/head)
Interest rate (%)
Death loss (%)
Additional marketing costs (tags, commission, etc.) ($/head)
Total Preconditioning Cost ($/head)

4. Projected Price & Premium

Based Price represents the average market value of cattle in a certain weight category marketed in a certain month regardless of preconditioning premiums. The reference projected prices in this step are based on weight category and seasonality. For more information on price projection, check out the free Canfax app CFX Pro https://cfxproapp.canfax.ca/

The "10-year average weight and seasonal adjustment" and "10-year Average ($/cwt)" are based on 10-year average steer prices (2010-2019) for cattle up to 750 lbs. For more information on price projection, try the free Canfax app CFX Pro at https://cfxproapp.canfax.ca.

Use the sliding scale to make your own projection for weight and seasonal adjustments.

Final Price represents the market value of a preconditioned calf, which is the Based Price plus the preconditioning premium.

Use the sliding scale to determine your projected premiums on the preconditioned calves (% higher than average prices). Your projected Final Prices of preconditioned calves for each preconditioning program are calculated automatically.

Based price (non-preconditioned price + weight and seasonal adjustment)

10-year average weight and seasonal adjustment
10-year Average ($/cwt)
Your projected adjustment
Your projected base prices ($/cwt)

Final Price (Based price + Preconditioning premium)

Your projected preconditioning premium
Your projected final prices ($/cwt)

Preconditioning Gross Revenue ($/head)

5. Results

Gross revenues under traditional and precondition managements are calculated based on the weight and price information in "1. General Information" and "2. Traditional Management".

Net return from preconditioning are calculated as additional revenue from preconditioning versus traditional management less total preconditioning cost.

Breakeven price premiums is the estimated premium needed in order to break even on each preconditioning program.

Traditional Gross Revenue ($/head)
Preconditioning Gross Revenue ($/head)
Total Preconditioning Cost
Net Return from Preconditioning ($/head)
Breakeven Selling Prices ($/head)
Breakeven Price Premium (%)

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