Two management systems and five timing alternatives for cull cows were compared. Data were measured at intervals for cull cows on grass vs. in a dry lot from October to April. Cows in both treatments gained weight initially but average daily gain declined following the first 42 days and cost of gain generally increased for longer feeding periods. Overall, net returns for grass-fed cows exceeded those for dry lot cows for each period at and beyond 111 days. Regression results revealed average daily gain and beginning weight positively affected net returns while feed cost per gain was inversely related to net returns.