What is a feedlot? The EPA defines feedlots, or animal feeding operations (AFOs), as “agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations…that congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area.
While feedlots may provide more space for cows to roam, they can also cause other, potentially negative animal welfare outcomes. … The main factors contributing to heat stress are a lack of shade, excessive weight brought on by being fed increasingly heavy diets, and cows with black hides.
The basic feedlot pen is 150 feet by 250 or 335 feet. The feedlot pens are constructed in 150 foot widths, so that one foot of lineal lot space is required per head.
The most recent census of agriculture  reported an estimated 26,586 feedlots in the USA. Of these, approximately 61% have fewer than 100 cattle. Approximately 77% of cattle were produced in feedlots with capacity greater than 1,000 animals.
In addition to emitting significant amounts of greenhouse gases, the meat industry is responsible for deforestation, water stress, degradation, and coastal “dead” zones.
Feedlot diets are different to the pasture that cattle would normally eat and the transition to a feedlot diet (a grain-based feed) can result in digestive disorders, including acidosis, and other health problems.
There are different systems of feeding cattle in animal husbandry. For pastured animals, grass is usually the forage that composes the majority of their diet. Cattle reared in feedlots are fed hay supplemented with grain, soy and other ingredients to increase the energy density of the feed.
Many feed yards will offer their clients financing for cattle, feed and other charges. This usually is accomplished through local banks or finance companies associated with the feedlot. … You then will be forwarded a check for the proceeds, provided the cattle made enough money to cover all the costs.
The advantages of lot fed cattle are the minimum land usage required for large numbers of cattle which is a more economical way for beef production. Also cattle are fattened earlier with better meat consistency and more meat can be distributed for the increasing global demand.
One environmental downside of feedlots is that the way they concentrate and store manure often leads to high levels of local air and water pollution. In addition, runoff of nitrogen-rich manure into waterways can contribute to “dead zones” in coastal areas.
Age at slaughter “typically” can be from 12 to 22 months of age for the high quality grade market. The reason for the range in age is that some calves are weaned and go directly to a feeding facility and are finished for slaughter.
The number of cattle in a pen usually varies from 60–150 head.
Today, nearly 90 percent of Texas’ 2.5 million feedlot cattle are raised in just 10 Panhandle counties radiating out from Amarillo. Five Rivers, the world’s biggest cattle feeder, has set up shop here, along with Cargill and Cactus Feeders, which owns 11 area feedlots, including the one south of the Brorman home.
Warm confinement barns for cattle feeding are economical and very practical. A typical vat for cattle is about 15 feet to 20 feet long. Animals stay cleaner on slotted floors because manure drops through the slots and into pits under the floor.
The states that marketed the largest numbers of feedlot cattle were Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.
Cattle normally remain in a feedlot for about three to four months or until they reach a weight at or above 1,200 pounds.
|States With The Most Cattle On Feed (Head)|
Meat and poultry are great sources of protein. They also provide lots of other nutrients your body needs, like iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins (especially B12) and essential fatty acids. So it’s a good idea to eat meat and poultry every week as part of your balanced diet.
Why are humans the only animals that cry? Pet owners often claim their dogs cry. Darwin thought monkeys and elephants wept. But modern scientists believe the only animal to really break down in tears is us.
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