Feedlot

From Academic Kids

A feedlot or feedyard is a type of confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) which is usually used for fattening cattle prior to slaughter. They may contain thousands of animals in an array of pens. Most feedlots require some type of governmental permit and must have plans in place to deal with the large amount of waste that is generated.

Prior to entering a feedlot, cattle spend most of their life grazing on a range or on immature fields of grain such as wheat pasture. Once cattle obtain an entry-level weight, about 650 pounds (300 kg), they are transferred to a feedlot to be fed a specialized diet which may be made up of hay, corn, sorghum, various other grains, by-products of food processing, such as sugar beet waste, molasses, soybean meal, or cottonseed meal, and minerals. Feedlot diets are usually very dense in food energy, to encourage the deposition of fat, or marbling, in the animal's muscles; this fat is desirable as it leads to 'juiciness' in the resulting meat. The animal may gain an additional 400 pounds (180 kg) while at the feedlot.

Once cattle are fattened up to their finished weight, the cattle are transported to a processing facility.

See also

External links

Texas Cattle Feeders Association (http://www.tcfa.org/)
Harris Feeding Company (http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/about_feeding.html), California's largest cattle feeder
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