Pros and Cons of Cattle Feedlots

A feedlot is a place where animals feed in bulk. It is a type of Animal Feeding Operation (AFO). A feedlot is used mainly for intensive farm feeding. Animals that feed in the feedlot are mostly beef cattle, horses, swine, chickens, sheep, ducks, and turkeys. They are fed together at the feedlot prior to slaughter. In the United States, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are used for beef cattle farming. Cattle in the feedlot feed, defecate, sleep, and urinate in this small area. These cattle are not allowed to graze on farm fields. In a feedlot, up to 100,000 animals can be kept located in the US.

    Cattle Feedlots Pros

    There are multiple advantages of cattle feedlots; the biggest one is low expenditure and low cost. Feedlots are the most economical way of raising cattle. A large number of cattle can be kept together and raised together. They are not allowed to pasture in the grasslands. Farmers do not have to give individual attention to every cattle. The cattle raised in feedlots are mostly dependent on corn as food. The government has announced to sell corn almost 50 cents less than the market price to the farmers.

    This is another plus point of raising cattle in feedlots. It reduces overall food costs and expenditure. The production is maximum at feedlots, but the investment is less. Farmers do not have to spare extra time for cattle. They don’t have to look after them most of the time. Feedlot cattle raising is cost-free and tension-free activity. Due to the increased production of cattle, the market value increases, and more people can be fed. On a daily basis, feedlot cattle can be fed on 2.5 to 4 pounds of corn. With this diet, these cattle gain weight of one pound with every 6 pounds of grain consumption. In feedlots, cattle can be looked at closely for their needs.

    Cattle Feedlots Cons

    Cattle feedlots have many disadvantages contrary to their advantages. The natural digestive system of a cow is not designed to feed all the time. They cannot eat corn and grain all the time. All the time feeding on corn and grains can damage their health and digestive system. So farmers have to take care of them with antibiotics. A constant dose of antibiotics is administered by these cattle to keep their digestive system working. A feedlot is a congested place for cattle. They have to keep in one place and defecate in the same place. This generates multiple diseases for cattle. 

    Peeing at a place and feeding at the same place leads to the transmission of multiple diseases. Beef cattle feeding on corn produce better quality meat as compared to other cattle in the feedlot. The cattle feeding on corn produces a very good flavor of the meat. Their meat is tender and juicy. These cattle are also less healthy because they have a high amount of bad fats in their body. On the other hand, the amount of good fat is less. There are greater chances of E.coli contamination in concentrated animal feeding operations CAFO. The amount of E.coli is high in cattle feeding on corn.

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