A feedlot is a type of managed animal feeding facility which is use to fatten cattle ready for slaughter. Feedlot Cattle generally spend 50 – 120 days in a feedlot which is around 10 -15% of their lifespan. Before Cattle are put into a feed lot they are first weaned from their mother at 8 months old and pasture fed until 12 – 13 months old then are lot fed until 18 – 24 months old. Cattle are finished in feedlots to meet market requirements earlier and because pasture may not be sufficient enough for cattle to develop consistent meat quality and quantity due to environmental factors such as drought.
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. However, the disadvantages of feed lot production are greater, lot cattle are exposed to constant sunlight, dust, small spaces, faeces, heat and disease. Cattle are not designed to constantly consume grain and have to be given antibiotics of health issues. Lot fed cattle have better marbling and tender, taster meat as a result of the grain based diet. However despite the flavour and texture of grain-fed- beef it contains higher bad fat levels as well as growth hormones and antibiotics.
Grass fed cattle are more healthy and happy because they undergo less stress and grow in a more natural environment. Grass fed cattle are allowed to roam freely and consume there natural di...
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The Animal welfare of feedlot cattle are main priority, feedlot cattle are require by legislation to have a minimum 9m2, however feedlot production generally provides 13- 15m 2 per cow for animal health benefit. This space allows cattle to maintain natural behaviour which is required by the RSPCA. Feedlot cattle are supervise on a daily basis, hospitalised if unwell, given specifically developed diets by nutritionists an protected from starvation, floods, fire and droughts. Also a veterinarian is employed to overview animal health and welfare. However, these actions to improve animal welfare feedlot cattle are susceptible to disease due to constant contact with faeces and other factors due to living condition. Infections and disease do occur and cattle are given antibiotics which mean feedlot cattle have antibiotics in the beef.
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