What happens on a feedlot?

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sim.-ang.king
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby sim.-ang.king » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:25 pm

Tim/South wrote:The stocker operator seems to have been over looked in this discussion. Stocker operators are the ones who buy our calves. If I was a green horn and read this discussion I would have been led to believe that all of our calves went straight to feed lots.

Any calves sold around here have to spend some time in a feedlot first, even with stocker operations, because of a little thing called mud, and no grass. Unless of course they get sold in April, but even then quite a few go to a feedlot.
So it's going to depend on your area.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Tim/South » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:31 pm

600 lb calves are 2 way cattle. They can go on feed or grass. The price of corn usually makes that determination. I can never picture a 300 lb. calf going straight to a feed lot.
Order buyers here, and from the online auctions I watch, want 4 weight calves. A 4 weight calf will bring as much money as a 5 weight calf. The stocker wants to put the weight on the calf. The stockers operators say they are more likely to get a carcass to grade prime or choice if they get the calf as a 4 wt. and grow it like they want.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Dave » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:07 pm

Tim/South wrote:600 lb calves are 2 way cattle. They can go on feed or grass. The price of corn usually makes that determination. I can never picture a 300 lb. calf going straight to a feed lot.
Order buyers here, and from the online auctions I watch, want 4 weight calves. A 4 weight calf will bring as much money as a 5 weight calf. The stocker wants to put the weight on the calf. The stockers operators say they are more likely to get a carcass to grade prime or choice if they get the calf as a 4 wt. and grow it like they want.


Once again regional differences. Yes 600 pound calf is a two way deal. They can go on feed or grass. But the vast majority of calves up north are born late winter early spring. They come off the cows in the fall when cattle are brought in out of the hills. So they either go on feed or on a truck and get hauled a long ways to any where that has grass that time of year. The result is most go to the feedlot. Everyone I know that has any amount of cattle will cull a cow who raises a 400 pound calf. One that raises 500 pounders might be getting on the truck too.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby brownvet » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:00 am

Very good post! thanks for sharing.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby elkwc » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:44 am

Good post. As mentioned some things are different regionally. She did say she only spent 2 weeks at the one lot. That isn't enough time to know the operation well.
As many have mentioned in a normal year not many of the lighter calves in this area go straight to a feedlot. Most go to wheat pasture for part of all of the winter and then to the lot. In the lots I've been around some over the last 35 years retained ownership is a small amount. A few lots will have up to a 1/3 but most way below that. I've known many who have fed for years including my BIL. They prefer weights above 6 but more than that if price allows due to less days on feed. And I've never seen the number of people she mentioned for lot size. Again propably region and management style.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby LDEnterprises » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:02 am

Glad I finally read this post. Great info within it!
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby DATorrie » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:32 pm

this sure enlightened me about feedlots! Great article ... thank you for your time in writing it.

What about the baby calves born at the feedlot: How quick before they are removed from the Mother? How much colostrum do they receive? Is it Mother's or artificial colostrum?

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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Draper » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:02 pm

Brute 23 wrote:
milkmaid wrote:
The question is not what feedlots should do differently to reduce morbidity and mortality - the die was cast before the cattle ever arrived at the yard. We work with what we're given, but we can't fix immunocompromised, mineral deficient, parasite ridden, unvaccinated, weaned-on-the-truck calves for the owner. The question is: what does the cow-calf producer need to do differently to move their calves from high risk to low risk?


I strongly disagree with this way of thinking.

As a producer I retain quite a few of my own heifers and put them back in to production. From time to time as the market permits we keep bull calves and turn them out on grass to be sold as heavier calves. Some are kept for butcher to divide amongst family, friends, owners, ect.

In all cases we cut out the calves, haul them to some good pipe pens worm them, and make sure they have tags. They typically stay in the pens with hay, #5 or less of grain each, salt and mineral for 20-30 days or until I feel they have calmed down. Then we turn them out in small pastures that adjoin the pens and let the get grass in addition to the other feed.

Now, in all this time I have NEVER doctored one calf doing it like that. Why is it my responsibility to add a bunch of expense to my pocket to make up for the way feed lots operate? That's their problem. I know I'm raising quality animals that are good enough to go back in to production and make beef (been eating it all my life), what they do after that is their problem... and at their own risk.

The majority of us probably do not see the benefits of spending that extra money. I've done it both ways and at the end of the day that buyer is going to pay the bottom dollar he can get if for and put the extra in their pocket. They are going to assume the worse, pay the least, and dock you for any thing they can. I don't blame them because I get why, but at the same time, as long as that continues I'm not going out of my way to prep cattle for them.


I absolutely agree with you, brute-- This feedlot propaganda piece places so much focus on the symptoms while failing to address the underlying cause.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Supa Dexta » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:40 pm

You're putting your own calves in your own lot though. Not throwing them on a truck for however long, thru a sale barn with how many 1000 other head, another truck ride for however long and thru whatever weather, and then into another new environment, with mixed cattle and stress stress stress.

If your calves are the ones to get sick and/or die, you can be assured the buyer wont be looking for them again. However if you raise good cattle, and have them weaned, on feed, vaccinated and ready to go to work for the next guy they are worth buying and remember where to get them next year.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby sim.-ang.king » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 am

Draper wrote:
Brute 23 wrote:
milkmaid wrote:
The question is not what feedlots should do differently to reduce morbidity and mortality - the die was cast before the cattle ever arrived at the yard. We work with what we're given, but we can't fix immunocompromised, mineral deficient, parasite ridden, unvaccinated, weaned-on-the-truck calves for the owner. The question is: what does the cow-calf producer need to do differently to move their calves from high risk to low risk?


I strongly disagree with this way of thinking.

As a producer I retain quite a few of my own heifers and put them back in to production. From time to time as the market permits we keep bull calves and turn them out on grass to be sold as heavier calves. Some are kept for butcher to divide amongst family, friends, owners, ect.

In all cases we cut out the calves, haul them to some good pipe pens worm them, and make sure they have tags. They typically stay in the pens with hay, #5 or less of grain each, salt and mineral for 20-30 days or until I feel they have calmed down. Then we turn them out in small pastures that adjoin the pens and let the get grass in addition to the other feed.

Now, in all this time I have NEVER doctored one calf doing it like that. Why is it my responsibility to add a bunch of expense to my pocket to make up for the way feed lots operate? That's their problem. I know I'm raising quality animals that are good enough to go back in to production and make beef (been eating it all my life), what they do after that is their problem... and at their own risk.

The majority of us probably do not see the benefits of spending that extra money. I've done it both ways and at the end of the day that buyer is going to pay the bottom dollar he can get if for and put the extra in their pocket. They are going to assume the worse, pay the least, and dock you for any thing they can. I don't blame them because I get why, but at the same time, as long as that continues I'm not going out of my way to prep cattle for them.



Retained ownership isn't the same as selling at the salebarn, and getting hauled on a truck to a feedlot. That makes for a lot of stress, especially if the animal wasn't weaned, or vac., or started on feed, or terrible genetics. Can't really blame the feedlot for someone else's shortcoming.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Brute 23 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:00 am

That's their problem. They have issues because of the way they do business.

If you are selling a couple hundred calves direct and can build a relationship then it may be beneficial but just running them thru the ring you are lining their pockets not yours.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Ojp6 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:19 am

Brute 23 wrote:That's their problem. They have issues because of the way they do business.

If you are selling a couple hundred calves direct and can build a relationship then it may be beneficial but just running them thru the ring you are lining their pockets not yours.



Not true at all. Every calf that dies because it wasn't vaccinated hurts every producer that sells cattle at sale barns. The lower the death loss for the feedyard the more they can pay for your cattle when they buy back. That's why cattle up north will consistently outsell cattle in your area and even more so in my area even on cattle that are exactly the same quality. Most people to the north and west (SD,NE,WY,etc) are selling weaned and vaccinated calves, and calves with no vaccinations in the north will generally be docked back to prices you will see in the south, a least .10 a lb dock.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Brute 23 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:47 am

.10/ lb is not enough to justify me doing it. Cheaper to let the feedlot do it.

"Dock" Is a term used by the sale barn because their cut comes off of gross sales. The producer is not actually getting docked because we operate on net sales. If you keep good books you can see that it is possible to have a higher net with a lower gross... :o ... I bet the sale barn or feedlot will never tell you that.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby Ojp6 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:06 pm

If it costs you .10 cents a lb to vaccinate I can find you something quite a bit cheaper to use.
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Re: What happens on a feedlot?

Postby RanchMan90 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:29 pm

Brute 23 wrote:.10/ lb is not enough to justify me doing it. Cheaper to let the feedlot do it.

"Dock" Is a term used by the sale barn because their cut comes off of gross sales. The producer is not actually getting docked because we operate on net sales. If you keep good books you can see that it is possible to have a higher net with a lower gross... :o ... I bet the sale barn or feedlot will never tell you that.

A dime a lb on those big bramer calves is $60. 2 rounds of vaccinations is $6. Looks like a good investment to me. What am I missing?
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