A feedlot or feedyard is a type of Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) (also known as "factory farming") which is used for finishing livestock, notably beef 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. Long-running feedlots are often exempt due to various "grandfather clauses", which allow feedlots to wait until a change of ownership before obtaining permits and designing formal waste management plans.

Prior to entering a feedlot, cattle spend most of their life grazing on rangeland or on immature fields of grain such as green 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. In the American northwest and Canada, barley, low grade durum wheat, chick peas (garbanzo beans), oats and occasionally potatoes are used as feed.

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) during its 3-4 months in the feedlot. [Harris Ranch Beef Company. "Harris Ranch Feedlot...Beef the Way Nature Intended It to Be!" Company official site, accessed September 1, 2006 [http://web.archive.org/web/20050306001926/http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/about_feeding.html] ]

Aside from ethical and environmental concerns, feedlots have come under criticism for human health reasons. The tissues of feedlot-raised cattle have far more saturated fat than that of grass-fed cattle, some sources say up to 500 percent more. [Hyman, MD, Mark, Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weightloss, Scribner (2006), pp.35-36.] Feedlot-raised beef may after long periods on feed have reduced healthy omega-3 fatty acids because of the corn-and-grain diets of the cattle. [www.grassrootsbeef.com [http://www.grassrootsbeef.com/] ]

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

ee also

*Managed intensive grazing



External links

* [http://www.tcfa.org/ Texas Cattle Feeders Association]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050306001926/http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/about_feeding.html Harris Feeding Company] , California's largest cattle feeder
* [http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/factsheets/inhumane.asp Clean Water and Factory Farms] - Inhumane Treatment of Farm Animals
* [http://www.feedlots.com.au/ Australian Lot Feeders Association]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06E5DB153BF932A05750C0A9649C8B63&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all "Power Steer", Michael Pollan, New York Times, March 31, 2002]
* [http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Newslett.nsf/3d1fe103ec6513268625696c005fbc4b/541483f4a9d880848625696c0067e664?OpenDocument Broken Bow South Lot, possibly the world's largest capacity]

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  • Feedlot — in Texas Ein Feedlot ist eine Einrichtung, die dazu ausgelegt ist, Schlachtvieh, hauptsächlich Rinderherden, zu mästen. Diese Art des Mastbetriebs wird hauptsächlich in den USA betrieben, und zwar auf den Great Plains oberhalb des Ogallala… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • feedlot — [fēd′lät΄] n. an enclosed area where livestock, esp. cattle or hogs, are fed and fattened before being slaughtered for food …   English World dictionary

  • feedlot — /ˈfidlɒt/ (say feedlot) noun 1. an area of land on which livestock are kept in large numbers and fed on grain, as opposed to pasture, in order to fatten them just prior to selling them. –verb (t) (feedlotted, feedlotting) 2. to fatten up… …   Australian English dictionary

  • feedlot — /feed lot /, n. 1. a plot of ground, often near a stockyard, where livestock are gathered to be fattened for market. 2. a commercial establishment that operates a feedlot. Also, feed lot. Also called feedyard /feed yahrd /. [1885 90; FEED + LOT]… …   Universalium

  • feedlot — noun Date: 1889 a plot of land on which livestock are fattened for market …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • feedlot — noun Land on which cattle are fattened for market …   Wiktionary

  • feedlot — feed′lot or feed′ lot n. ahb. an area or establishment near a stockyard, where livestock are gathered to be fattened for market Also called feed′yard . Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • feedlot — noun a building where livestock are fattened for market (Freq. 5) • Hypernyms: ↑building, ↑edifice …   Useful english dictionary

  • Feedlot Alley — is a nickname given to a 500 km² area northwest of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada known for its intensive livestock operations. The area is home to over 500,000 cattle and 180,000 hogs.CriticismIn 1998, Chinook Health, the health authority that… …   Wikipedia

  • National Feedlot Corporation — is a company owned by Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd with participation from the Government of Malaysia. Its commercial interest is the development of a planned, integrated and sustainable Malaysian beef industry through the development of the… …   Wikipedia

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