Livestock Supplies: Top 10 Feedlot Control Points in Livestock Equipment

If you are looking to shop for livestock supplies and livestock equipment, click here.  If you want to learn more about feedlot control points, read on.

An enlarged magnifying glass has been put over production agriculture, taking into consideration everything from the use of controversial livestock supplies such as growth promoters and antibiotics to animal abuse.  It’s become clear that the way we raise our animals is under a very critical, very watchful eye.  Because of this, our operations must go above and beyond to provide outstanding care for our animals that is second to none.  Pretend you’re a consumer that walked on to your farm.  What would you think about the surroundings?  The manure, the look of the cattle, the noises, the temperature, the way you handle the cattle, and even your livestock supplies all come into consideration from the consumer’s eye.  Check out a few of these control points for feedlot operations to make sure you’re up-to-date with consumer expectations when it comes to your practices, conditions, and livestock supplies:

  1. Extreme Heat/Cold - In the summer, cattle must be provided shade, cover or a form of cooling.  Livestock supplies like sprinklers and fans are even better.  In the winter there should be adequate barriers from the whipping wind and snow as well as shelter from heavy snowfall.  Imagine a consumer seeing an animal with heat stress, or its ears frozen off from frostbite- how will you explain your practices?
     
  2. Cleanliness - Feedlots should be cleaned frequently as to avoid cattle standing in manure or mud.  If the manure or mud reaches above the cow’s hoof, there is a serious problem.  Extremely dirty cattle and cattle slipping due to excessive amounts of manure and mud are unacceptable.
     
  3. Handling - Remember, you are dealing with living creatures.  Yes, sometimes they do annoying things or don’t act the way you want them to, but that is no reason to abuse or mistreat them.  Livestock supplies such as prods and canes should never be used excessively. After all, these cattle are your livelihood and should be treated as such.  Excessive prodding or poking is objectionable and prods should only be used when absolutely necessary.
     
  4. Water & Feed - Cattle should always have free access to the proper clean water and fresh feed.  Not allowing them access to water or feed for hours at a time is inhumane.
     
  5. Euthanasia - Euthanasia should be conducted per guidelines set forth by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).  Proper methods should be followed either by a veterinarian or trained staff members using specified livestock supplies.  If you do not follow the AABP standards, what you are doing is unethical and should be stopped immediately.
     
  6. Dehorning, Castration & Branding - None of these practices should be completed at the feedlot, unless you are using the banding method of castration or you are required by law to brand at the feedlot.
     
  7. Flooring - Flooring should be non-slip in sorting, loading, handling or processing areas.  This allows cattle to have sure footing and avoids the risk of a fall and injury.
     
  8. Weaning - Calves should be weaned before coming onto the feedlot.  Bellowing calves are not pleasant for you the producer, your neighbors, or most importantly the consumer.
     
  9. Down or injured cattle - Think about your plan and the proper equipment needed to move injured animals before you act.  All too often videos end up on the internet where a cow is being dragged across the lot by a skid loader or animals are being abused while trying to get up.  You do not want that kind of press for your farm, your family, or your industry.  Always assume someone is watching and make it a top priority to handle the animal with care and with the right livestock supplies.
     
  10. Condition - Always be aware of animals that look severely under-conditioned to the point where you can distinctly see their ribs, hips, etc.  Likely, a good manager will catch the problem before it gets to that extreme, but paying extra attention can spare you unwanted attention from curious consumers.

Do you follow these critical control practices for animal welfare?

If you’re not currently following these guidelines, changes should be made immediately so you don’t wind up as the next internet-bound farm.  In today’s day and age, assume that you are constantly being watched, or put yourself in the consumer’s shoes.  If you’re working on the farm and are questioning your actions, think about the consumer’s reaction to what you will be doing.  If they think it’s unacceptable, it probably is.  It’s time to step up to the plate and heighten our awareness of animal welfare practices for your own piece of mind, the consumer’s and the industry.

Livestock supplies that will keep your farm up to code with current standards.

Using the proper livestock supplies is one way to ensure the health of your herd and the productivity of your business. At ANIMART, we offer a wide selection of livestock supplies so you can provide the most humane care and treatment possible.

Contact us below or call 800.255-1181 for your livestock supplies and livestock equipment or for additional assistance.