Pen fattening involves the feeding or finishing of beef cattle with a protein and high-energy ration for a period of 70 to 120 days under zero grazing to increase live weights and improve the carcass grade at slaughter.
|Class of Animal||Live Weight||Finishing period in pens|
|Weaners||230 kg||100 – 120 days|
|Steers||280 kg||90 – 100 days|
|2 Tooth Steers||300 – 310 kg||80 – 90 days|
|4 Tooth Steers||320 – 325 kg||70 – 80 days|
|6 Tooth Steers||340 – 345 kg||60 – 70 days|
|§ The above-quoted figures refer to larger framed improved breeds|
|Yearlings||250 – 300mm / head|
|18 – 24 months||300 – 380mm / head|
380 – 460mm / head
|Age at Induction||Minimum Induction Mass (kg)||Minimum Target Slaughter Mass (kg)||Average Weight Gain (kg)|
In this method, the diet is rationed at about 50% of the total intake for two days and each subsequent two days the ration is increased by 1kg until about the 14th day when the diet is fed ad lib. The following is an example of an adaptation programme for yearlings with a live weight of about 300 kg on 20% roughage.
|Adaptation Period in Days||FeedMix Pen FeedMeal (12.1%CP) AM amount (kg)||FeedMix Pen FeedMeal (12.1%CP) AM amount (kg)||Total feed consumed/day Feedmix Pen Feeding Meal (12.1%CP)|
|11-14||5||5||10 to 13kg depending on breed and size of the animal|
|90 days of pen feeding||Total feed consumed by one||1000kg (1 tonne) Feedmix pen Feeding Meal|
A loading ramp is a necessity where fattening is practiced for ease of loading and off-loading of animals. Also required is a scale for monitoring the performance of the penned animal, and a race and/or crush pen for handling the animal.
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