n Stockfarm - The Brahman's potential in the feedlot - feeds & grazing

Volume 7 Number 7
  • ISSN : 2221-7304



Many beef cattle breeds in South Africa are used for beef production and several factors determine the choice of breed used. These factors among others include climate, veld type, exposure to parasites, markets and of course producer preference regarding colour, temperament and frame size. Then there are various production factors to take into account such as conception, inter-calving period (ICP), weaner weights, and calving and weaning percentages. These, however, can mostly be controlled by the farmer. The aim of any cattle operation is optimal weaner production. The next step is to finish these weaners in the feedlot to be market ready. Approximately 70% of all calves weaned in South Africa find their way to feedlots to be prepared for slaughter. This emphasises the importance of the feedlot industry as a link in the production chain of beef. However, the profitability of feedlots is unstable and risky due to a variety of factors, including weaner, feed and carcass prices. Production factors playing a role in the profitability of feedlots include growth, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and dressing percentage, while health and mortalities can also have a huge influence. These factors are therefore of crucial importance to the feedlot operator to control, and in doing so reduce risks.

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