Weight change between yarding and delivery to exporter

Background

A Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) on this topic was initiated by the Kimberley Beef Research Committee (KBRC) to examine:

  1. Weight change while stock are waiting at station yards prior to being transported.
  2. Weight change in the supply chain between yarding and loading onto the boat.

The PDS measured weight change in 180 Brahman X feeder bulls, initial average liveweight 246 kg (range 200–350 kg), over 28 days, in September 2012. Cattle were weighed on day one, twice on day 14 (before and after trucking) and again on day 28. A 12-hour wet curfew was applied to all treatments prior to weighing.

Phase one was completed at ‘Leopold Downs’ Station, north of Fitzroy Crossing. Cattle were randomly drafted into three treatment groups of 60 head:

  • shipper pellets (Group 1)
  • oaten hay (Group 2)
  • native pasture (Group 3)

After 14 days on these feeding regimes at ‘Leopold Downs’ the feeder bulls were transported to Roebuck Export Depot (RED), Broome, for phase two of the demonstration. During this phase, all cattle were fed shipper pellets (in a feed trough) and oaten hay ad lib for a 14 day period. The same shipper pellets and oaten hay used in the first phase of the demonstration were used in the second phase.

Aim/Objectives

  • Record and analyse weight changes and feed to gain ratios for cattle from yarding on station to loading onto vessels.
  • Develop management strategies to minimise weight losses and prevent “out of spec” stock at the export yards.

News and media

For more information, please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.NBP.0619 Part C) (PDF, 3.6MB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.

When: September 2012

Contact: Matthew Fletcher

Collaborator: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia