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Presentation on theme: " Circle A Feeders develops all their cattle under roof to protect them from environmental stressors. The feeding facility."— Presentation transcript:

1 Circle A Feeders develops all their cattle under roof to protect them from environmental stressors. The feeding facility is 2800 feet long by 120 feet wide, including the processing area it encompasses 7.5 acres under roof. The building holds 5000 head of cattle at one time and feeds just over 10,000 head annually.

2 The pens measure 100’ X 40’ and accommodate 100 head per pen. Every calf receives 40 square feet of fresh sawdust on which to comfortably bed. Cattle movement takes place down the center ally with outside feeding lanes along every pen. A shade cloth is dropped on the North side of the building in the winter time to prevent cold blowing wind and snow from reaching the cattle.

3 Above every pen is a 18 foot fan which helps to keep the cattle cool and comfortable in the heat and circulates the air, keeping it fresh and helping to control illness.

4 Circle A Feeders uses a natural, biological agent to control flies. Trichogramma wasps are mailed in weekly and spread throughout the facility. The tiny wasp are harmless to humans and animals, but they lay their eggs directly in fly larvae and control the fly population.

5 Fresh sawdust is obtained from local sawmills for bedding the cattle. At one time sawdust was considered a waste product, but Circle A Feeders finds it an ideal material for cattle comfort, and odor and nutrient retention.

6 Pens are cleaned frequently so that cattle are kept comfortable. By reducing their stress we increase weight gains and improve efficiency.

7 A telescopic loader is used to clean the pens along with a side-dump wagon located in the center ally. Pens are cleaned down to the concrete floor underneath.

8 The used bedding is placed under one of three compost buildings each measuring 300’ X 94’. These buildings help prevent any leaching of wastes and valuable nutrients.

9 The side-dump wagons bring the used bedding to the compost barns and dump it into rows.

10 The rows are allowed to compost for nearly one month under the roof of the compost buildings.

11 Approximately every three days the compost is turned to provide a favorable environment for the microbial composting process.

12 Temperatures are monitored to ensure the compost is heating up to near 130 degrees so that bacteria and seeds are not spread on our pastures.

13 After about 30 days the compost is spread out on our pastures. While fairly low in nutrient contents, the compost is rich in organic matter. Our carefully regulated nutrient monitoring plan ensures soil nutrients are maintained at beneficial and safe levels.

14 We have been improving feed efficiency for over 15 years, creating more efficient cattle that produce a superb beef product using less feed. In 1998 we built a feed intake testing facility which allowed us to measure individual feed intake on 100 head. Every animal had a specific bunk from which to eat and we had to measure the feed in and out of the bunk daily.

15 Today we do the same testing with the GrowSafe feeding system allowing us to seamlessly measure individual feed intake on 200 head simultaneously.

16 Every calf wears an electronic identification (EID) tag and each GrowSafe bunk has a built-in EID reader. Under each bunk is a scale that takes a weight measurement every second. As a calf eats it’s tag is read and feed lose from the bunk is allocated to the appropriate animal. EID EID Reader Scale

17 The information is sent wirelessly to a computer in the office so management can monitor individual and group feed intake. The results go into our database to calculate genetics values for feed intake so that we may select for more feed efficient cattle.

18 Our on-sire feed mill allows us to make fresh rations multiple times per day. It also allows us to store and utilize corn and hay product grown by us and our neighbors.

19 Cattle are fed a diet largely consisting of corn co-products from the sugar sweetener and ethanol industries. It is a great way to turn products from their processing into delicious and nutritious beef.

20 Circle A Feeders way of feeding cattle has proven to be a very environmentally friendly, animal friendly and neighbor friendly way of producing beef. We’ve even had white table cloth dinners right in the middle of the feeding facility.

21 The vast majority of our calves are delivered on small trailer by our family-farm suppliers.

22 Some of our family farm suppliers are large enough to bring a semi load, or more, at delivery.

23 We sort the cattle by gender and weight upon arrival.

24 Cattle are weighed immediately on our certified scales.

25 Producers are paid and walk away knowing they received top of their regional market, plus additional premiums for producing high-quality calves.

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