Farming Operations – Sheep Feedlot

B3genetics has diversified its farming operation and has implemented facilities to accommodate a feedlot system based on market research and segmentation of its geographical position, and the size of the farm.  The two, prong approach is firstly to introduce the sheep feed lot system.   The priority is to establish well defined facilities on an intensive basis which consists of a rotational 8 camp system on 59 days  @ 350g/day  ADG with a potential holding capacity of around 80 per camp.

This rotational system ensures that all animals are given the optimal nutrition, inoculation, dip and weight program incorporated, ensuring that the highest quality standards are implemented. Animals are identified via Leader tag – unique numbers system so tracking the performance of each individual animal is of utmost importance.  

Animals are bought in from various sources including self-breed animals, and the ideal weight is between 28-34kg.  Animals that show signs of slow growth, below 280 grams per day (ADG) are given the necessary treatment and non-performance is then culled out program and sold in our B3Livestock Sales division which completes the value chain.   We attempt to have our sheep market ready at weights of 45-50kg which will yield a carcass of around 22—24.5kg giving you a dressing percentage of around 49%. We do not feed our lambs any stimulates and adapted a “BEST Practices “ methodology.

B3-Feedlot has the privilege to secure reputable blue-chip retail customers which we market directly to after we have had animals slaughtered at the abattoir.  We also have our own private client base which we obtain niche pricing on our products. We also ensure that we receive the skins, as well as the “AFAL” product which we have a specific market to sell on. Therefore, we expect that total income per animal is maximized and costs are kept to essentials. 

Solid foundations and management systems are entrenched into the operations considering all aspects of operations. Strong record keeping and traceability is of prime importance to ensure profitability. We utilize our own sources of nutrition and also purchase specific stocks from Voermol and Voerdoktor which is then mixed, which formulation is obtained by Voermol for our needs. As nutritional plays an important function both nutritionally and financially , its is imperative to manage this driver, to ensure profitability. . 

Achieve success feedlotting lambs

Finishing lambs can be a profitable operation, but it depends on how you manage your animals. Lambs can be finished in extensive systems such as on pastures and veld, or in intensive systems like feedlots. 

Here we look at feedlotting lambs and which factors impact your success, namely genetic potential of the lambs, their nutrition and the feedlot infrastructure. 

While many farmers believe that certain breeds outperform others in a feedlot, a lamb of any breed can perform well if it has the correct genetic potential

These lambs need to have good muscle conformation, which means 

  • Good hindquarters
  • Length of body
  • Depth of body

Nutrition also plays a vital role in the success of your operation, and your lambs will respond either positively or negatively to the ration they are being fed. This means that the feed needs to be balanced and have the following characteristics:

  • Be high in energy 
  • Have high protein content 
  • Contain minerals and trace minerals
  • Have good digestibility

When it comes to the infrastructure of the feedlot, the following factors need to kept in mind.

  • Each lamb will need trough space of at least 10 cm
  • Clean, cool water is essential and will have to be provided
  • The troughs should be cleaned daily 
  • The surface area of the pen should be between 1.5 – 2.5 square metres per lamb and shade should be taken into account as well.

Article by : Molatek