Cactus Cattle Feedlot, TX 5/24/11
Animals’ Angels visited the Cactus Feedlot, operated by Cactus Feeders, the world’s largest cattle feeding operation. The company owns 10 feedlots in Texas and Kansas with a total capacity of 520,000 animals. The Cactus feedlot alone holds 75,000 animals. Confined animal feeding operations like the Cactus feedlot make the cattle gain weight faster through grain feeding, in order to reach mature slaughter weight at a much faster rate than traditional grazing methods, while taking up less space. The feedlot system, however, displaces cattle from a species-appropriate environment into a confined area where feeding takes place through mechanized trough-like systems. Waste is collected in large “lagoons”. According to their website, two trucks drive down the feedlot lanes all day to wet down the pens and control the dust. Operated with 1 employee/1000 animals, one can only wonder how quickly animals in need of veterinary care are detected in the extensive pen area.
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