The most important aspect in a feedlot is the procurement of weaners. This represents 60 – 65% of the total feedlot cost and if done correctly contributes significantly to the feedlot’s profitability.
The ideal weaner will make the biggest profit in the shortest amount of time. For the farmer this means the healthiest and heaviest weaner, which can be sold at the highest price. The feedlot on the other hand is looking for the lightest healthy weaner of the best quality, and obviously bought at the lowest possible price.
The two parties must bargain to ensure that both are satisfied with the transaction. The advantage the farmer has over the feedlot is that he sells an end product, whereas the feedlot is buying a product to start their process. The feedlot must evaluate the potential of the weaner and bargain a price accordingly. The live mass of the weaner is the only objective aid and the rest is subjective evaluation. The growth potential must be evaluated to determine if the weaner will make a profit.
The most important growth-determining factors are:
- Breed & Frame Type
- Mass & Muscle
- Economic factors:
- Hide damage & Health
- Pure Brahman / Race
The ideal weaner for the feedlot is the one that:
- Has the best potential
- Is bought at the best possible price
- Has no hide damage
- Has been dehorned
- Is healthy
Weight of the ideal weaner ranges between 200 kg and 240 kg.