ALFA recently hosted its "Going Under Cover" feedlot tour, looking at shade and covered housing systems fit for Australian feedlots. On this tour, we spoke with Darryn Rethus of West Wimmera Beef to discover how they came about implementing shade at their feedlot, located in Nhill, Victoria.
For West Wimmera Beef, the benefits from installing their shelter system are clear: from improved animal welfare outcomes, to better pen management processes and overall cattle satisfaction.
Shade was always on the cards for West Wimmera Beef, with Darryn explaining that their shed, built by Central Steel Build, has been a great advantage in the winter, as well as the summer.
"Some of the benefits of the shed are its coolness for the cattle in summer, and in winter for it's warmth," Darryn said, ""the cattle seem a lot happier in the shed."
"For our wet winters, keeping their cattle dry and warm was just as important as having the shade for coolness in the summer"
As well as animal welfare and cattle satisfaction, the shed has also helped in pen floor management.
"The shed is important in keeping the rain off the pen floor, which means that the cattle aren't going through into the sub soil and creating issues" he explained,
"It's better from a management point of view: we can manage the pen floor as needed, rather when the weather allows"
This case study was filmed on ALFA's 'Going Under Cover' feedlot tour, looking at shade and covered housing systems fit for Australian feedlots.
Australian feedlots are working towards providing all cattle under their care with access to shade, demonstrating the strong collective commitment the Australian cattle feedlot industry has towards animal welfare.
The ALFA Shade Hub provides all the tools and information you need to know about the benefits of shade. Visit www.feedlots.com.au/shade