The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) is proud to announce its initiative that encourages all Australian feedlots to make a pledge to provide cattle under their care with access to shade.

This initiative builds on the feedlot industry’s already strong commitment to animal welfare and positions our sector for long term sustainability.

Our Shade Hub provides all the tools and information you need to know about the benefits of shade. ALFA encourages all feedlots to consider the benefits that shade brings to the cattle they care for, their enterprise and collectively as an Industry.

quick links
Resources for Lot Feeders Implementing Shade
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This handbook has been designed to assist lot feeders in implementing shade, and includes answers to some frequently asked questions, MLA R&D Updates on Animal Welfare and Productivity Benefits of Shade, followed by a Shade Design and Construction Manual.

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animal welfare benefits of shade

Livestock care is fundamental to the success and sustainability of every feedlot. Australia’s red meat customers and consumers, both domestically and overseas, seek reassurance that livestock are cared for humanely and ethically. A characterisation of what constitutes animal welfare is required before discussing the effect of shade on animal welfare.

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welfare benefits of providing shade

A fact sheet that explores what animal welfare means, the benefits of providing shade, and understanding the thermal regulation and shade seeking behaviours of cattle. Information in regards to cattle responses to shade, animal health and management strategies to optimise welfare with shade are also explored.

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productivity benefits of shade

Research conducted at the Brigalow Research Station, Theodore, Queensland concluded that providing shade to angus cattle at 3.3 m2/head resulted in an extra 6 kg of hot carcase weight.  This was driven by an extra 36 kg per head of dry matter intake over the feeding period, and lower maintenance energy requirements of shaded cattle. This fact sheet examines the effects of shade can have on feedlot cattle performance.

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shade design & construction manual

The Shade Design & Construction Manual provides Lot Feeders with useful information on the types of shade structures available, shade orientation and tips on how to maximise the positive impacts of shade.

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financing opportunities & due diligence

The Federal Government (and various State Governments) currently offer grants and loans for infrastructure development. To check your eligibility for these grants and loans see individual links below. Additional financing options will be explored in the upcoming webinar.

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shade manufacturers

The construction of feedlot shade is a relatively specialised field. Shade manufacturers support the design and construction of shade to ensure maximum effectiveness. The Shade Design & Construction Manual also provides useful information on shade installation. Commercial shade manufacturers operating in shade over livestock can be found below:

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unlocking the benefits of shade webinar 

A recording has been made available of the webinar delivered on 16th of November 2020  that introduces the ALFA Shade Policy and the resources available to assist in the installation of shade.

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RESEARCH - cattle behaviour & panting score

Lees, 2020, evaluates the influence of shade on feedlot cattle behaviour and panting score of Bos taurus and Bos indicus feedlot cattle during summer. All breeds and treatment groups within the research exhibited a notable increase in mean panting score as heat load increased.  Overall the results emphasise the importance of providing shade to feedlot cattle, irrespective of genotype, challenging the general perception that Bos indicus feedlot cattle do not require access to heat load alleviation strategies.

case studies
frequently asked questions