Feed lotting is a management practice that cattle producers frequently use in an effort to achieve a consistent supply of quality cattle that meets market specifications for weight and fat score. The duration can vary from 60-120 days.
Approximately 1 acre of land is required per 100 head of cattle for pen space, alleys, and feed roads and ¼ to 1 acre per 100 head of cattle for the waste control facility. Animals are fed on a high-quality grain diet which has spiked production costs from sh1,800 to 4,000 for a 90kg bag of maize. To reduce food costs, farmers have learned to make their own foods while maintaining the right ratios. The cow is expected to gain 1.5 kg per day so as to attain the market weight of ideally 400kg at the end of 90 days. To avoid diseases, vaccinating animals is key.
Total cost for a feedlot system
The total cost for a feedlot system cost above sh600,000 Innovative Kenyans is reaping profits from feedlot systems. The capital required is around sh600,000-sh1.5 million to start up. My neighbor put up one in a 2 acre land in Nyeri.
He invested in good infrastructure, disease control, feed mill, and got into the business. Cattles are bought for sh18,000-30,000 depending on the breed and after 3 months of intensive feeding, they are sold between sh60,000-90,000.
With the capacity of handling up to 800 cattle per ranch, the ranch is in good business with economies of scale. The challenges of this business are capital, sourcing of animals, diseases, and high feed costs.