Only 2-3% of Australia’s cattle are in feedlots at any one time; despite the small number, feedlots contribute around 34% of Australia’s beef production.
A cattle feedlot is a managed facility where livestock are provided a balanced and nutritious diet for the purpose of producing beef of a consistent quality and quantity.
Grain fed cattle spend the first 85-90% of their lives on pasture then essentially go to feedlots for ‘finishing’ – to reach specific market weight requirements. The amount of time cattle spend in feedlots depends on specific customer requirements – on average cattle destined for Australian retailers spend 60-80 days while those destined for hotels and restaurants average 130 days.
There are around 450 accredited feedlots throughout Australia with the majority located in areas that are in close proximity to cattle and grain supplies.
Queensland is the largest state in terms of cattle numbers on feed with approximately 60% followed by NSW with 30%, Victoria with 7% and the remainder shared between South Australia and Western Australia. For more information about the Australian feedlot industry: http://www.feedlots.com.au/home