Let’s talk Pen Fattening

By Lynette Simango

Most farmers are into Beef Production, makes a lot of sense because Zimbawe is a cattle country, but are your pockets also making sense? There are 2 production systems farmers can consider, The Breeding-in system & buying-in system. You want to go the breeding way, well good luck but I will tell you right now that the people who are making money are the ones whose profits lie in their ability to add weights, carcass (Pen fattening).


They say numbers don’t lie so let’s look at numbers for a start 👇
The assumption here is that the minimum induction weight into the feedlot is 250kg live. At the end of the 90-day period, the animal should have gained at least 135kg which makes it 385kg. Let’s assume a dressed weight of 60% and a kg going for $4. That means the gross income for each head is $924. Please note, this figure doesn’t make any sense if we don’t address the question, “Against which cost?”


So let’s look at the cost- For a 135 kg gain into the feedlot, Assuming an 8:1 feed conversion ration (for every 8kg feed consumed, the animal gains 1kg), This means the total feed consumed by the animal after 90 days is 135×8= 1080kg. This translates to 22 50kg bag, with a 50kg bag going for $13,5 it means each head will cost you $297 during its stay.
The profit margins are quite huge $924-$297=$627. Now imagine yourself doing 20 heads and having 4 cycles a year. Tempting, isn’t it? Talk to the expert and you can never go wrong!

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