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012108ColoradoBeefFeedLotMP147

SHOT 1/21/08 2:13:17 PM - Beef cattle stare out of their pens at a feedlot in Lamar, Co. The area, once a thriving ranching coomunity, was hit hard during recent droughts forcing many ranchers to sell their cattle because of the price of hay. A feedlot or feedyard is a type of Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) (also known as "factory farming") which is used for finishing livestock, notably beef cattle, prior to slaughter. They may contain thousands of animals in an array of pens. Prior to entering a feedlot, cattle spend most of their life grazing on rangeland or on immature fields of grain such as wheat pasture. Once cattle obtain an entry-level weight, about 650 pounds (300 kg), they are transferred to a feedlot to be fed a specialized diet which may be made up of hay, corn, sorghum, various other grains, by-products of food processing, such as sugar beet waste, molasses, soybean meal, or cottonseed meal, and minerals. Feedlot diets are usually very dense in food energy, to encourage the deposition of fat, or marbling, in the animal's muscles; this fat is desirable as it leads to 'juiciness' in the resulting meat. The animal may gain an additional 400 pounds (180 kg) during its 3-4 months in the feedlot. Aside from ethical and environmental concerns, feedlots have come under criticism for human health reasons. The tissues of feedlot-raised cattle have far more saturated fat than that of grass-fed cattle, some sources say up to 500 percent more. Once cattle are fattened up to their finished weight, the cattle are transported to a slaughterhouse..(Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2008)

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012108ColoradoBeefFeedLotMP147.jpg
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© 2008 Marc Piscotty
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SHOT 1/21/08 2:13:17 PM - Beef cattle stare out of their pens at a feedlot in Lamar, Co. The area, once a thriving ranching coomunity, was hit hard during recent droughts forcing many ranchers to sell their cattle because of the price of hay. A feedlot or feedyard is a type of Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) (also known as "factory farming") which is used for finishing livestock, notably beef cattle, prior to slaughter. They may contain thousands of animals in an array of pens. Prior to entering a feedlot, cattle spend most of their life grazing on rangeland or on immature fields of grain such as wheat pasture. Once cattle obtain an entry-level weight, about 650 pounds (300 kg), they are transferred to a feedlot to be fed a specialized diet which may be made up of hay, corn, sorghum, various other grains, by-products of food processing, such as sugar beet waste, molasses, soybean meal, or cottonseed meal, and minerals. Feedlot diets are usually very dense in food energy, to encourage the deposition of fat, or marbling, in the animal's muscles; this fat is desirable as it leads to 'juiciness' in the resulting meat. The animal may gain an additional 400 pounds (180 kg) during its 3-4 months in the feedlot. Aside from ethical and environmental concerns, feedlots have come under criticism for human health reasons. The tissues of feedlot-raised cattle have far more saturated fat than that of grass-fed cattle, some sources say up to 500 percent more. Once cattle are fattened up to their finished weight, the cattle are transported to a slaughterhouse..(Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2008)