After Megan and I moved the cattle, my cowboy and I loaded them on the trucks and took them to the feedyard.
Upon arrival at the feedyard, the cattle began the acclimation process which allows them to transition from life on a grass pasture to life in the feedyard. The cattle are exercised for several days first thing in the morning to give them the ability to move outside of the home pen and get some additional exercise as well as become accustomed to being handled “on foot” in a feedyard setting. After each exercising session, the cattle are moved back into the home pen where fresh feed
awaits. This allows them to attribute “comfort” toward the home pen and learn to eat out of a feedbunk.
The acclimation period lasts anywhere from 4 to 10 days, depending on how easily the cattle transition. I let the cattle’s actions tell me when they are fully transitioned and comfortable in their “new home”. I look at how they move for me and handle when I ask them to leave the “home pen” and also how they act when they are asked to walk past me in the corral area. Additionally, I look at their behavior in the home pen and how they are transitioning onto feed (how much are they eating).
The acclimation process is a very important component of lowering stress for my animals and plays a huge role in my “holistic cattle care” program at the feedyard. It ensures “mental and emotional fitness” in my cattle which leads to better physical health.
My goal at the feedyard is to “set my animals up for success” so that they will be as healthy as possible. Healthy cattle make healthy beef. Beef that I feed to my family and you feed to yours. Acclimating calves is one of my favorite things to do at the feedyard. I love to watch my animals learn and thrive. It brings me a tremendous sense of personal pride and satisfaction because I know that my cattle are not only comfortable and well cared for, but also will provide a high quality protein source that will quite literally “feed the world”.