Beef Cattle Feeding in a Bedded Hoop Barn: Three Year Summary
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A three-year study evaluating the performance of yearling steers fed and confined in a bedded hoop barn was completed. A 50 × 120 foot hoop barn was constructed at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm in the late fall of 2004. The comparison feedlot is an outside lot with shelter that includes a drive-through feed alley. Two groups of yearling steers were fed each year. The summer/fall groups were put on test in August and marketed in November. The winter/spring groups were put on test in December and marketed in April/May. Overall the cattle fed in the bedded confinement hoop barn performed similarly with similar carcass data to cattle fed in a semi-confined feedlot. The cattle from the hoop barn had numerically lower mud scores than the feedlot cattle, i.e., had less mud at the end of the test. As expected the deep-bedded hoop system used more bedding than the semi-confinement lots. The bedded hoop barn required about 5 to 6 lb of cornstalk bedding per head per day that the steers were on feed.