Beef Cattle Feeding in a Deep-Bedded Hoop Barn: Year One
Is Version Of
A three-year study evaluating the performance of yearling steers in a deep-bedded hoop barn has completed the first year. 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. For the first year of the three-year study, two groups of yearling steers were fed. The first group (Group 1) was put on test August 5, 2005 and marketed on November 15, 2005 for a summer/fall feeding period. The second group (Group 2) was put on test December 21, 2005 and marketed in two drafts on April 4, 2006 and May 10, 2006 for a winter/spring feeding period. Overall the cattle performed similarly with similar carcass data for both housing systems. The information presented is the first year of a three-year study. The cattle had a lower mud score in the hoop barn, particularly for the winter/spring feeding period. 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.