Providing a Balanced Diet
After weaning, there are many paths that calves can take. Because the majority are born in a 90-day window, we need to space them out, so we have a consistent year round supply.
Some larger cattle may go straight into one of our feed yards for roughly 200 days; these will reach market weight first. Medium-sized cattle could be moved to one of our partner grow yards where they will grow more slowly on a lower-energy ration and get accustomed to eating from a bunk and drinking from a trough before transitioning to the feed yard. Smaller calves could be turned out on grass for months before continuing through the beef lifecycle.
There are a multitude of factors—including weather, environment and the market—that play into the decision of which path the cattle will take. When ranchers and cattle feeders have the flexibility to do what is best for their operations, the result is a consistent supply of higher quality, healthier cattle.
The Role of Feed Yards: Balancing nutrition and resources
When they are ready, our cattle are transported to a feed yard where they slowly transition to nutritionally balanced rations of grains and forages during their roughly 140-day stay. Our feed yards are located in American Falls, ID, (Snake River Cattle Feeders) and Parma, ID, (Boise Valley Feeders), as well as Moses Lake, WA, (El Oro Cattle Feeders).
At the feed yards, animal nutritionists formulate cattle rations consisting of alfalfa hay, grains, and potato as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. In the Northwest, Agri Beef subsidiary Performix Nutrition Systems works with ranchers and cattle feeders to develop balanced diets for our cattle.
The primary goal of our feed yards is to maintain optimal health and well-being of our animals.
Feed Yard Sustainability: Making more with less
Another way we care for the environment is by conserving resources. Finishing our cattle on a grain-based diet requires less land, water and feed than grass-finishing cattle.
- 45% less land
- 76% less water
- 49% less feed
However, our commitment to the environment doesn’t end here. We have a multitude of best practices to ensure we are being good stewards and comply with all government regulations. All cattle waste is collected, composted and used by local farmers as a soil amendment. We also source feed ingredients locally whenever possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cost, and support our Northwest rural economies.
PerforMix Nutrition Systems: Finishing strong
Established in 1985, PerforMix is an Agri Beef subsidiary that assists in developing balanced diets for our cattle—along with other beef and dairy cattle throughout the Northwest—with the guidance of first-class cattle nutritionists. PerforMix has four locations to service our multitude of Northwest customers, including three in Idaho (Nampa, Fruitland and Rupert), as well as Moses Lake, WA.
Visit PerforMix Website