One of our feedlot jobs is bedding cattle. When we bed cattle we create a clean and dry place for them to lay down. Most of the time cattle can find a dry place to lay down. When we have snow storms or rainy spells we spend time making sure the cattle are comfortable.
One of Steve’s favorite pieces of equipment for cleaning cement pads is the rear end bucket. This bucket is big and can push a lot of snow, mud, and old bedding on a pile. In this pen you can also see there is a metal windbreak that the cattle will stand behind during a snow storm to block the wind.
Steve is going to clean this up in about 10 minutes. The cattle are in the back playing on the pile Steve is building for them.
We usually clean several pens first then go back to put the bedding in. We use a bale processor that can shred large bales for bedding. This is much faster than breaking small bales apart by hand and using a pitchfork!
Steve will back into the pen and when the processor turns on it blows out shredded bedding. We are using corn stalk bales. Steve will go back and forth to cover an area large enough for all of the cattle to lay down.
After the cattle have sniffed around and chewed on a few pieces of stalks they will pretty quickly find a place to lay down. If you look in the upper right hand part of the picture you will see another group of cattle laying down. The stalks stay drier when we can put them on cement.
We will also put bedding on mud as it will give the cattle a drier place to lay and it is not as slick for them to walk around on. These cattle are close to their finish weight so they were next in line for bedding. Steve spent the rest of the day getting to the other pens so that by dark all 3400 head would be bedded. We all sleep much better when we know our cattle are resting, too.