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Impact of Amended Feedlot Pen Surface on Cattle Health and Welfare, Environmental and Econommic Sustainability

Coaldale Veterinary Clinic

Dr. Steve Hendrick

February 2016 - April 2019

Goal: Animal Care

Audience: Feedlot, Government

Project Type: Demonstration

Location: Alberta

This research project aims to assess the social, environmental, technological and economic performance (positive, negative or neutral) associated with housing feedlot cattle in roller compacted concrete (RCC) floor pens versus traditional clay floor pens. The primary objective of the project is to assess the following sustainability indicators:

Social: Cattle Health and Welfare - lameness rates; mud scores; and physiological and behavioural indicators of cattle welfare.
Environmental: Water - runoff volume and water quality (contaminants); Air - ammonia emissions; Climate Change - greenhouse gas emissions; Soil - pen soil quality (contaminant levels); Manure - volume at cleanout and quality (composition and contaminant levels)
Technological: RCC - compressive strength, floor thickness, density, durability and potential mobility of heavy metals introduced via the use of fly ash in the RCC
Economic: Cattle - average daily gain and tag scores; Manure - handling costs; Clay - handling costs and pen floor maintenance costs; RCC - construction costs and maintenance costs.

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