Essentials of building a (kraal) feedlot

Rural farmers have been accustomed to bomas or tree branches piled up in a circle to protect their animals. A daily feature of rural farming infrastructure, this is closer to a feedlot. 

Call them kraals, isibaya, lesaka, they have become part of African farmers tradition and once in a while, trees have to be chopped to replace the old poles. 

Sable Poles developed a quick information guide for emerging interested in building sustainable kraals/feedlots. 

  • Corner Post. 150mm – 200mm thick because the cattle can lean against it, but not push it over. 
  • Uprights spaced between corner posts. Should not be more than 1,8m apart if you are making use of wire between poles as fencing. These uprights should always be a thickness of 100mm – 150mm.
  • Crossbeams.  Can range from 76mm – 90mm thick. This will be adequate for keeping cattle kraal intact.
Essentials of building a (kraal) feedlot

It is important for a farmer or farming community to identify a site with low rainfall with an average rainfall of less than 750 mm when constructing a feedlot. Also, a feedlot must be able to provide economic efficiency, cattle health, welfare and performance while minimising ongoing maintenance costs. 

Expenses incurred in running a feedlot are; 

  • Feed price, slaughtering costs, carcass condemnations,
  • Agents commission 
  • Transport, interest on capital, salaries of management and labour,
  • Machinery costs, 
  • Mortalities and veterinary costs (disease control, medicines, vaccinations, veterinarian) 
  • Pre-treatment (growth stimulants, dipping, dosing, vaccination).

Animals remain in a feedlot for 90 to 120 days and thereafter sold at auctions. 

Lesaka la dikgomo le dinku le dipudi le agwa ka mapako a mongina le ditlhare tse dingwe tse se nang phetlhi (S Naoa, 1945).

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