HYDEN farmer Trevor Hinck is upgrading his feedlot to hold an extra 1000 head of cattle.
The Kerrigan Valley Beef feedlot, 360km east of Perth, will hold a total of 3000 head with the installation of new pens and a purpose-built artificial shade system.
Mr Hinck said the investment, upward of $100,000, would be ready in time for this summer.
“We are installing a suspended shade system,” Mr Hinck said.
“With our observations in the past three to five years we have had heavy summer rainfall events, creating humidity and hot days into March and April.
“It was 28 degrees here the other day.
“The weather is changing, so we have high humidity.”
Mr Hinck said the suspended shade system would cover the length of the pens, running 12 metres wide, north to south, across every pen at 6.5m high.
He said it would be another tool to manage cattle heat loading from November to March.
“We are on the forefront when it comes to animal welfare,” he said.
“We feel that we are on the front foot and doing all we can.
“I think other people will look at the data that comes out of here, that proves there is a pay back on the capital invested.”
Mr Hinck is the first lotfeeder to install the artificial shade system in WA and he said it would help increase cattle weight gain.
“Having shade adds to the advantages of custom feeding,” he said.
“We have bedding in the winter and shading in the summer.
“We know that there is a pay back with added shade on weight gain and feed consumption.”
The construction of the new pens, troughs and panels are underway.
Construction of the new shade sales will start when Mr Hinck completes his seeding program.
“On the first week of June we will be putting posts in the ground, earthworks and connecting water pipes,” he said.
“There is a lot of work to do before we put the shade up, which won’t go up until September or October.”
Mr Hinck said it would make the Kerrigan Valley Beef feedlot a step closer in being ready for long-term Wagyu and local cattle, as there was an advantage for weight gain, increased feed consumption, shade and bedding.
“It will happen more and more across WA,” he said.
“Other lotfeeders will be watching I am sure.”