In Bed Pack finishers most producers establish a packed area of bedding (corn stalks, saw dust, paper waste etc) and routinely scrape the feeding alley. These facilities are flexible but have intense labor requirements
Bed Pack Pros:
- The facility can be utilized by all sectors of the industry (cow/calf, heifer dev, backgrounding, finishing.
- The pack offers insulation in the winter months
- Captures all waste
Bed Pack Cons
- Bedding utilization is a large expense ($0.08-$0.12 per Hd per Day)
- Requires routine scraping and bedding
- Typically managed at 36-45 sq ft/hd
- Manure value is diluted by bedding/environment
- May require additional implement
- Typically requires manure holding area
Dealing with 100% waste collection in a bedded facility can be overwhelming to an operator used to open lots. Often times the humid summer months can be more difficult to manage than the cold winter months. Like most aspects of feeding cattle, it comes down to management. A properly managed bed pack is a great way to finish cattle.