Kite Feedlot Team
October 24, 2023
The Team at Stanbroke Feedlot, 20 km west of Chinchilla on the Darling Downs, is well prepared to proactively manage these risks using the Kite Heat Risk dashboard to set a strategy for day-to-day activities.
Here is the advice from experienced feedlot manager Russell Byrne from Stanbroke Feedlot.
“A heat event can sneak up on you quickly and before you know it you have a situation. Unfortunately, once you are in a heat event there is not much you can do except hope that the weather conditions change. My advice is to look at everything before you make a decision on trucking the animals. For our site, wind is the key. I look at Katestone to see if the wind is forecast to drop in the afternoon, and if it is then we will delay loading until later in the evening. We sometimes have to send the guys home and get them to come back later. The transport companies are probably unhappy with our caution, but it’s better than having an incident.”
For our site, wind is the key. I look at Katestone to see if the wind is forecast to drop in the afternoon, and if it is then we will delay loading until later in the evening. We sometimes have to send the guys home and get them to come back later.
“I find the forecasts surprisingly good and through our proactive management, we have managed to avoid heat events for many years. When loading cattle, it is critical for your team to be well-trained to look for the early signs of heat stress. Even with the best plans, it is still advisable to look for the early warning signs as conditions can change suddenly. Our vet provides us with training every year to ensure we all know what to look for. The guys on the weighbridge need to be confident they can make a call to stop loading if a situation is developing.”
As you head into summer it is good to remind yourself of the types of weather events that can cause heat load problems. Read more.
With the peak storm period on us, it is good to reassess the issues with wet pens.
Humidity in the pens can be significantly higher than outside the pens, so your weather station may not indicate the true heat load exposure of your animals, nor will the forecast. Read more about what you can do to manage this risk.
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