MSU Feedlot Educational Series: Effect of Facility Design on Feedlot Cattle Performance
April 14, 2021
In session five of the MSU Feedlot Educational Series, Dr. Jerad Jaborek discusses the effects of feedlot facility design on cattle feedlot performance. Dr. Jaborek shares some of the commonly feedlot designs and shares some research regarding slatted floors versus bedded pack flooring systems. The importance of ventilation (natural and mechanical) is discussed as a necessary means to keep cattle comfortable and healthy.
Good evening and welcome to the final webinar of the MSU feedlot educational series for the 2020 - 2021 season. I'm Jeannine Schweihofer and I will be the host and facilitator tonight because Dr. Jerad Jaborek is our speaker and he's going to talk about the effect of facility design on feedlot cattle performance. Jerad, go ahead. Thank you Jeannine for the introduction. And thank you everyone for attending the last session of the MSU feedlot educational series. We made it to the end. Few announcements before we get started. If you're interested in any of the previous sessions, where we talked about crossbred dairy beef production in session one. We talked about tips for raising dairy calves in session two. And we talked about how to use the enterprise budget tool and a little bit about financial analysis for your feedlot in session three. Session four about the price of distillers and some options you may have as far as feed substitutes and a little bit about protein digestion in session four. And then you're already watching this session. But if you'd like to go back to any of those other sessions, if you go to the MSU beef team website and under videos, there are recordings where you're able to click on them and you would be able to watch them on your own time if you're interested. Jerad, I just posted the link to the videos section of the beef team website in the chat. Okay, thank you very much. So there you go. If any of you are interested, you should be able to click on that link or copy that link and put it into your web browser, save it for later, and check that out on your own time. So before we get started, I just wanted to say that all MSU programming is open to everyone who's interested. So with that, let's get started. So as we start this presentation, I want to talk about a few of the different facility types that you commonly see in feedlots and one of the most simple ones that we can start out with is just a open dirt lot. So as you can see in the picture here, if you follow my, here I'll just get a laser pointer here. If you follow my mouse here, you can see that typically there's a bunk on one end and then we just have open lot that the cattle are able to wander around in, similar to the picture over here on the right. And in these open lots, typically you'll see a mounded up area for the cattle to get up out of the mud if the pen experiences any wet conditions. Here in the picture you can see it was a little wet at this time a year and cattle were walking through quite a bit of mud. There was no mounding in this facility here. So one of the things you can do in a dirt lot is actually mound it up so the cattle can avoid that wet mud, stay a little drier, and not expend as much energy walking through that mud all the time. Also notice that in a facility like this, it's important to consider putting up a windbreak to give those cattle some shelter from the wind. And notice which direction that it's built on. It's going to block any north wind you may possibly be getting. And one thing you'll notice as we go through this, we'll see the amount of space that these cattle are allowed is going to change. So you're actually going to have the greatest amount of space typically for cattle that are in an open dirt lot system. So in the second type of feedlot facility we have is an open dirt lot, but we've added some kind of shelter, or a covered barn of sorts to this facility. And here's a picture of that mounding system that I was talking about previously. Something to get the cattle up out of the mud or the muck. And you can see that same, same type of design here. We don't have the windbreak. And also notice the direction of the barn, in this case, a lot of our barns are going to face in the east to west direction. If you have a monoslope for instance, the smaller opening for the back of the barn would face north in this case. So another thing to take in here is the amount of square foot per animal allowed in the building and then also in a lot. So as we added the building to this type of facility design, we decrease the amount of space those animals require in the dry lot. So moving on to the next one, very similar to the second type. Except in this case, Instead of the dirt lot, we have just a paved concrete lot with the partially covered open building. So you can see that over here in the picture. In the case of the diagram here on the left, you can see that they actually have the feed bunk inside the building over. You can see in the picture, some places also like to put the feed bunk on the outside. So I actually particularly like having it on the outside here. That way you don't have cattle walking through and having an excess build-up of manure in your covered facility, they can't she used as a shelter, stay dry. One of the downfalls of that though, is if you have your bulk outside the feeds also exposed to the elements of getting rained on or snowed on, collecting extra moisture, stuff of that nature. So again, we're also decreasing the amount of space these cattle require in a system like this as well. The next design we're talking about here is actually getting into a confinement situation. Where these cattle are in complete confinement, where we are allowing a bedded pack for these cattle. So this is actually going to take place on a solid floor. So if you look at the building design, we have a solid concrete floor where a bedded pack of straw, for instance would be placed in this barn. So, in the case of these monoslopes here, you can see that they have a feed bunk on each side actually, and again, we're also decreasing the amount of space that these cal need in an operation like this. And as we take this a step further to even more of a confined space, we can increase our stocking density even more in slatted floor facility. So like I said, these cattle are complete confinement of this barn. In the slatted for design, instead of having a bedded pack over the top of the floor, we have these concrete slats or slats that could be covered with rubber. And with an increased stocking density these cattle actually work the manure down and down into these manure storage pits that we have below the building, where the manure can be pumped out for removal at a later time. So as we think about stocking density, there's some guidelines based on Federation of Animal Sciences Society that has some guidelines for how much space calves or cattle in general need in barns or at the feed bunk. So you can see that as we, as our calves start to grow, they need a little bit more space as they reach this finishing cattle stage. And depending on the barn, as I kinda already put these spacing requirements in the previous figures, you can see that with an open fronted, partially covered barn with a dirt lot, those cattle are going to require 20 to 25 square feet per head as we go into total confinement or a closed barn. And we allow those cattle to freely move around in a bedded pack. They can have a little bit more space, 30 to 35 square feet, and then we can actually decrease that number as far as the amount of square footage those animals need on an individual basis, once we move them to a slot, orslatted for design. That way we're making sure that those animals are in there and actually pushing that manure through as well. So then there's also recommendations on how much linear bunk space those animals require depending on how often you're feeding them. If you're feeding them once daily, twice daily, or if you're, say, providing them a free choice grain. This could be taken as like a steer stuffer for instance, if you have something like that were those animals are just helping themselves. You can see that with free choice, they don't need as much bunk space. They go and eat as they will. And then they also have a recommendation that if they're self-fed a roughage or forage source as well. [Charlie Lewis] So quick question about that. I have always heard that the six inches of bunk space per head was what you needed if you fed either once or twice daily, like inside and outside. But for Holsteins. What would you say? Do you really think they need the 22 inches per head then? Or do you think that the six to seven inches is okay? Or do you think that they do need that much more? So I got some research here that gets into that a little bit, or one study that looks at that. And it kind of conflicts with what some of these recommendations are, like I said, these are recommendations made by FASS that we follow for teaching and research and stuff like that. There are instances where they don't see decreased and performance or difference in performance if that is reduced to a lesser amount. And in some of those cases, like you're referring to, with some of these Holsteins, they have almost free, free choice of that grain. But you're talking about, I mean, there's always feed there available for them. So in that case they're almost on a free choice feed basis, if you will. So like I was saying, some of the common flooring types that you'll most commonly see here in the Midwest are going to be a bedded pack or a deep bedded pack. People using straw most likely maybe saw dust or something like that. Or people are going to have concrete slatted floors. You may put rubber strips over them or you may not? So as we think a little bit about the flooring and spacing considerations that we have in our feedlots and things that we need to keep in mind are the cleanliness, overall comfort of the animal, and how's that going to affect the welfare of that animal from the lesions occurring on their sides, possibly if they're uncomfortable and being on a hard surface, or possible foot and health problems that may occur. So we need to think about how are these facilities going to reduce hide contamination? For instance, on the slatted floors we need to think about stocking density. Do you have enough animals in there where they're not defecating on each other or we don't want too many where they're defecating on each other. But we want enough where they're also able to push that manure through the slats as well, maintain a clean environment. And then likewise with a deep bedded pack, we want to provide those animals with enough straw or be cleaning out those pens frequently enough that we're able to keep those animals dry and comfortable. We also want to allow or promote time for these animals to rest and lie down and be able to do their proper ruminating functions. We need to think about how is that flooring type that we use in our facilities. Is it going to prevent injury? We don't want to be causing slips and falls on hard surfaces. So texture of your flooring would be important and you also don't want to aggressive of a texture. In that you're causing hoof problems as well. So those are important things to consider as well. And then also as far as the cleanliness and how a wet that flooring surfaces, are we having any problems with digital dermatitis or bacterial infections that may cause or be affecting our foot and hoof health as well. Those are some considerations we need to think about. And then obviously it's important to provide these animals with adequate space. So that they're allowed to eat and drink and lay down so that we're able to optimize their performance and give them proper or optimum comfort and welfare as well. So this means that we don't want them overcrowded where they're stepping on each other. This is going to lead to lameness issues, sore legs, feet, hocks, also stepping on each other's tails and possibly causing tail tip necrosis just leads to a big problem as well. So moving into some research that looks at some of these different flooring designs. A lot of this research was actually done over in Europe years ago. And in this case we have some research from Lowe and others in 2001 that was conducted in Ireland. And in this case, they used continental breed type steers that were around 990 pounds and 930 pounds in year one and year two. This was a two-year study. So in year one, they looked at comparing concrete slatted floors. So these slats actually provided 25 percent void area and the stocking density on all of these concrete slats was 32 square foot per head. They compared these two concrete slats with rubber mats. So these rubber mats are actually perforated. So they had holes over where the slats in the country would have been. So it actually only provided a 13 percent total voided area of that pen. And then in year one, they compared that to a solid floor with a straw bedded pack that provided 57 square foot per head. And they were bending those pens with 13 pounds and chopped straw per head per day. They clean them out every six weeks. And then in year two they decided that they wanted to add another treatment where they added rubber strips. So these strips ran right along the concrete slats and allowed the opening of those slats to stay the same. So the same space for manure to fall through as the plain concrete slats in this case. So moving on to the performance results. So looking to see how these cattle actually performed on these different treatments. Across the top we have our different treatments. Concrete slats, concrete with mats over the top of them, or concrete slats with rubber strips over them, and then a straw bedded pack on a solid floor. So in year one, those cattle were on feed for a 140 days. They were provided ad libitum grass silage. You can see that there is no difference in grass silage intake. These cattle were actually fed concentrate as well. Across the study they averaged 7.3 pounds per head per day. So that was controlled, but silage intake as you can see fluctuated a little bit, but was not statistically different. And likewise, average daily gain was not different for these cattle either. So in year two they added the rubber strip treatment and they kinda found the same results here. So silage intake had no difference. Those cattle consumed seven pounds of concentrate on average across the study. And then for average daily gain, here, you can see there is no statistical difference either. So across these four different flooring types, Lowe and others found no differences in cattle performance in this study. So another study that was conducted in Ireland was by Hickey and others in 2003. In this case, they use Holstein steers. These cattle we're 1135 pounds when they entered the study and they were on the study for 97 days I believe. These guys looked at different spacing allowance or stocking density of these cattle on different flooring surfaces. So they had either cattle on concrete slats or a solid floor. So for the solid floor where they had a straw bedded pack, they had a stocking density of 43 square foot. So they had a similar comparison on the concrete slats, but they also had greater stocking densities on the concrete slat as well. In this case, straw bedded pack cattle were given 11 pounds of chopped straw per head per day to bed them down. So in this case, for performance results from Hickey and others, you can see the treatments across the top, concrete slats are going to be right here and then we have our straw treatment off to the right. In this case, we did see some differences due to stocking density and not necessarily floor type. So if you look at a fair comparison against floor types at 43 square foot, you can see that either on concrete slats, or a straw bedded pack, those cattle consumed a similar amount of feed, and grew at a similar rate, and they had a similar feed efficiency or feed conversion. Where we did start to see differences here in this study is starting at these cattle that were at a stocking density of 21 square feet per head. We saw that they consumed a little bit less feed, they gained a little bit less, and they're a little bit less efficient compared to the cattle that were allowed a little bit more space. And then likewise, we actually saw that if we increase stocking density to 16 square foot per animal, we even saw that those cattle ate a little bit less and had a similar efficiency and rate again compared to the cattle that were stocked at a density of 21 squared foot per head. So in this case, these cattle were allowed ad libitum concentrate and were given 4.4 pounds of grass silage. So the difference here is resulting from, in intake, is resulting from their intake of concentrate in this case. So in this study, they also looked at some behavioral measurements as well. And notice that cattle in the 16 square foot stocking density spent less time laying down compared to cattle in the 21, 32, and 43 square foot stocking densities on concrete slats. And actually the cattle that were housed on the straw bedded pack at 43 square foot, actually spent the most time lying down. So those cattle, it indicates that those cattle may have been a little bit more comfortable, and are choosing to lie down more frequently than on the concrete slats. So moving on to another study and this study by Elmore and others in 2015, this was conducted at Purdue. So we're actually getting to a study that was performed here in the States. In this study they used Angus steers starting out at a 823 pounds and it was 84 day study. Their stocking density was almost 32 square foot per animal. They looked at three different treatments and I have a picture of each them off to the right. The first treatment being concrete slats. For the picture here, you can see it's just concrete slats with holes in it, for the manure to fall through. And then the second treatment, those would be those concrete slat covered with rubber, with the slats as well. And then a third treatment where 60% of the pen was covered with a solid rubber mat and then 40 percent of that pen was just left as the concrete slats that were underneath that mat. So in this study, they looked at a few different parameters as far as the welfare of the animal and looking a little bit at the behavior of the animal. So on this slide, we have two figures. One figure here on the left we have is going to measure knee swelling score. So we have the scoring system from one to five on the left-hand side, 0 being no swelling, three being a baseball sized swell, and then five being a softball size swell. And you can see here the scale of what they were measuring. They don't even go pass two on average for these animals. But the open circles would be our concrete slats. The half-closed blocks or squares, is the slatted floor with rubber. And then the black diamonds here would be the solid matted floors. So what they saw here is that the concrete slats actually had greater knee swelling from weeks four, weeks four to 12 all the way through compared to the slatted floor design with the rubber slats. And then they saw that concrete slats also had a greater knee swelling score compared to the solid rubber mats at eight weeks, and the solid rubber mats at week 10 also had a greater knee swelling score compared to the rubber slats. And then they also measured hock swelling as well as knee swelling score. And they said that hock swelling followed closely with the knee swelling score, so they didn't have a figure for that and I didn't put that in here. But they said that that peaked around week 8 as well in that case. Then they also measured lesion score. So this would be any open cuts or anything like that that would be on the animal that could've occurred on hock or anywhere on the side of the animal, near the flank or something like that. So like a sore that may have developed. So same treatments. And what they saw was that on the solid rubber mat treatment, the black diamonds, on average, they had a greater score. They actually saw that on the solid mats, they had a greater score compared to the rubber slats from week 6 to 10, so right here. And then solid mats also had a greater score compared to the concrete slats at week 10 as well. So they also measured cleanliness of those animals on these different flooring systems. So steer cleanliness, you can see they're scoring system here. If less than 10 percent of their body had any manure on it, you received a zero, a three was 25 to 75 percent and then greater than 75 percent wouldn't have received a five. So the for the solid floor type or the cattle in the solid floor pens, they were dirtier across the board from weeks two to ten compared to the slats and the concrete floors. Likewise, they measured pen cleanliness, 0 being unused or no manure, one being a little bit of manure, and two mounding manure in the corners, and a three being wet manure less than half an inch. And you can see that for the solid flooring type, those pens accumulated the most manure or were the dirtiest. Likely because the manure was building up on the mats and wasn't actually falling through the slats. So those cattle were dirtier across the board and had dirtier pens. So some other results from the Elmore study. Like I said, they looked at behavioral tendencies. How much time these animals were standing around, lying down, grooming each other, eating stuff of that nature. And they saw no differences in the tendencies between cattle on concrete slats or the rubber slatted floors. Steers on the rubber slanted floors actually stood up or laid down more frequently that they noted. And then one thing that was interesting is for the solid flooring cattle, they were actually able to see how much time, or a preference for those steers in those pens, if they prefer the solid flooring versus the concrete flooring. So in this case, those cattle preferred lying on the solid mat compared to the concrete. So 49% of their total time was spent lying on that mat versus 18 percent on that concrete. And then those animals spend more time grooming each other or grooming themselves while standing on a mat. But there's no differences between them just standing otherwise. So in this case, these guys, researchers in this study monitored these behavioral tendencies for one 24 hour continuous period every two weeks to collect these measurements. Getting a little bit away from the stocking density or the flooring types and moving on to feed bunk space as we were talking about for that question a little bit earlier. For a study that was conducted by Zinn in 1989, they had two trials or two experiments in this study looking at limit-feeding cattle. And in this case they were growing cattle so little bit smaller, they weren't, I don't believe that they were over 1000 pounds. Or the study was done before they were 1000 pounds. So in this case, he had four different treatments that either provided 5.9 inches of bunk space, 11.8 inches of bunk space, 17.7 inches of bunk space, or 23.6 inches of bunk space. And in this study, he reported no performance differences. So that means that these cattle did not gain any differently. They didn't eat a different amount of dry matter or feed and feed efficiency also the same. So this kind of goes back to the question that we had earlier or addressed earlier that in this case, they didn't see any differences by providing these cattle with additional bunk space. One thing that they noted was that the cattle just took turns eating. So once there was room, the next animal in line would get in there and eat. So there's enough feed in that case for all those animals to eat just fine. So changing directions a little bit, away from the flooring and the spacing and stuff like that. I wanted to talk a little bit about ventilation of your feedlot facility. And some things that we need to think about is, how is your facility designed so that it can take advantage of natural ventilation? Where's your building placed? What direction is it placed? How is the wind able to move through there naturally? What kind of blockades do you have preventing air movement through the facility as well? So those are some things that we're going to talk a little bit about here. I'm also thinking about air exchange rate. Thinking about the air In versus the air going out. And in this situation, the importance of ventilation, where the whole idea behind it is we're trying to bring in fresh, clean air and replace the old air or the stagnant air that is there, because this air is going to hold heat and moisture and have an odor or hold ammonia and different gases such as methane that are all there, and you need to, or even airborne pathogens. This way we need to get fresh air in there and push out that old stagnant air to prevent any problems and allow those cattle to be a little bit more comfortable. Another thing you need to think about is the control or flexibility that you have with that facility and being able to control the ventilation in that system. So being able to adjust to changing seasons are the changes in weather. So here recently, in this last week, I would say, is probably a good example. I mean, we can open barns up on really nice days to make sure that there's proper air flow through there so cattle are not getting too hot and then another day's being able to close them up if it gets cooler or well below freezing and we have some intense wind gusts. So those cattle aren't experiencing cold stress in that case. So here in the Midwest where we are used to the weather being able to flip a switch on us. So it's important to have that flexibility in your facility design. So there's two types of ventilation that I'm going to talk about here briefly. One of those being natural ventilation and the other being mechanical ventilation. And so for natural ventilation, this is the ventilation that relies on wind power and the warm air. Once the air is warmed up to rise to the top and exit the building. So the picture here on the right kind of gives us a good picture of that. As we have air moving into our building, it's going to be able to mix in here. The animals are going to be warming that air up. There's going to possibly be dust, airborne pathogens, and expelled gases. So we're going to have that air that can either be pushed all the way through the system or it can cycle inside here and actually escape or be exhausted or pulled through our ridge or a chimney that might be on top of the building as well. So that's the general flow of how the air is going to move through some of these buildings. So we also need to consider which direction these barns are oriented, to the wind direction that we typically are going to experience at our location. So the barn should be oriented so that the wind will travel across the narrowest width of that barn. So that it basically travels across it this way. So thinking that the barns length ways this way. So if we have open sides on the short ends of the building, I guess, we're able to push that air through. So here I have a picture of two different building designs, a gable roof building style and a monoslope building style. And what we have here is how we might close up that barn or open up that barn to change the ventilation depending on the season. So we have summer, winter, and for extreme cold. So for the gable roof building. You can see that it's going to be open here. These buildings may have adjustable sides or windows or panels that can fold down. A lot of these buildings have a concrete wall of some kind, but here we're basically opening that up so we can get great air flow through here so it can push all way through. Like I said, we're going to have some cycling and some some of that air is going to be pulled up through the opening at the top of the building to exhaust some of that heat and moisture as well. In the winter when we're trying to prevent drafts and stuff of that nature. We'll close up that building a little bit and we just provide the opening between the eaves here. That's allowing fresh, clean air to come in. That'll mix some here with those cattle. That air is allowed to come in from the top, settle, and mix with that warm air. It'll be allowed to exhaust through the top of that opening or that ridge. Likewise, if it's strong enough, it could push through potentially. Extreme cold. Same case, just closing up a little tighter. Probably don't get that push all the way through a building. In this case because you're closed up a little tighter. For the monoslope building, remember how I said that orientation to the direction, or orientation that you place at building is very important. Typically the smaller side of these buildings are placed on the north side. And so the length of the building would run east-west. So we have air coming in in the summer should be pretty wide open. Pushing that air through, we should have good air movement. In the winter, you may put a curtain on this backside, still allow a opening here near the top to allow air in as well. Here in this case, they may have a curtain here on the front as well. It's not always necessary. And then in the extreme cold, they actually have it closed up all the way in this diagram. So it's obvious that ventilation, how you set your building up is going to differ between the summer and winter seasons. So in some of these cases where you do see, so in the gable roof building style, something that's important to consider is the spacing that you would have for these ridges, you want to make sure that you have adequate spacing for those openings here so that you're not trapping too much of that moisture and have a build up of condensation along your roof or anything like that. Also the ridges. You don't want that ridge opening to get too close to your ends otherwise that can cause a downward draft. So usually they say eight to 12 feet from the ends of the building to prevent those drafts. Can't remember off the top of my head how, or what the distance is here. So depending on how wide or what the width of your building is, that's going to affect how large of a ridge you are going to want so that you have a large enough opening to allow moisture and heat or used air to escape in this case. So another important thing to consider, is what you're seeing here, is we don't want to create any drafts. So we don't want air entering from the bottom of these buildings at all. You want air to come in from the top, able to slowly mix in, cool these animals off, in this case, or provide that fresh clean air and allow the displacement of the used air to escape. So like I said, there's another type of ventilation which would be mechanical ventilation, or you may be thinking, okay, this fans. In a lot of buildings or when, unless you're building a new building, you're kind of stuck with what you've got in some cases unless you can tear out a wall or make some kind of modifications to provide natural ventilation. But in some cases that's not really feasible. So then we have to rely mechanical ventilation. And in this case, like I said, older barns just may lack that natural ventilation, so we need to put in fans. And they say to target at least four air changes per hour in cold weather. So in warmer weather, obviously this would be more. So the recommendations differ a little bit depending on the size of your animals. So you can see that we have a little bit greater ventilation rate. As those animals get a little larger, it's also going to differ depending on the season or the temperature outside. So obviously you don't need as much ventilation or as great an airspeed during colder weather. But we're also able to increase that quite a bit when it's warm outside. So like I said, the idea is the same as like the natural ventilation. Open your barns up, get good airflow during the summer. We can close it up a little bit in the winter, but we still want to keep that air moving. We don't want stagnant air. Because, like I said, we're trying to get rid of that moisture, those gases that were building up. We don't want to cause any health issues with those cattle. Don't want any lung lesions, want to get those airborne pathogens out of there, and bring in fresh air. You don't need any problems with bovine respiratory disease or anything like that. So typically wind speeds in your barn, shoot for at least 2.5 miles per hour. Typically they say that greater than 4.5 miles per hour doesn't seem to provide much additional benefit. And you can use an anemometer to measure this if you're interested. So that should be able to give you a reading for air movement within your barn if that's something that you are interested in looking at. So here's a little research that was done over in Europe by Magrin and others in 2007, and was actually done in, or conducted in Italy. In this study they compared no mechanical ventilation or essentially no fans, just allowing the natural ventilation of their building to the use of applying a ceiling fan that was hung above the pen. So in this case, for this study, they said that it was a relatively cool summer. The average temperature humidity index of 69, and they only had four days above 75, so not excessively hot during the time the study was conducted. So in this case, the ceiling fans resulted in a dryer bedding which helped keep the cattle clean. So those fans are constantly drying out that manure, or the bedded pack, so those cattle are able to stay a little cleaner. So when the temperature humidity index was elevated or when those cattle were potentially experiencing heat stress. Ceiling fans decreased the respiration rate and the painting scores of cattle compared to cattle that weren't provided any fans in their pens. The cattle that were provided fans also spent more time ruminating when the temperature humidity index was elevated. But interestingly, they've, over the course of this, they, they saw no differences in performance and a lot of that they attributed to being that it was a relatively cool summer and there wasn't potentially enough heat stress in the case of this study. So as I try to wrap this up, just to recap what we've talked about here today. Flooring type resulted in few performance differences. Some of the largest differences were cleanliness and comfort of those animals. Typically the animals that were in a straw bedded pack were a little cleaner and they actually chose to lie down a little bit more. Obviously this is going to depend on how much you apply fresh bedding to make sure that those pens are staying clean as well. We also talked about stocking density, where we saw in the one study, stocking density of 21 square feet on slats actually started to hinder feedlot performance. So if we go above that, we saw improvement in feedlot performance, that was dry matter intake, greater average daily gain, and those cattle were even more feed efficient. So, the recommendations made by FASS were actually pretty spot on with the results that we saw in that study. And then for linear bunk space differences in the study that I showed today, there are no performance differences. And in that case they said that those cattle likely take turns eating. So depending, as long as you're providing enough feed for those animals that they're able to eat at some point, it seems like those cattle are able to perform similarly. And then we finished up by talking about ventilation, that we know that it's important for providing clean air into the barn so that we can remove odor, ammonia smells, moisture, dust, and any airborne pathogens that may cause any morbidity and lead to possible mortality. Those are just problems that we don't want to deal with. And then building design and location is obviously very important so that we can take advantage of natural ventilation from our facility. And then in cases where we're not able to capitalize on natural ventilation or the buildings is not setup for it. We can use mechanical ventilation in fans to actually pull air in or pull air out of that barn. So we're able to provide that facility with fresh clean air as well. So with that, it's a wrap. So thank you to everyone who attended. And at this time I would be happy to go through the questions so I'm actually going to stop sharing so I can read the questions as well. There are no questions in the chat yet. Okay. So, if you have a question, you can type it into the chat if you feel comfortable, recognize that these webinars are recorded. I've put the link to the recordings in the chat. So you can find the previous webinars from the series if you need to. But if you unmute, you will be recorded with your voice for the archives. Yep and if you guys have a question right now or if you think of one later. Feel free to email me later. You can find all my contact information online. I'll actually type in my e-mail if anyone's interested in reaching me that way. And then I also put in the link for those that entered the meeting a few minutes late, the chat is only live from the time you enter the meeting. So I just put the comparison tool for the JBS high-energy Holstein contracts article that has the link to your Excel worksheet. That can go through that. I put that link back into the chat. Yup. Thank you, Jeannine. As she was saying, that's a great tool that we just created. You'll find it on the MSU beef team website. If you're marketing Holsteins, recently JBS came out with new contract option. So this tool allows you to see what your previous loads would be valued at on the old contract versus a new contract. So you can make the decision of which contract you'd like to use or where you'll be able to capture the most value. So if you're interested, look it up. And then I just put a link to a survey, if you and take a few minutes to please provide your feedback for tonight's series. Or for tonight's webinar, as well as future ideas for future webinars or educational efforts. I see Kevin's got a question here, as we get these cattle up to 1600 pounds, Do we need to consider increasing square foot floor space, I'm guessing as these cattle increase in size from 1200 to 1600 pounds? That's a good question. Probably. I don't think that any research has been done on that. 1600 pounds is getting to be a big animal. Of course, we are, with Holsteins, I mean that's maybe not out of the norm and especially we're starting to increase scale size quite a bit. So that may be some future research that needs to be done. I don't believe research has been done with cattle that large. So it would be interesting. I mean, you can see that the recommendations obviously change from smaller feeder calves up finishing cattle. So it would be interesting to look to see if that makes a big difference. It could be that they need a little bit more room. Good question though. Jerad, any information on what temperature to turn those fans on at? So I didn't put it in here. There's temperature, humidity index chart. That is quite useful and I apologize for not putting in here. It seems like a good idea now. But there's a thermoneutral zone that cattle I guess are most comfortable. So and I'm just kind of plug in these numbers on the top of my head. I don't quite remember exactly, but I think on the lower end, it's around 25 degrees Fahrenheit for cold stress and then might be upwards around 70 or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Where cattle start experiencing heat stress and Those numbers fluctuate a lot depending on the windchill or wind speed and also relative humidity as well. So as it gets a little bit more humid, those cattle can start experiencing heat stress at lower temperatures. So that chart can be pretty useful in determining what kind of, what's the likelihood that those cattle may be experiencing heat stress or cold stress. So in those cases, that's kind of when you want to have those fans on I guess once they start, or you start approaching some of those up upper temperatures where you may experience heat stress. Yeah, that's best answer I can give you right now. Sorry. Now that's helpful. And it's important to remember that it's not just the temperature or just the humidity, that there's combinations of interactions going on there. Yup, and if your barn isn't ventilated or taking advantage of natural ventilation on its own, you may have those fans running all the time because he you need constant air exchange throughout that building. So that you are replacing that old stale air with fresh clean air so that you don't run into any health problems with those cattle. [Charlie Lewis] What height would you build a new barn if you were going to build a new one? And what pitch would you use for a roof with ridge ventilation if you were going to do it now? Good questions Charlie. I'm not an engineer, so I don't know all that off the top my head. But there are resources out there and if that's something that you're interested in, I will definitely be able to help point you in the right direction. Pitch-wise. Man, I'm trying to recall what the pitch was. I'm not going to say anything because I don't quite remember and I don't want to say it wrong, so, but there isn't an appropriate pitch. You don't want to be too flat, cuz you don't get enough airflow moving up the building up towards the roof, pushing that air, the stale air out and up through that ridge. Likewise, you don't want it too steep either. Otherwise, that air that's coming in through the eaves just escapes along the roof and up to the ridge and you don't get proper mixing so there is an appropriate dimension and stuff like that. Also other things you can consider are insulation and stuff like that. As far as, that'll help keep cattle warmer in the winter. Also keep cattle cooler in the summer by preventing heat from coming through the roof or something like that, warming it up that way. Also, it should help with condensation as well. So there's recommendations on what type of insulation to use as well. So if that's something that you're interested in, I can point you in the right direction of some resources there. Thanks Jerad, anymore questions? I don't see anymore in the chat. Again, we really appreciate everyone's participation in tonight's webinar, as well as many of you have been repeat attendees for part of the series. The videos and recordings from previous ones are available online and that link is in the chat as well. And if you take just, takes about a minute, maybe two, to fill out the survey and give that feedback. We would really appreciate that. All right, thanks everyone.