Cattle fattening has gained prominence as an important business project of the livestock industry in the Philippines. It gives the farmer year-round work and pro- vides him with extra income. He can make use of cheap, plentiful farm by-products such as corn stovers, rice straw, copra meal, rice bran and sugarcane tops, which ordinarily go to waste. Most importantly, it helps meet the urgent demand for high-protein foods in the Filipino diet.
Backyard cattle fattening or on a large scale can be profitably undertaken. It consists of buying healthy stock, feeding and fattening them for 120 to 180 days, and selling them at anytime of the year. Minimum space for housing is required: 1.5 to 2 sq. meters per head for a sheltered feeding area, and 5 meters per head for a fenced loafing area.
Given the proper care, there is less danger of diseases and parasites affecting confined animals and the fattening period is shorter. Marbling or intermixture of fat and lean in meat is better obtained through feedlot fattening. This is preferred by customers.
Selecting Feeder Stock
To make profit and produce good meat, consider the following points:
I. Age - Two to three year- old animals need less feed for every unit of weight gain because they digest more efficiently and consume larger volume of feed in proportion to body weight. Younger animals cost less because of lesser weight. They require longer period of feeding and higher feed quality to reach the desired finish.