Induction is the management process when livestock arrive at a feedlot or intensive finishing system that ensures the health and welfare of the new arrivals and the livestock already on feed.
Induction includes a number of procedures that can be broadly grouped as:
- Health and welfare
When livestock first arrive at a feedlot they are kept away from the general population and processed in quarantine to ensure that no diseases are introduced to the feedlot.
All travel documents such as the Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration and Waybill (LPA NVD/Waybill), should be verified along with any additional vendor declarations that may be required by the particular feedlot.
Details from the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) devices should be recorded and verified.
Management tags may be added to assist livestock management within the feedlot.
Health and welfare
Immediately upon arrival at the feedlot, animals should be provided with clean water and fresh hay. Adding electrolytes to the drinking water may be useful in reducing stress in newly arrived animals. They should then be gradually introduced to the feedlot ration while in quarantine.
As part of the induction process for cattle, horned animals may have their horns tipped. The requirement that cattle be polled can often be part of the market specification and horned cattle will not be purchased by the feedlot.
Livestock will usually be treated for internal and external parasites and vaccinated against clostridial diseases and infectious diseases, such as bovine respiratory disease in cattle, while held in quarantine, especially if they have not received such treatments as part of a backgrounding process.
Upon entry to the feedlot, livestock will be weighed and the producer will often be paid on the basis of this weight.
In the case of cattle, and depending on the specifications of the eventual market, livestock may be treated with a hormonal growth promotant (HGP) during induction.
Livestock will be drafted into like groups based on sex, weight, size and target market. Where the livestock have been backgrounded, this drafting may already have occurred. The livestock will then generally be run in the same mobs for the duration of their time on feed to minimise social disruption.