Individual animal pens
Individual animal pens

There are a total of 32 individual large animal pens located adjacent to the main cattle holding yards and feedlot. Whilst utilised primarily for cattle nutrition studies in conjunction with the adjacent metabolism building, this adaptable facility easily lends itself to a variety of animal studies where individual (or cohort housing) is required for younger stock.

Each 3m by 10m pen houses one individual animal, and is comprised of a concrete pad or feed area (3m by 4m) and an adjoining earthen loafing area (feedlot grade gravel) at the rear of pen measuring 6m by 3m. The concrete pad is surfaced with specifically designed rubberised flooring with the same properties as the flooring used on livestock transport ships. This flooring maximises the welfare of the cattle in terms of their physical comfort and reduces the likelihood of slipping injuries.

The design of the feed bunks is to facilitate user-friendliness for primarily nutritional trials. They are easy for staff and researchers to dispense feed into and collect refusals from. There is a gravel dirt pad at the rear of each pen, which is comprised of feedlot grade gravel.

The state of the art design of this facility allows a feed tractor to go through the middle of the two rows of pens and dispense feed easily which considerably reduces labour time.

The pens are easily accessible for observations, health checks, and cleaning. Every pen has access to fresh water and to electrical power.

Feed bins can be provided by QASP staff.

The individual pens area has available to researchers on request a crush area with certified scales that have annual calibration certification.

The unique design of this part of the facility means that any individual animal can be easily relocated to elsewhere on the site with additional laneways being able to be configured to allow cattle to walk through to the crush area, weighing scales, holding yards, or metabolism facility as required. This reduces overall handing and stress effects on the animals while increasing handler safety. To illustrate this process, upon arrival at QASP on a truck, cattle enter the main holding yards where they are inducted, drenched, heath checked, and acclimatised. From the main holding yards they can be transferred to the feedlot, a paddock, the metabolism shed, or the individual pens all by changing the flexible laneways, without the need to engage the use of a truck. All laneways are designed in such a way that all of these areas can be safely and easily linked, including going over roads from one part of the facility to another.

 

Individual pens
 

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