We pride ourselves on going the extra mile with a fully contained nutrient management program. So all silage is grown right on our farm. We compost our cattle manure and use it to enrich the soil and replace nutrients from harvested crops as well as prepare our new crops for greater success. Our goal is growing and harvesting at least three crops per year to use as silage for rations or grazing. The result? A feed program that is unrivaled in the industry — and happy, healthy herds.
About Châtel Farms growyard.
With 28 pens throughout our farm, we have up to 3,500 head of cattle at any given time. The cattle are housed here for approximately 10 weeks, and once they’ve reached the appropriate size, we move them to our monoslope barns.
It is imperative that our cattle experience as little stress as possible, and our monoslope barns are designed to help alleviate environmental stress and improve the health and comfort of the livestock. Our farm features three monoslope barns, each 1,260 feet long and 80 feet wide, that can accommodate up to 4,000 cattle. Each barn houses 12 pens with manure pits and dry beds that allow us to contain waste responsibly. These barns also offer 50 square feet of space per animal. Plus, our bedpack is made from reusing wood shavings, wheat straw, peanut shells, corn stalks and compost from the barns.
We have the only steam corn flaker east of the Mississippi. This unique feed increases consumption while also improving overall digestibility. Plus, it uses less corn to produce the same amount of grain to result in less manure from cattle without sacrificing important nutrients.
Technology and innovation.
Staying connected on the farm is essential. That’s why we equip all feed trucks and wagons with GPS to help us track them and ensure we’re feeding our cattle correctly. We also use Micro Technologies software to monitor feed intakes, ingredients, conversions, heat stress, weather conditions, cattle treatment and weight.
Across operations, our technology and staff help us cut carbon emissions to 12% less than the beef industry average. This team is dedicated to sustainability and animal welfare in all aspects of our work. At our farm, the team includes a veterinarian, a nutritionist and other highly skilled employees with a diverse range of backgrounds.
Under the guidance of our experienced nutritionist, we feed our animals twice a day, and all forage is grown by the farm — corn silage, sorghum and rye grass silage. Our flaked corn boasts 98% corn efficiency as opposed to cracked corn at 80%. And our nutritionist-backed operation incorporates distillers/brewers grain, corn gluten, hominy and molasses.
Manure separator and bedback.
Manure is composted and reapplied on cropland to reduce the need for commercial fertilizer by 25%. Water is separated from the solids, and the compost solids can be used as bedding or on the land. We separate liquids and hold them in a million-gallon tank, hooked to our pivots, and spray them back onto our crops — allowing us to use our water twice. The solids are composted and used for bedpack in the barns and nutrients for the crops. This lowers our chemical fertilizer use.