Calves generally arrive on the farm weighting approximately 160 kg per head. They are allocated in pens and they are provided with high-fiber and high-protein diets in order to balance their body and health conditions. Only in this way calves will be able to efficiently gain weight by grazing on pasture, taking advantage of Gatton Panic, and with the implementation of strategic supplementations aimed at maintaining an average daily weight gain of 500-600 g.
The rearing stage lasts 6 to 8 months depending on calves' weight on arrival and on the end target market (consumption or export), and after this calves are allocated in finishing feedlots. In this scheme, the use of feedlots is a key factor in determining the final price of the product. The goal is to finish the product in due time and manner, taking advantage of the cheap kilos gained on grazing. That is to say, feedlot finishing is considered as a necessary supplement which provides the finishing touch to the rearing stage, acting as the final link of the northern beef chain. As a result, slaughtered steers are not older than 18-20 months (depending on the target market: internal consumption, export or 481 beef quota).