Vol.3, No.4, 273-280 (2013) Open Journal of Animal Sciences
Assessment of commercial feedlot finishing
practices at eastern Shoa, Ethiopia
Tsegay Teklebrhan*, Mengistu Urge
College of Agriculture, School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia;
*Corresponding Author: ttmamy06@gmail.com
Received 24 July 2013; revised 25 August 2013; accepted 12 September 2013
Copyright © 2013 Tsegay Teklebrhan, Mengistu Urge. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attri-
bution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
This study was conducted to characterize and
identify husbandry practice and major con-
straints of commercial feedlot industries in the
study area. Forty eight commercial feedlot farms
were used to collect data. Data were analyzed
using St atistical Package for the Social Sciences
(SPSS). The results showed that, livestock spe-
cies such as cattle, shoat and camels were used
in commercial fattening though significant varia-
tion in demand among species. Cattle had got
the highest acceptance in feedlot industries fol-
lowed by shoat, however, camel and swine had
least preference. All cattle breeds were granted
equal requirement by domestic market. However,
there is variation in de mand among ca ttle breeds
for export market. Boran was the most preferred
cattle breed compared to the rest of cattle by the
importers. Uncastrated bull demanded for ex-
port market ho wever, castrated and fema le cattle
were not used for export markets. Pastoralists
were the potential supplier of feeder livestock
followed by small holders to feedlot industries.
Teff straw was predominantly used roughage
feed in most of commercial feedlot farms and
agro-industrial by-products as a source of con-
centrate. However, sorghum and maize grains
were utilized by very few farms. Vitamin and
mineral supplementation were not often avail-
able except common salt in all feedlot rations.
Market was noted as the most potential con-
straints followed by feed and type of livestock
coming to the markets in the commercial feedlot
industries. The study suggested that, govern-
ment and other development partners should
provide and improve all services to pastoralists
or producers in an organized way at their local-
ities to ensure sustainable supply of li vestock to
the market.
Keywords: Constraints; Fattening; Livestock
Ethiopia owned a large livestock population [1]. It is
home to Africa’s largest livestock population, and is Af-
rica’s top livestock producer and exporter (principally to
the Middle East). Ethiopia is the world’s tenth largest
producer of livestock, and th e livestock sector represents
about one-fifth of its gross domestic product (GDP). The
government has indicated a strong interest in increased
foreign investment in the agriculture sector, among oth-
ers, commercial breeding and production of meat, milk,
and eggs. Although domestic demand for animal prod-
ucts in Ethiopia is increasingly driven by the urban middle
and upper class, export potential is a k ey force encourag -
ing expansion and intensification of liv estock productio n.
In 2008, Ethiopia exported nearly 300,000 live animals
primarily cattle as well as 6000 metric tons of meat
products, earning about US $ 56 million. In 2009, the
government sought to double the previous year ’s income
from live animal exports planned to $ 40 million and
raise the number of animals exported to 400,000, indi-
cating that government is keen to foster an upward trend.
For 2009-2010, it set targets for export of meat products
of nearly 16,000 metric tons, a nearly four-fold increase
over the 2007 level, while the contribution of the live-
stock industry to the cou ntry’s total exports was currently
low compared to its potential. This is due to the fact that
livestock production has mostly been subsistence ori-
ented and characterized by very low reproductive and
production performance which is not even enough to
meet the domestic requirement of community for animal
protein. This is because of major limiting factors on farm
conditions, among others, feed shortage, low genetic
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280
potential and diseases.
However, market oriented livestock production has
been gradually emerging in very recent years. The gov-
ernment of Ethiopia is trying to expand sector by moti-
vating investors to meet projected increase in demand
from both export and domestic markets. Export of meat
and live animals that can contribute to market-led eco-
nomic growth and country is focused by the government.
Accordingly, live animal export accounts for 4.5%, meat
and meat products 1.7%, from the total export potential
of the country [1]. The goal is to increase annual export
of live animal and meat from Ethiopian cattle, sheep and
goats by abou t three fold though; the markets are sophis-
ticated and extremely competitive for high quality prod-
uct. Feedlot provides the means to maximize the oppor-
tunities offered by these markets for a consistent supply
of high quality product for the particular needs of the
market. The continuing growth of the feedlot sector is
necessary to meet projected increase in demand from
both export and domestic markets. However, such growth
must progress according to community expectations and
requirements to develop and maximize the profit from
the livestock busine ss.
Information about commercial fattening or feedlot
practices and its constraints is important for researchers,
policy makers to take serious measures and suggest pos-
sible technologies to improve the productivity of the
sector and hence maximize its contribution to the total
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or economy of the coun -
try. However, there is no documented information on
fattening practices of commercial feedlot and their chal-
lenges in Ethiopia. Therefore, the paper is designed to
characterize and identify husbandry practice and major
constraints of commercial feedlot industries in the study
2.1. Description of Study Area
The study was conducted in Adama, Methara and
Mojo towns found in east Shoa Zone, Oromiya Regional
State, Ethiopia. It is located at about an altitude of 1650
meters above sea level and its annual temperature ranges
from 13.9˚C - 29˚C. The mean annual rainfall of the area
is 1024 mm. The livestock population of the area was
estimated to be 70,622 cattle, 36,142 sheep, 42,968 goats
and 2193 equines [2].
2.2. Sampling and Data Collection
Three towns Adama, Methara and Mojo were pur-
posely selected based on their potential for feedlot Indus-
try, from which a total of 48 feedlot farms, were ran-
domly selected and used for the study. Primary data were
collected using pre tested semi-structured questionnaire
through interview and discussion with the feedlot opera-
tors. In addition, secondary information was gathered
from literature and Central Statistical Agency (CSA)
reports. Physical observation of commercial farms was
also used as an instrument to collect data during the
Data on the types of livestock species used for feedlot,
pattern of livestock preferences, breeds of cattle and
market demand, value chain of marketing, fattening cy-
cle and duration, feed resources feeding procedure and
constraints and housing of commercial fattening were
collected from the commercial fatteners.
2.3. Statistical Analysis
Data were subjected to Statistical Package for the So-
cial Sciences [3] and analyzed using simple descriptive
statistics such as frequency and percentag e.
3.1. Commercial Fattening and Livestock
Commercial feedlot is a confined yard area with wa-
tering and feeding facilities where livestock are com-
pletely handled or mechanically fed for the purpose of
production. Number of heads that would fatten at a cycle
was variable across the farms depending on the capacity
of the farms. From that reason, commercial feedlots fin-
ished relatively large number of animals at a time than
small scale fattening. Accordingly, most of commercial
farms had 100 - 500 heads followed by 1000 - 1500
heads at a time as shown in Table 1.
Livestock species such as cattle, shoat and camels are
used in commercial fattening and then exported as live
animal and meat however; cattle breeds were usually
used for fattening in the study areas as listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Livestock species and type of cattle breed used for
commercial feedlot.
Items N Percentage
No of livestock head
100 - 500 42 87.5
1000 - 1500 6 12.5
Livestock species
Boran 39 81.25
Bale and Arsi 5 10.42
Hararghe Highlandand Ogaden Cattle 1 2.08
Shoat and came l 3 6.25
Total 48 100
Age of anima l p u rchased
4 - 6 years 45 93.75
Not known 3 6.25
Total 48 100
N = Number of Respondents.
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T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280 275
Among the cattle breeds, feed lo t operators showed high-
est preference on Boran followed b y Bale and Arsi cattle.
In consistent to this study, [4] repo rted that the main live
animal species exported include cattle, sheep, goats, and
camels. In addition, discussants revealed that Boran cat-
tle have docile temperament, short horn and efficient as
well as better in carcass conformation, which is attrib-
ute to be breed of demand for export. This result is con-
sistent to the reports of [5]. However, Hararghe Highland
and Ogaden cattle breeds had least acceptance for com-
mercial fattening in the study area. This variation on the
cattle breed requirement might be associated with avail-
able export market demands and fattening performance
of the breeds. For example, discussants argued that Ha-
rarghe Highland shrunk its body w eight wh en came fro m
its original place (highland) to the fattening unit (low-
land). Likewise, most of feedlot fatteners during discus-
sion also noted that they knew nothing about the per-
formance of Ogaden cattle. All fatteners agreed that un-
castrated bull was required for export market as com-
pared to castrated cattle (steer and stag). In this regard,
fatteners explained th at the export market de mand is lean
meat than that of castrated from which fatty meat with
high fat coverage is actually produced. In all commercial
fattening areas, male livestock was preferred than female.
This is because of male having better carcass conforma-
tion compared to female cattle. In addition discussants
also strongly argued that export of female is impossible.
This study also showed that 93.75% respondents noted
that bulls were purchased at about age of 4 - 6 years.
3.2. Pattern of Preferences of Livestock
Species in Commercial Feedlot
All livestock species were preferred for fattening in-
dustry though there was significant variation among
farms on degree of choices as sh own in Table 2. For that
reason, 89.58% feed lot farms consider cattle as their
first choice for commercial fattening. Physical observa-
tion also confirmed that except the three farms in Meth-
hara all farms of the study areas were only engaged in
cattle fattening enterprises. All discussants, agreed that
fatten- ing of cattle was advantageous because of low
mortality, better tolerance for some diseases, frequent
Table 2. Ranking of livestock species for commercial fattening.
Livestock N 1st P 2ndP 3rd P 4thP
Cattle 45 43 89.5 2 4.1 0 0 0 0
Shoat 37 2 4.1 24 50.0 11 22.9 0 0
Cmel 25 3 6.2 12 25.0 10 20.8 0 0
Pig 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 1122.9
N = Number of Respondents; P = Percentage.
availability at the market place, best suitable and man-
ageable and, required small space particularly as com-
pared to camel. Shoat was found as the second important
livestock species for commercial fattening by most of the
feedlot farms in the study area. For that reason, the dis-
cussants elaborated that, shoat required low amount of
feed and space as compared to cattle and camel. How-
ever, shoats had higher mortality and rapid lost or shrink
of live weight particularly during long distance travel for
long time from the country to export destination because
of in appropriate transport systems.
This study also showed that camel was preferred as
third important livestock used for fattening and highest
requirement in the export market. However, most of
feedlots retained camel for short period of time until it is
exported. This is because camel requires large area of
land and the feeding habits of camel which needs brow-
ses rather than stall feeding. This study confirmed that
pig was least required for commercial fattening by most
of the farms, though it is considered as the first choice of
most of the Asian and European countries involved in
fattening enterprises. This may be due to lack of knowl-
edge on the importance of this livestock and mainly be-
cause of socio-cu ltural and relig ious barriers [6 ]. In add i-
tion some discussants believed that swine is a livestock
species required large amount of feed per unit of gain
and never satisfied and domestic market demand prob-
lems. However, it is known that swine is rapid growing,
efficient feed converter and even fed on most of least
cost feeds and organic wastes.
3.3. Fattening Cycles and Duration in
Commercial Feedlot
Almost all fattening farms finish the bull for about an
average of 3 - 4 months in Table 3. In agreement to this
study, previous result reported a range of 80 to 145 days
to finish steers [7]. However, few farms did finish the
bull at 6 months and very few at 1 month.
Generally, feedloters agreed on the strong relation
between age of bull at purchase and for how long the bull
will be retained on fattening. Accordingly, bull entered as
feeder at relatively younger age will retain for long time
and the reverse is true for relatively older bull. Fattening
cycles of beef cattle is important to secure continued
Table 3. Fattening cycles and duration of cattle.
Fattening durationN P
Fattening cycle N P
3 - 4 moths 4287.5 Two 9 18.8
6 months 5 10.4 Three 30 62.5
1 months 1 2.0 Four 9 18.8
Total 48100 Total 48 100
N = Number of Respondents; P = Percentage.
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T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280
supply of meat for consumption as well as local and ex-
port markets. Most of the respondents engaged in the
fattening venture agreed on three cycles of fattening per
year but very few feedlot fatteners fattened two and four
time per year as reported in Table 3. Discussants de-
clared that, the reason of variation in fattening cycles
among feedlots were fattening duration, types of feed,
market situation and weight of cattle.
3.4. Effect of Breed, Sex and Gender of
Cattle on Market Demand
All cattle breeds are preferred for export market
though; there is variation in demand among breeds as
shown in Tab le 4. Accordingly, most of the feedlot op-
erators exported Boran cattle than the rest of cattle
breeds. This is the reflection of the inheren t quality of the
specified breed in that it possessed docile temperament,
heavier live weight, better feed conversion efficiency and
lean carcass compared to the rest of the cattle breeds.
However, all cattle breeds had equal benefit for the do-
mestic markets as shown in Table 4.
Feedloters mentioned cattle that were not fit for export
markets were used for domestic market. Generally the
export volume of the country is limited to very few des-
tination countries principally to Middle East. This may
be associated with international standard quality of the
product and demand of importers. In addition, some of
the trade and zoonotic diseases; foot and mouth disease,
contagious bovine pleuropheumonia (CBPP), Peste des
petits ruminants (PPR), lumpy skin disease (LSD), con-
tagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), sheep and
goat pox and brucellosis [8] are not controlled in the
Table 4. Effect of Br ee d, se x a nd gender of cattle on market de-
Export market N Percentage
Boran 29 60.4
Boran, Bale, Arsi and Hararghe Highland 16 33.3
All breeds 3 6.2
Domestic market
All breeds 48 100
Value addition
Yes 0 0
No 48 100
Sex class
Castrated 0 0
Un-cast rated 48 100
Male 48 100
Female 0 0
N = Number of Respondents.
country. Moreover, discussants argued that long horned
cattle breed like Afar were not required by the Arab im-
With regard to value addition and diversification of
products, none of the feedlot farms were engaged in
value addition, though government is showing commit-
ment to support and encourage the business. However,
all feedloters have an interest to add value and diversify
the export commodities from the fattened livestock for
the future rather than exporting of only live cattle.
3.5. Value Chain of Livestock Marketing in
Commercial Feedlot
Pastoralists were the potential supplier of livestock
followed by smallholders to feedlot industries in study
area as shown in Figure 1. Respondents noted that usu-
ally marketing of livestock in commercial feedlot fol-
lowed the trend as indicated by the block arrows staring
from producers up to destinations. Accordingly, small
local trades bought small number of livestock at the farm
gate and in turn sold to the other intermediate actors in
the chain and continued in such away. Similarly, [9] re-
ported same role of pastoralists and small holder farmers
at livestock marketing.
However, in rare cases livestock marketing followed a
different and short path that is a direct purchase of live-
stock from producer by the commissions or larger traders
and feedlot operators. Similarly, the marketing root was
also organized from the producers to the farmer union/
other cooperatives and this in turn to fattening farms as
indicated in the direct line arrows of Figure 1. This
seems to be best alternative to minimize and avoid un-
profitable transactions in the chain and ensure fair and
legitimate market systems.
3.6. Feed Resources for Commercial
All commercial feedlots were depending on purchased
feed sources for fatten ing because of shortage of land for
feed production as shown in Table 5. Accordingly, native
grass hay was purchased from Sululta, and straws from
Welenchiti. Agro-industrial by products was also bought
from the factories in and around East Shewa. This could
be mainly because almost all commercial farms were
found around this areas and this gives them easy access
to agro-industrial byproducts which form a major portion
of the concentrate mix fed to feeder livestock.
3.6.1. Roughage
Roughage feeds are characterized by relatively higher
fiber content and lower energy and protein contents than
concentrates. The source of roughage used for commer-
cial feedlot includes crop reside (teff straw, wheat straw)
and native grass hay. In consistent to this result, [10,11]
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T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Figure 1. Flow chart of value chain of commercial feedlot marketing (interview, 2013).
Table 5. Feed stuffs used for commercial fattening.
Feed resources N Percentage
purchased 48 100
own 0 0
Roughage sources
Teff straw 24 50.0
Grass hay 6 12.5
Teff and wheat straw 5 10.4
Teff straw and hay 6 12.5
All 7 14.6
Total 48 100
Source of concentrate feeds
Agro industrial by-products1 41 85.4
Sorghum and maize grain 7 14.6
Non-conventional feeds
Poultry feces 3 6.25
Not used 47 93.75
Growth promoters
Yes 0 0
no 48 100
pre-mixes (vitamin and mineral mix) use
yes 0 0
no 48 100
Ad libitum 48 100
Restricted 0 0
reported that crop residues from cereals used as source of
roughages for livestock feeding. In this study, teff straw
was usually utilized by most of feedlot operators whereas
the other roughages were rarely utilized in the study ar-
eas (Table 5). According to the information obtained
from the fatteners the type of roughage used was directly
related with cost effectiveness and availability of the
roughage near to fattening units. Discussants noted that
the availability of crop residues is closely related to the
farming system, type of crops produced and intensity of
3.6.2. Agro Industrial By-Products
Agro-industrial by-products widely used as source of
livestock feed include those resulting from flour mills,
oil processing factories, and sugar factory. The agro-
industrial by-products (concentrate) feeds are used as
energy and/or protein. Accordingly, they classified as
energy or protein sources or sources of both energy and
The sour ce of con centrate f eeds co mmonly u sed in the
study area includes wheat bran, wheat middling, whole
cotton seed, cotton seed cake, noug seed cake, soybean,
lentil bran, haricot bean bran, haricot bean shorts, and
lentil shorts. However, sorghum and maize grains were
utilized by few farms as shown in Table 6. Similarly, the
grains and agro-industrial by products were utilized as
concentrate feed sources in feedlot industries [7,11-13].
Most feedlot farms used wheat bran, wheat shorts, whole
cotton seed and its cake noug seed cake, soybean and
wheat middling; however, sorghum and maize grains
were utilized as an ingredient to the compound concen-
trate feed by few farms (Table 5).
1Agro-industrial by-products = Wheat bran, wheat middlings, whole cotton
seed, cotton seed cake, noug seed cake, Soybean, lentil bran, haricot bean
bran, haric ot bean short s, lentil sh o rts; N = number of commercial feedlot .
T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280
Table 6. Feeding procedures in commercial feedlot.
Is roughage pro v ided every
day/throughout fa ttenin g N Percent
Yes 48 100
No 0 0
Daily feeding frequency
twice 35 72.9
three 13 27.1
Is feed given based on body weight
yes 0 0
no 48 100
Is concentrate every day/throughout fattening
yes 46 95.8
no 2 4.2
Roughage provision
Ad libtum 34 70.8
restricted 14 29.2
Total 48
Daily feeding procedure
Concentrate-roughage mix 1 2.1
Roughage-concentrate mix 47 97.9
Roughage treatment
yes 0 0
no 48 100
Ration formulation
yes 0 0
no 48 100
Ratio of concentrate to roughage known
Yes 0 0
no 48 100
Amount of conce ntrate (kg)
3 kg 3 6.2
5 - 7 kg 5 10.4
8 - 10 kg 31
11 - 12 kg 9 18.8
total 48 100
N = number of respondents.
3.6.3. Non Conventional Feeds and Other Feed
These are assumed to be off value and wastes by most
of the producers. Accordingly, 93.75% of feedlot enter-
prises did not used the non-conventional feed stuffs
though 6.25% feed lot farms included as one of feed re-
sources for fattening. Accordingly, poultry feces were
used as protein source in some farms as shown in Table
5. Minerals such as major minerals (Ca and P) as well as
trace minerals (cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese
and zinc) are important component of the feed in grow-
ing and finishing steers [7,14]. In the study, only salt was
mixed in feeder ration in all farms as a mineral supple-
ment. Vitamins were not also used in all feed lot farms in
the study area. Though, vitamins like, A, D and E are
widely utilized in commercial farms for better perform-
ance [7].
Water is one of the indispensable nutrients in feedlot
industries. It is available as free choice every day throu gh-
out fattening in all farms in the study area. Synthetic
steroid hormones are known for better efficiency and
faster growth of livestock. In all feedlot, farms synthetic
hormones were not used. This could be due to lack of
familiarities of fatteners with the implants and their ap-
plication, notion of producing organic product and the
risks in wellbeing of the consumers, that is the issue of
wholesomeness of the product.
3.7. Feeding Procedure in Commercial
With regards to feeding procedure, initially animals
were not weighed and feed was provided by common
sense. Moreover, the ratio of concentrate to roughage
was not known in all commercial farms as show in Table
6. The daily feeding frequency followed by almost all
commercial farms was twice and only few farms were
followed three times of feeding. In addition, almost all
farms followed the classical daily feeding procedure that
is initially gave the rou ghage and then concentrate on the
top of roughage whereas; the reverse procedure was
noted by only one farm. Generally, all farms provided
roughage and concentrate at mix which is uncommon in
the trials usually conducted in stations.
70.8% of feedlot owners provide roughage as an ad
libtum. However, in 29.2% of farms roughage offered
was restricted. As a common procedure, in 72.9% of
commercial farms roughage was provided twice a day at
the morning and evening before provision of concentrate
in both cases. This result also noted that by all feedlot
farms no attempt had been done to improve the nutri-
tional value of the roughage feeds.
All feed lot farms provided concentrate twice a day.
Usually all farms offered concentrate mix, though the
ratio of mixing of ingredients was so variable or not uni-
form across the farms. Concentrate was offered every
day throughout the fattening period. The amount of con-
centrate mix provided was different from farm to farm as
shown in Table 6. From that reason, most feed lot farms
offered 9 - 10 kg of concentrate mix per head/day fol-
lowed by 7 - 8 kg. Whereas, few feedlot farms reported
that least amount of daily concentrate was offered (3 - 4
kg/head/day) as reveled in Table 6.
Feed was given by common sense in all feedlot farms
without considering whether the traditional ration meets
the nutritional requirement of feeder or not. Therefore,
generally livestock were provided feed without knowing
the age and body weight of the animal by conventional
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280 279
agreement. This could be resulted becaus e lack of skilled
personnel or particularly nutritionist in the farm to im-
prove the profitability and sustainability of the business,
thus, involvement of skilled personnel has to be planned
for the future as one of the requirement.
3.8. Housing Facilities of Commercial
In all commercial farms, fattening animals were fed
and drunk in group because there had no compartment
with a specific dimension in both feeding and watering
troughs during physical observation of the farms. Most
feeding troughs were made up of woody materials but
few from cement concrete.
Furthermore, most of shelters were exposed to sun,
rain and wind without over head shed but, there were
sheds for watering and feeding troughs. In few farms
isolated house had not available for patient livestock.
Moreover, in all feedlot farms there were no drainage
systems and the out late for the waste materials pro-
3.9. Constraints of Commercial Feedlots
Challenges of commercial fattening are listed based on
their order of importance as shown in Ta bl e 7 . Most of
feedlot farms noted that market was considered as the
most challenging in failure or success of the enterprise.
This could be due to unorganized market systems in both
local and export markets. In addition , most of the existed
markets as a whole and export market in particular
lacked consistency and continuity. Usually feedlot own-
ers or investors were considered as the only role player
in identification and searching of market for the finished
livestock. Feedloters also noted conflicts in the region
and informal or smuggling trade of livestock throughout
the border of the country had significant effect on mar-
keting of the fattened animals. Similar to this study,
[9,15-17] reported several constraints violating the
smooth flow livestock market from the producer to the
feedlots, processing, and consumption points in Ethiopia.
Feed was the 2nd limiting factor followed by type or
quality of livesto ck coming to feedlot and water shortag e
as shown in Table 7. All discussants argued that feed
availability was season dependent and lead to variation
in cost between seasons. From that reason, ample amount
of hey is produced starting from end of October to be-
ginning of March and with in which the price of hay is
reasonable. Whereas, starting from April to September
the availability of hay decreased and cost of hay/bale is
very high.
Similarly, the availability of co ncentrate decreased sta-
ring from March to the end of June. Because at that time
there is shortage of pasture and crop resides and leads to
Table 7. Ranking of constraints for commercial fattening.
List of
constraints Total1st2nd 3rd 4th 5th6th
Market 483215 0 1 0 0
Feed 415 11 12 2 11 13
Type of
livestock 35 7 2 13 5 0 8
Water shortage 27 0 2 5 10 0 15
Disease 20 1 2 0 8 9 0
Skilled personnel 190 0 11 0 1 7
high competition between farmers and feedlot operators
in purchasing of concentrate to their livestock. Whereas,
almost all feedlot farms noted that diseases and skilled
manpower had least effect on commercial fattening.
Hence, to overcome the challenges, almost all fatten-
ers declared that Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX)
should be developed for livestock marketing like that of
other commodities in the country and create a link start-
ing from producer to the end of consumer. Furthermore,
feedloters suggested that pastoralists or producer s should
be supplied that should be supplied with all the necessary
services and improvement strategies in an organized way
at their locality to ensure sustainable supply of livestock
to the industries. In addition, development of quarantine
has to be available in all livestock source areas.
This study revealed that Borona cattle were the most
preferred cattle breed, compared to the rest of cattle to
the export market. However, all cattle breeds were equally
accepted by domestic market. Pastoralist was the po-
tential suppliers of feeder animal followed by small
holders to feed lot industries in the study area and the
market system was unorganized and dominated by in-
formal and unprofitable transactions. The major feed
resources used in commercial feedlot include roughage
feeds, agro-industrial by products and grains in few
farms. Non-conventional feed stuffs were also used by
few farms as feed for fattening. Vitamins and mineral
supplementations were not often available except com-
mon salt in all feedlot rations. Study confirmed that, al-
most all fattening farms finish the bull for about an av-
erage of 3 - 4 months and followed three times of finish-
ing per year. The present study suggested that, to develop
the sector and bring change, Ethiopian Commodity Ex-
change (ECX) should incorporate livestock and their
products in the system to develop livestock marketing
sector like that of other commodities in the country and
create a link staring from producer to the end consumer.
Finally, study suggested that the government should be
hand-in-hand with the investors to organize market in a
very short run to eradicate the informal market and the
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T. Teklebrhan, M. Urge / Open Journal of Animal Sciences 3 (2013) 273-280
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
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