Assessing the YoungStar Matting System at Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot
Background: Challenges Faced at Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot
Before Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot in Jondaryan, Queensland implemented the YoungStar Matting system, their existing infrastructure had aged and was no longer satisfying the business’s strict standards. Animal welfare is a key focus for Stockyard, and when exploring a new system to replace the existing, they needed one that would improve the safety and comfort for their cattle. “We tried other products that that were probably more from a dairy background with not much success,” recalls Ben Schweitzer, Livestock Manager at Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot. The existing mats, installed with steel mesh, could not withstand the water and the environment, further deteriorating the conditions for the cattle.
Solution: The YoungStar Matting System
In a bid to find a sustainable solution, Kerwee Feedlot came across the YoungStar Matting system. “Numat approached the yard roughly two years ago and this is a step we’ve taken forward from there. From hearing other people’s experiences from other feedlots, we decided to go with the YoungStar here,” Ben comments. The matting system distinguished itself not only through its unique grip pattern but also through its remarkable durability, specially designed to withstand the demanding conditions and frequent usage of the feedlot environment.
Implementation: Transforming the Feedlot Infrastructure
The implementation process began with installing the YoungStar mats at the dispatch area and the trial pen. A crucial aspect that set YoungStar Mat apart from the previous solutions was the installation process. “Our mats are installed with 10 concrete screws which adds a lot more stability in the mat with the movement of the mat,” Ben notes, highlighting the durability and resistance of the YoungStar Mat to wear and tear.
Impact: A Safer Environment for the Cattle
The implementation of YoungStar Mat had an immediate effect on reducing trips, slips, and falls at the feedlot, thereby providing a safer environment for the cattle. “It’s reduced slips, trips, and falls and it creates a lot safer space for the animals,” Ben says. Unlike the previous matting systems, the YoungStar Matting proved to be sturdy and reliable.
Outcome: Enhanced Operational Efficiency and Animal Welfare
Not only did the YoungStar Matting enhance the safety conditions, but it also simplified the cleaning process. “We clean this facility every day. With the YoungStar matting, it’s nice and easy to clean nothing gets too stuck to it,” says Ben.
Handling a throughput of roughly 4,000 head per month, the matting continues to showcase its resilience. “We roughly have 4,000 head per month come through this facility that we’re standing here at now and this matting is still in the same shape the day it was put down which is roughly two years ago now. It’s made a big difference to us,” Ben concludes.