The Cattle on Feed report released by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on Feb. 23 showed that animals in feedlots bound for the slaughter market in the U.S. totaled 11.8 million head on Feb. 1, a slightly higher inventory than the same period in 2023.

Marchant tyrell
Editor / Progressive Cattle

Feedlot placements in the month of January totaled 1.79 million head, a 7% decrease from January 2023. The larger inventory despite fewer placements seems to confirm talk in the industry of a growing trend of calves entering feedlots at a younger age and being fed for more days than in years past.

The breakdown of cattle placed in feedlots in January was as follows:

  • Under 600 pounds: 370,000 head
  • 600 to 699 pounds: 395,000 head
  • 700 to 799 pounds: 475,000 head
  • 800 to 899 pounds: 377,000 head
  • 900 to 999 pounds: 105,000 head
  • Over 1,000 pounds: 70,000 head

About 1.84 million fed cattle were marketed in January, just below January 2023 levels. Other disappearance amounted to 81,000 head in January, a 29% jump from 2023.

Animals on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. on feedlots with more than 1,000 head capacity represented 82.7% of all U.S. cattle on feed on Jan. 1, a similar percentage as that seen in January 2023.


The full Cattle on Feed report can be accessed on the USDA’s website.