Grain feeding

Cattle are generally grain fed because the quality of grass at certain times of the year or during poor seasons (such as droughts) is such that it doesn’t contain enough nutrients for the cattle to grow to required weights. In addition, grain feeding cattle increases the red meat industry’s ability to produce a consistent product- a consistent yield, quality and supply.   


In Australia, at any one point in time, approximately 3% of cattle are being grain fed.  A heifer (female) must be fed in an accredited feedlot for at least 60 days and a steer (male) more than 70 days for it to be classified as grain fed. 

Grain fed beef tends to have more marbling in meat than grass fed beef resulting in a more buttery flavour.  This marbling is a result of the type of feed cattle receive during their time in the feedlot as well as the length of time spent in the feedlot and breed of cattle being fed.