Stocker operation

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a stocker operation is one part of the segmented Beef Industry. A stocker operator typically purchases yearling calves intended for meat production and feeds them, typically by grazing them on pastures, before selling them to a feeding or grass finishing operation.

Stocker operations have been in decline for some time but were once quite common before feeding operations had such sophisticated methods for keeping cattle alive in feedlot conditions and bringing cattle to market so quickly. These changes in the technology and techniques of the feedlot operators, along with widespread use of growth hormones and their resulting high weaning weights, has resulted in less demand for the stocker operation since cattle are being raised faster and being moved directly from the cow-calf operation to the feedlot.