Béchet cattle allotment center

As soon as you get on the truck, where do your animals go? How are they treated when they come through the doors of your farm? The Béchet Cattle company opened the doors of its allotment center to us in Saint-Georges-de-Rouelley in the Manche department. Video guided tour.

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It is on the border between the Manche and the Orne that the company of cattle trade Bechet livestockwith its main allotment center which more than 2,000 animals pass through each week. Its activity, in constant progression, covers all the Normandy departments as well as the Pays de Loire.

126,000 cattle sorted in 2021

The Béchet company supplies 14 slaughterhouses every week. In particular, it collects YBs from farms which go directly to the slaughterhouse, without going through the sorting box. For other types of animals, all go through the allotment center:

– The large cattle arrive daily: they are placed in individual cubicles and sorted the same day of their arrival to leave at night for the slaughterhouses.

– The calves and the weanlings arrive every Monday and Tuesday: they are sorted and housed in collective boxes before leaving for other farms (or for export for a small part). They move very quickly.

– All the categories of animals that will be put back into breeding (thin, heifers, culls to be fattened, etc.), are sorted into batches daily before entering the straw areas while waiting to be reloaded by truck.

The site management has a clear objective: “Animals should spend as little time as possible in the centre. We follow the demand of the slaughterers for the meat and breeders for lean. On Wednesday evening, there are no calves or weanlings left. And every Friday, stocks must be at zero. It happens that we have one to three heads left at the end of the week, but they leave immediately the following week. »

For the meat animals, one and the same person sees and sorts each animal according to its classification and the slaughterhouse of destination. On arrival, each animal is marked with a felt pen with a letter and a color code known to everyone on the site. The classification established at Béchet is then compared with that of the slaughterhouse.

Animal welfare and hygiene as a priority

The Béchet company has around sixty employees and almost as many vehicles. Routes are calculated to optimize transport (aspect all the more monitored in view of fuel prices). However, particular attention is paid to animal wellbeing : all employees are trained there and the business is committed to the CSR approach “ Quality trading of the FFCB which includes 150 criteria for animal welfare, respect for the environment and employee well-being.

“Well-being standards are changing, we are adapting. Even, we try to anticipate them. In particular, the company has changed the size of its pens to provide more space per cow, and it has equipped itself with anti-slip mats. The parks are in a mulched area (and mulched daily) and the animals in transit all have access to water and hay at will. For those who stay more than a day, they have access to the pastures attached to the structure.

With such a mix of animals, the accent is also placed on hygiene: the straw-covered areas are cleaned regularly, the cubicles are cleaned every day and disinfected every week. The trucks went to the karcher and disinfected after each pick-up. A time-consuming job for the drivers, but essential to avoid any health problem.

Also discover the presentation video produced by Béchet in 2020:

Click on the picture to start the video

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