Cattle feedlot

Use and development of cattle feedlots

All use and development of cattle feedlots must comply with the Victorian Code for Cattle Feedlots 1995. The Code must be complied with to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

To request a copy Victorian Code for Cattle Feedlots 1995, or request advice, email the Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service at:

There are a range of zones where cattle feedlots may be permitted, and this is outlined in the Victoria Planning Provisions:

  • Farming Zone
  • Rural Activity Zone
  • Green Wedge Zone.

Cattle feedlots are Prohibited in all other Zones.

Local laws should be considered when determining if an activity is permissible.

For more information on permit requirements across zones in Victoria, download:

Cattle Feedlot Production Systems

Production cycle

Cattle feedlots involve growing and finishing cattle for the purpose of beef cattle production. No breeding activities occur at cattle feedlots. Typically, cattle spend a minimum of 50 days on feed in a feedlot, although some specialist long-fed cattle are kept for 400 days or more.

Types of Facilities

Conventional feedlots

In conventional feedlots, cattle are kept in outdoor pens. Recommended stocking densities range from 9 m2/SCU and 25 m2/SCU, with the optimum stocking density depending on specific climatic, site and management factors. Feed is provided in open bunks or self-feeders. Water is provided in troughs. A conventional feedlot may include some form of shelter (partly covered with a high, open-sided shed, shade cloth or partial roof) but most of the pens are outdoor. Impermeable material is used for the floor of the pens, drains, sedimentation system, effluent holding pond, and manure stockpile and composting areas.

Conventional feedlots are situated within a controlled drainage area with runoff typically directed through a sedimentation system to an effluent holding pond. Manure that is regularly cleaned from the pens is immediately reused, stored and/or composted in a dedicated area ahead of reuse to land. Effluent is typically evaporated and/or reused on-property. However, in some circumstances, off-site reuse of effluent may be possible.

Covered Feedlots

Covered feedlots include both covered open-sided sheds and enclosed sheds that cover the entire feedlot pen surface. These have impermeable floors that may be covered with bedding. Feed can be provided in open bunks or self-feeders. Spent bedding that is regularly cleaned from the pens is stored or composted in a dedicated area ahead of reuse on or off-property. The spent bedding storage or composting area has an impermeable base and is confined within a controlled drainage area. Roof stormwater is collected and not allowed to runoff directly into pens.


For further information contact the Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service for all agricultural land use planning enquiries on

Page last updated: 04 Jul 2024