Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.1 million head on February 1, 2013. The inventory was 6 percent below February 1, 2012.
Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.88 million, 2 percent above 2012. Net placements were 1.80 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 445,000, 600-699 pounds were 395,000, 700-799 pounds were 535,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 501,000.
Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.92 million, 6 percent above 2012. Other disappearance totaled 79,000 during January, 2 percent below 2012.
And the answer is the same reason there are so few small abattoirs everywhere else. Government regulation and labor costs. And both are quite popular causes among the locavore types.
Full report here.