Business and Finance Division
Agribusiness, Land & Minerals Department
The TDCJ Livestock Program is comprised of a commercial beef cow herd and stocker operation, a broodmare and horse developmental operation, laying hen operation, farrow-to-finish swine operation, as well as feed production facilities.
The beef cattle operation currently has an inventory of over 10,000 head of breeding age females. As a result of the goal to increase the size and quality of the herd, bull selection and replacement heifer development are high priorities, and a large percentage of the weaned heifer crop is being retained for replacement stock. Heifer calves not suitable for the heifer development program and steer calves are marketed on a national level through video sales. Historically, TDCJ calves have been some of the highest selling cattle in their classes. Beef cattle sales account for 80% of all outside sales in Agriculture.
The Agribusiness Department maintains a horse herd in excess of 1,400 head. With the exception of approximately 131 head of stock horses, the balance is devoted for security purposes. Security horses are used by Correctional Officers for the outside work squads and canine program. A 111 head broodmare herd is kept at the Goree Unit for breeding purposes.
An average of 281,000 laying hens produced 5.8 million dozen eggs at a cost below current egg prices. Seven units maintain laying operations, producing 186,000 eggs per day, all of which are consumed within the food service department of this agency. Laying Operations provide a cost avoidance in excess of $2.4 million annually for the agency.
The Pork Production of this agency is totally integrated from farrowing–to–fork. Five separate unit farrowing facilities breed, farrow, and wean pigs which are then finished at one of several feeding operations, adding value to these market age pigs. Extensive records are kept throughout this operation to measure performance and efficiency, including sow performance and carcass evaluations. The feeding program includes processed kitchen waste to reduce agency disposal fees. An average of 20,200 head of swine are in inventory.
The feed mills on Coffield and Eastham Units produce over 74 million pounds of livestock feed annually. These feed mills produce over 40 different rations.