Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations are agricultural operations where more than 1,000 animal units (equal to about 1,000 head of beef cattle, 700 dairy cows, 2,500 swine weighing more than 55 lbs, 125,000 broiler chickens, or 82,000 laying hens or pullets) are kept in confinement for 45 days or more or that discharge into waterways.

CAFOs, which are sometimes referred to as “factory farms,” are a concern for environmental groups because the amount of waste produced that can affect water and soil quality, and they have also come under fire by animal welfare organizations for treatment of animals.