The Ultimate Guide to Raising Beef CattleChris Beerman
In recent decades, the raising and treatment of beef cattle have generated controversy and been looked upon with intense scrutiny. Many people are angry with the restaurant industry and disgusted by the concept of factory farms.
This is where you come in: the small-time dairy farmer, the humane, hard-working farmer that most Americans cheer for.
The truth is though, it’s way too easy to count chickens before they hatch, or in this case, cows, and raising beef cattle is harder than it may seem. Here, we’ll offer some great tips and advice on how to raise healthy beef cattle.
Personal or Business?
The first question to ask yourself is why do you want to run a beef cattle farm. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but it might help going forward. There are plenty of benefits either way, but also a few downsides. It’s best to think long and hard before making this decision.
For instance, if you want to raise cattle just so you know your beef is coming from a source you trust, or even if you just want to be more self-sufficient, that changes the situation a bit. You no longer have to spend money on packaging or advertising.
That being said, if the farm isn’t going to bring in any money, you’ll need an additional source of income so that you can pay your taxes.
Take Care of Them
Like with most animals, the better you treat a cow, the better it will treat you. That means that you should be calm and patient when moving and herding your cattle.
It also means that you feed them well and keep them healthy. The feeding part is interesting, because cattle obviously need a good source of food, and most of that comes from grazing, but not all of it.
It’s generally a good idea to add things to your cows’ diets, such as corn, soy, oats, barley or wheat and salt and mineral licks so that they can get the vitamins and minerals that they need. Keep track of where you live and the land you’re grazing your cattle on.
Land needs to be healthy, uncontaminated land with enough grass and fresh water for the amount of cattle you have on it. Keep in mind, that during hotter months, cattle will stand in ponds to keep cool which will contaminate the water with feces, so you need an additional water source for them, like a stock tank, that can be easily kept full and fresh.
It’s also important to keep your pastures clear of debris that could cause injury to your animals. Cows are curious creatures and will investigate everything. Don’t leave sharp metal or wire laying around that they could cut themselves on or get tangled in. They also will often eat things they shouldn’t, so make sure that you don’t have trash like plastic bags or twine laying around that they could choke on.
Health and Medicine
Your cows will need to stay healthy, which means that you need to know how a healthy cow behaves and how to tell if they’re sick. Start by purchasing healthy cows, to begin with. You’ll want to look for cows with clear eyes, regular breathing, and a decent amount of weight.
When raising your cows, you’ll need to get them all the necessary vaccinations and stay in the loop with your vet. A lot of animals means you could need a good amount of medical care. Pay close attention to your animals and call your vet if you notice any unusual behaviors, or changes in appearance of feces, which are good indicators that something is wrong. Do some research or talk with other farmers to educate yourself on the warning signs of sick cows and what steps to take.
Raising Beef Cattle
A lot goes into raising beef cattle. We’ve give you an overview of what to keep in mind, now it’s up to you to learn all that you can to ensure that you are raising healthy cattle.
If you want to know more about cattle or other important aspects of farming, please visit our website. We’ll keep you up to date on the current events of the industry and a few tips as well. Maybe you want to know how to keep your cows out of the really hot weather. Maybe you want to know more about the cattle market this year. We can help with all that and more.