Beef Cattle Farming Guide – 3 Crucial Factors To Consider
Beef cattle farming represent a large segment of meat production in the United States. In fact, more farms are focused on beef production than other type of livestock because of the huge rewards that it guarantees.
Raising cattle for beef is not an easy job and can prove to be quite a handful especially to those who are only just beginning. This article serves to guide the first-time cattle farmer through several elements to learn and understand before deciding to push through with his plan to engage in beef cattle farming.
Today, there are currently a lot of breeds used for the production of beef but there are five top breeds that have been ranked as the most important.
Known as Aberdeen Angus in other parts of the world, the Angus cattle are known for not having horns and are usually red or solid black in color. The Black Angus is the most common breed found in the United States.
This is a horned breed known for its complex qualities when bred with other breeds like the Angus and Hereford. They are a large-muscled breed and often produce less fat and more red meat. This breed often has a white coat.
A red and white breed that is found in almost all parts of the world and is popular for use in beef cattle farming both in temperate and in intemperate areas. All Herefords carry the same color, red and white. They are not as massive or muscular as Simmentals or Limousins, though they are quite blockier in appearance and appear to have smoother shoulders, thighs, loins, and rumps.
This highly-muscled breed are naturally horned but are now bred to be polled (hornless). They often come in dark golden red colors but black Limousins are now being bred. They are known for their low birth weights, yield, high percentage of dressing, and their production of tender, lean meat.
Simmentals have a reddish-brown bodies and white faces. They do not have white stripes down their nape, briskets, and dewlaps like the Herefords. There are also black-colored Simmentals. They are massive, with the bulls often weighing between 1600-2800 lbs. They are more adapted to rough, mountainous terrain.
Cows are very hardy animals and do not really need that much protection against the weather. All they really need is a simple barn or even just natural shelters. Most often, farmers provide a simple three-walled shelter in which the backs would be against the wind. In building shelters for beef cattle farming, one should take care to prevent drafts as trapped moisture could lead to health problems for the cows. The floors could be a combination of straw beddings or concrete.
Most cow producing-facilities choose to feed grains to their cows. There are, however, some farms that prefer to let their cattle graze pastures. No matter what option is chosen, it is the cattle farmer’s duty and responsibility to ensure that his cattle gets all the nutrition needed to reach their desired weight.
Probably the most important rule in beef cattle farming is to provide the animals with enough natural feed. Despite the fact that cattle grows and fattens faster when fed grains, they might be missing out on the important nutrients they can get from green pasture. Here, they can get the adequate amount of energy, vitamins, minerals and protein they need during their growth.
There are two kinds of feed: the forages, which have higher fiber content but low in total digestible nutrients (TDN); and concentrates, which are higher in TDN but lower in fiber. Concentrates usually cost more than forages but are preferred by most because of its easy-to-digest carbohydrates.
When using concentrates, it is important to take note that not all grains have the same weight. Feeding too much might prove to be harmful to cattle more than it is beneficial. Make sure to understand how to measure the right amount of feed for the weight of the cattle. Failing to do so might only lead to serious digestive problems.
Aside from the points mentioned above, there are other factors that need to be considered when it comes to beef cattle farming and also raising grass fed beef cattle. Always make sure to read up on any information that would be vital to keeping yourself on track as a cattle farmer. The job can be quite a handful and might require extra effort to succeed, but throwing in the determination can lead one to experience the great rewards in the end.