Rearing Beef Cattle Tips – 5 Important Factors Cattle Owners Should Know
Rearing beef cattle can be done for a variety of reasons. Some do it as a source of income, some as their own source of food, and some do it as a hobby. One thing is for sure, though, raising cattle in a farm can be a very enjoyable (and profitable!) past time and that’s why a lot of people nowadays raise cattle.
Tending to a farm of beef cattle is very demanding, however. It takes a lot of effort and patience to enjoy its full reward. Rearing beef cattle is never as easy as raising chicken in the backyard, where you just toss a couple handfuls of feeds and basically let them fend for themselves the whole day. Beef cattle needs careful monitoring and have their own set of considerations, from shelter, to food, to their health.
The items below are just some of the most important and basic considerations when rearing beef cattle.
Tip #1: Land
This is an important consideration when raising beef cattle. Does the farm have enough land acreage to accommodate the total number of cows you have? Cows need enough grazing pasture and dry space to grow healthy. As calves grow old, they need to graze larger areas of pasture, what more for adult cows? There are, however, breeds of cows that don’t need large pastures. These cows are specially housed and require a different source of food since they don’t get to eat forages. The land consideration on such breeds of cows will be on the housing, usually in the form of well-built barns. The land should accommodate enough housing areas for the cows.
Tip #2: Irrigation or Water Source
Cattle drink tons of water daily. An adult cow can drink as much as 12 gallons of water daily. An irrigation system in the farm is recommended to cater to this particular need.
Tip #3: Health Management
Cattle are prone to a variety of diseases. Familiarizing oneself with the common cattle diseases is a must in order to provide for a cure should it occur, or better yet prevent such diseases from happening. A well sanitized land and getting them proper vaccination can help cows avoid getting majority of the diseases. It is also wise to hire a veterinarian to regularly check on the cows. Some common diseases that a farmer should be familiar about include Scours (diarrhoea), Bloat, respiratory disease such as pneumonia, and diseases caused by parasites.
Tip #4: Food and Nutrition
For every breed of cow, there is a specific nutritional sustenance that must be satisfied. For growing beef cows that are allowed to roam free, a diet of grass and pasture would be enough. They would consume 2.5% of their of body weight daily. This is why it is important to have enough grazing area, to allow the cattle to grow well. Beef cows that are confined inside barns, on the other hand, need additional special nutritional source. Nutrients that are required are usually given in the form of special feeds together with forages such as alfalfa hays, and barley.
Tip #5: Other Facilities
Rearing cattle for beef doesn’t end once you’re done just providing them with food and shelter. One important consideration to a successful cattle farming is the inclusion of additional facilities to aid on the daily tending of the animals. Fences should be built around the area to keep the cows in. Additional facilities include loading, sorting, breeding, and other husbandry facilities.
For whatever reason you might have for going into rearing beef cattle, humane care for the animals must always be observed. By considering the five important factors highlighted above, farmers ensure that their cows gets the best treatment possible. These animals, after all, can very well provide them with benefits such as good income, food, and dairy products, to name a few.