Today we shall be looking at raising beef cattle beginners guide and recommended tips. As a farmer, you can raise your own beef cattle to stock your freezer with lots of steaks, or to sell the butchered meat to those in your community. Regardless of what your end goal is, your beef cattle will always depend on you to provide them with the best living conditions, so you must know how to attend to all their needs. This means knowing the right ways to feed and take care of them so that you can achieve your end goals.
Tips to Raise Beef Cattle
Start by Selecting Healthy Beef Cattle and Ensure That They get home safely
This is the best foundation to set more so if you are setting up a business-oriented beef cattle farming venture. Once you have identified the healthy cattle to purchase, you should help them transition to their new home in the smoothest way possible. Here are several considerations to make:
- Prepare the facilities even before you bring the beef cattle home -You will need a grazing area that has a strong perimeter fence, a well-built pen, as well as clean eating areas.
- Buy healthy animals only- you should purchase beef cattle that are alert and not wild. They should have bright and clear eyes, that do not have any discharge. They should have smooth and regular breathing. You should also check the entire body to ensure that it is all smooth and regular, without any shrunken or hollowed-out areas. The animals you buy should move freely and with a normal stride.
- Prepare the trailer you will use to bring the cattle home– the trailer should be clean so that you can minimize the chances of disease transmission. It should also have a skid-resistant floor so that the cattle do not end up slipping and falling off.
Feed and Water the beef cattle in the right manner
You should ensure that the dietary needs of your animals are met at all times if you want them to remain healthy. Here are some things you should know (and stay ready for):
- Make gradual adjustments to the animal’s diet, not abrupt ones – if you want to add or remove certain feeds, you should make changes over a week or a couple of days. Making an abrupt switch in the feedstuffs will only harm the good bacteria in their digestive tract, and lead to unwanted changes in the Ph of their digestive juices.
- Stay ready for big appetites – most beef cattle consume close to 3% of their entire body weight daily, in the form of dry feed.
- Give the beef cattle forage to ensure that their digestive systems are functioning properly – You can meet the beef cattle’s forage needs by allowing them to graze pasture or by feeding them already-harvested hay.
- Feed them wholesome foods only – the beef cattle feeds should not be moldy or soiled by their feces.
- Include concentrates in their diet to supplement forages – supplements are very useful, especially in times of drought since they help the beef cattle meet their nutritional needs easily. Concentrates such as oats, wheat, and barley are great sources of energy, while soybeans and cottonseed give the animals proteins and energy.
- Add minerals and vitamins to the cattle’s diet – you can mix such nutrients with animal feeds to give your cattle, or you can serve them in free-choice feeders. Minerals and vitamins keep the beef cattle healthy and productive.
Ensure that the beef cattle are healthy
Treating your cattle when they get sick is one way to see to it that they eventually get healthy, but taking steps to prevent diseases and all sorts of injuries is even better. You can put in place the following measures to ensure that your beef cattle are free from complex and minor health problems:
- Provide them with a stress-free environment – stress makes living creatures susceptible to diseases, and beef cattle are not any different. You should therefore interact with your cattle in ways that do not lead to them getting stressed.
- Keep track of the beef cattle’s food consumption – Decreased appetite amongst beef cattle is a sign of sickness at an early stage. Healthy cattle usually show up to the feeding trough during meal times, and they have rounded stomachs when full.
- Establish a vaccination schedule and stick to it – You should have a vaccination schedule for various diseases. If you have breeding cattle, they should have their special reproductive vaccination schedule.
- Monitor the vital signs –Mature animals have their normal body temperatures ranging between 100.4 to 103.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Their normal pulse rate lies between 40 and 80 beats per minute, and they have a respiration rate of about 10 to 30 breaths per minute when they are at rest.
- Have a good relationship with your vet– most vets will offer you great advice on how to raise beef cattle if you have a good professional relationship with them.
Ensure that you have the right equipment to take care of the beef cattle
As a beef cattle farmer, it is your duty to ensure that you get all the right equipment to maintain your animals. Beef cattle operations are generally low cost, but they still need a collection of equipment. The basic equipment includes:
- Feeders – you should have feeders that prevent food from falling off the ground as the animals are feeding. Improperly designed feeders can lead to the beef cattle getting exposed to infections and can cost you a lot of money in wasted feeds.
- Water tubs and watering systems – the watering systems are a very important aspect of the cattle’s feeding systems. Water generally affects the consumption of other feeds. With poor-quality water or the lack of enough water, the animals are bound to experience an overall decline in their growth rate. Farmers can supply their cows with water using any equipment from simple buckets to troughs to advanced automatic watering systems. The main thing to be concerned about here is the freshness of the water, and its availability at all times.
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That will be all for this article on raising beef cattle beginners tips and recommendations. I hope that you gained a couple of insights that you will apply as you get started with this noble venture. Do not forget to have a look at what the experts have to say about the agriculture sector and how it will be looking like in this decade in the recommended resource above.
I wish you well,
Eric, Investor and Team Member at Gold Retired!