Cows/Cattle/cows and cattle

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hello Karin,

This is Raymond again, I first would like to thank you for answering my questions and being of good assistance, I thank you very much and as to your last answer, I did not get offended by any of it, you were very direct, I thank you!

Judging by my line of questioning, I am pretty sure by now you have realized that I don't know SQUAT about farming and raising cattle. If you have realized that, well you are right, but why I want to get into raising cattle? because I believe I have a good idea concerning a bigger and more important operation, this cattle raising operation is just a small aspect of a much bigger operation, just one component. I am a developer,not a farmer.

Because of this much larger operation, allow me to share with you my plan to proceed with this cattle raising operation, please feel free to correct me or comment on this planned operation, any advice would help.

I have three acres of land which I would like to build a facility to house and care for the animals, because I believe I have better control of the enviornment(climate,diease free, monitoring, security, etc,)I want to buy five or six female Angus-Simmentals, get them pregnant so they can have calves to keep the operation going.

Can I use technology instead of nature to get them pregnant?

I chose Angus-Simmentals cross breed because in one of your answers you said that these are among the best for meat marketing. I want to feed them pre-grown(already grown and cut)wheat grass or switchgrass(which is the fastest growing grass) to feed them. Why? because wheatgrass(if i'm not mistaken)harnesses the protein, fiber, fat and nutriants needed for the calf or cow to gain weight and harness within their anatomy the same fiber,protein and minerals so when slaughtered and prepared for meals, that same goodness will be pasted on to the humans as well. And since you have convinced me, I will use the growth stimulates, antibiotics and grain substances.

How am I doing so far?

Not only do I want to raise cattle for meat production and marketing, but here is what I also need; I read somewhere the cattle or livestock is responsible for approximately 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from Carbon Dioxide and Methane from the feces. Methane is flammable and is over 20 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. I also want to collect their feces as a resource to produce METHANE gas that is like Natural Gas and can be used as a source of energy.You see? the meat, switchgrass, the wheatgrass, the feces are all collectively part of a bigger operation I can't discuss in detail on this site.

So my question is, what is the best thing to feed Angus-Simmental Calves or cows so they can gain weight very quickly in a short amount of time, with the best nutrition and produce a large amount of feces in the time allowed during pre-slaughter?

Raymond,

ANSWER: Hello again, Raymond!

Your welcome!  I kinda figured you were a real newbie at this, but regardless I still like to tell it like it is instead of letting them see things through rose-coloured glasses. :)  But now it's my turn to ask you some questions before I answer yours:

The thing I see wrong with this outfit is that where is your feed going to come from?  Are you buying from other sources and relying on them for feed for your animals, or are you going to be buying additional land to harvest the kind of forages that you are looking to feed these animals?

Also, how are you going to market your animals?  Are you selling them through the salebarn or are you wanting to create a niche market and sell them (or the meat) direct to customers?

I can see now that this is more of a commercial cow-calf "feedlot" or CAFO (confined animal feeding operation, what the animal rights groups like to call "factory farms") operation than anything.  You are going to have your work cut out for you if you are wanting these animals to be healthy in an operation where you're working for them, not them for you.  If you ask me, in my opinion the ideal operation is where the cows are working for the producer, not vice versa.

You can impregnate these SimAngus cows using technology--it's simply a thing called Artificial Insemination.  It's the same method of breeding cows (and only a method, not an improvement or anything like that that some other extremist groups call it to give it a negative connotation) that is frequently and highly popular in dairy operations.  AI is ideal for dairy operations mainly because it's much safer for the workers: they don't have to be dealing with a dairy bull that is like a ticking time bomb about to go off any second.  I'm not kidding, dairy bulls are extremely dangerous, more dangerous than even a beef bull. But yes, AI is the way to go for what you have in mind.  Again, it's more work, but with a good AI tech hired for the job you can expect a success rate between 70 to 90%...some AI techs can exceed that, but it takes a lot of practice.

With the kind of forage you want to feed them, I must stress the importance to NEVER forget about the benefits of legumes.  You will get more protein and calcium from legumes like sanfoin, lespedeza, birds-foot trefoil, alfalfa, clover, cicer milkvetch and others.  Note that Alfalfa and Clover are the ones that will cause bloat, but the others I listed will not and are very safe to feed to cattle in high amounts.  I know one beef cattle producer in Ontario, Canada that bale grazes and his Hereford cattle on 90 to 95% birds-foot trefoil (the rest being a mix of grasses like timothy, brome, etc.) and has no problems with any of his animals bloating.  And they do very well on it too, I might add.

I wouldn't start raving about the benefits of wheatgrass just yet, if I were you.  There may be a lot of raving about wheatgrass in the human diet, but from what I'm seeing for cows, it's not the greatest stuff for them, especially with the kind of outputs you're looking to get from these animals.  Let me give you a nutrient analysis of wheatgrass for you:

Crested Wheatgrass (Hay, sun-cured)
As-fed values
Dry Matter: 75%
Ash: 3.1%
Crude Fibre: 25.2%
Acid Detergent Fibre: 33.2%
Lignin: 5.1%
Ether Extract (Fat): 2.1%
Nitrogen-free Extract: 42.2%
Crude Protein: 10.3%
Ruminant Total Digestible Nutrients: 45%
Ruminant Digestible Energy: 0.90 Mcal/lb
Ruminant Metabolizable Energy: 0.76 Mcal/lb
Ruminant Net Energy (metabolic): 0.45 Mcal/lb
Ruminant Net Energy (gaseous): 0.26 Mcal/lb
Lactating Cows Net Energy: 0.46 Mcal/lb
Calcium: 0.20%
Phosphorus: 0.11%
Cobalt: 0.197 mg/kg
Copper: 6.3 mg/kg
Manganese: 39.7 mg/kg
Vitamin A: 0.3 IU/g
Carotene (Provitamin A): 0.2 mg/kg

Note the fibre content in comparison to the protein content.  Generally, the content of ADF is the inverse of CP.  Thus, though this forage has a healthy amount of protein, above the recommended minimum intake of protein for a cow being 8%, it still has a lot of fibre.  No doubt a good amount of fibre is good for fecal production, but for most classes of cattle, in my opinion it's not good enough fed alone.  Now, you were pretty vague on the cultivar of wheatgrass you were wanting to use.  So note that there's a lot more varieties than just one type of wheatgrass. There's perennial, intermediate, annual, and a host of others I can't think off the top of my head.  I could only give you the example of crested because that's the one type of wheatgrass I found in the book Beef Cattle Science by M.E. Ensminger.  (A great book, btw, along with others)

I also have my suspicions about switchgrass.  Yes it has a high protein content, but that's only if it's grazed fresh and standing in its vegetative stage, not as hay.  If you look at the table on the last page on this article, you can clearly see how much the protein content drops and the fibre content skyrockets.  

Wheatgrass, if you've got the right variety/cultivar, would be alright for your animals, but I would highly recommend you get it with a legume species.  Can by anything besides trefoil, but if you don't want to deal with bloat in your animals, try to avoid clover and alfalfa in the hay.  Now, when I'm looking at the nutrient values for Trefoil and Lespedeza, the protein contents are a lot more favorable, as well as the TDN values, for these forages, certainly a lot better than what I seen for Crested wheatgrass!  Here's breif rundown:

Lespedeza, Common-Korean (Hay, early bloom, sun-cured)
Crude Fibre: 28.5%
Ether Extract: 4.1%
Nitrogen-Free Extract: 39.6%
Crude Protein: 14.5%
TDN: 54%
Digestible energy: 1.08 Mcal/lb

Birdsfoot Trefoil (Hay, sun-cured)
Crude Fibre: 29.3%
Ether Extract: 1.9%
N-free Extract: 38.9%
Crude Protein: 13.9%
TDN: 54%
Digestible Energy: 0.91 Mcal/lb

I especially like those numbers when it comes down to feeding growing calves and lactating cows.  Both classes of bovines need the protein to grow and produce milk, respectively.

I've seen the numbers too, and don't exactly believe the 18% figure is correct, in my opinion.  From the number crunching I did from the table from the book Livestock's Long Shadow, where the percentage came from or that was made up by those who wrote the book, I estimated that total emissions from livestock only, not including humans and not including the land use, land-use change and forestry factors, add up to only a meager 11.5% of total emissions. If you're only using the methane and carbon dioxide emissions, that number reduces still more to only 5.9%. The 18% that the media gets from that study includes the forestry and land use amount that was included in that small percentage.  If you take out that factor (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry), the number changes to almost a tenth of what the media has taken as gospel.  See this link for information (Click on Part IV then scroll down to p. 113 for the table): http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM

The biofuel energy idea is a good one, for sure.  Just make sure you either have the land, rent land or purchase feed from reputable sources for you to be able to feed your animals.

This brings me to another question for you:  Are you willing to spend a whole pile of money in the first few years to make this happen, or are you wanting to budget and try to be a low-cost producer?  Because if you're wanting to be the latter but wanting a big operation, you are going to fail in epic proportions, trust me on that.  

Also, how are you going to raise the new calves?  Are you going to let them be with their mothers for the six months that all beef calves are on their moms, or are you going to separate them a few days after birth and have some sort of system where you let the cows nurse them regularly but have them go back to their stalls/feeding areas in the mean time?  Also, are these cows going to be confined to stalls, or are they going to be in a barn where they can move around and lay around pretty much where they want, like a feedlot operation does?

To answer your last question in turn, it depends, really.  What is the time frame you are looking at to be able to slaughter the stocker/feeder cattle?  A few months? A couple years?

And finally, though I hate to ask this myself, are you in this for the money or are you doing this because you want to raise cattle?  To be frank with you, if you want to raise livestock that grow very quickly in a short amount of time, chickens or hogs are the best for this.  Cows obviously are the ones that will produce a lot of feces, no doubt, but if you're looking to slaughter cattle, you're looking at a time frame of 18 to 24 months before you can send these animals off to slaughter.  Some small farmers can have their cattle slaughter at much younger, like 9 to 10 months of age, but the problem with that is that the meat itself may not be the best quality, especially if you're not really careful on how you feed them.

I think I just about reached the 65000 character limit to this answer, so I'll have to leave it at that for now until I get a follow-up from you. :)

Happy Boxing Day!

-Karin

P.S.: I hope you don't mind me changing it to public, since your question didn't exactly have any private information like exact location, full name, email, phone number etc.  :)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again Karin,
Thanks again for all the info,very good.Your answer gives me confidence that my idea will work.This response is to answer your questions buyt first let me make something clear.In your question you mentioned Animal Rights Groups and Extremist Groups,I myself am an animal lover,outside of the operation of raising cattle for slaughter so man can eat,no animals will be mistreated under my care.I am not a holy roller or religious fanatic,it's in the Bible that God made the beast of the field for man to eat as well as the fish of the sea and the fruit bearing trees,so I will not concern myself with that.

Which brings me to answer a few of your questions about the feed.Here in Florida,I am working on developing an agriculture/aquaculture farm,I am trying to buy some land that was zoned agricultural and want to build a nursery for fruit bearing trees, bushes and other vegetation as well as the wheatgrass and forage for the cattle.Why this type of nursery?going back to the Bible where God told man that he can eat of every tree.Again I am not a religious person just because I read the Bible but I believe that it was planned for all of Earth to be like the Garden of Eden,every tree within our eye sight bearing fruit for mankind to eat.From where I am currently sitting there is not one fruit or vegetable bearing tree or bush in a five mile radius.Here in Florida we have a lot of pretty trees but none of them bear any fruit at laest that is good for human consumption.Here is where I will cultivate the feed necessary for cattle consumption.

As to your other question on how I will market my meat?I will market my meat on a commodities market using forwards and futures contracts that will also be developed.Meanwhile I am looking for a person that knows how to genetically combind all good things about switchgrass, wheatgrass, legume and birdsfoot.

As to your other question, the animals will be put in a building that has 2.5-3 acres of open space (not stalls)so they can walk around or lay down. The feed or forage will already be there before they get there,but I.m not sure whether lay out a bed of forage on the ground or have it in troughs,I will worry about that later I guess.That is the reason why I kept asking about how many cows per acre but under these condition can I put more cows per acre? And the reason I approached you the way I did because I wasn't sure if you were a friend or foe of the "Factory Farm" concept.

As to the other question which I believe I already answered in the last email,I am(or trying to be)a developer,I am not a farmer,I have no experience in farming just an idea of innovation,the money will come later.It's complicated as to what I am doing because no one tried it before, I can't explain on this site.I am in process of developing a company that will own and operate all this:Davenport Eneterprises Development Corporation,doing business as;Davenport Environmental Group LLC,a subsidary that will handle environmental and agricultural business centers,so yes I will be spending a pile of money to develop this project which will include a well trained staff to nurse and monitor the animals regularly,they will know whether the calf should be with the mother and there will be a well trained HAZMAT person for the handling of feces.

Plus when it comes time for slaughter,I will approach(if I can)the Jewish,the Amish or the Quakers wondering if I can contract one or all of them to slaughter or butcher.The same first amendment constituional rights that protect the animal rights and extremist groups is the same constituional right that protects the Jewish,Amish and Quakers;so there's no argument there.

Now if I have covered all the bases, I have yet a few more questions for you.How many pounds of feed per day do one calf or cow consume? At the end of the 18 to 24 month time frame,what will be the (ballpark) weight of the full grown Angus cow ready for slaughter? How many gallons of water must I have on hand to feed the cattle? Do you know about DEER, OXEN and RABBIT as well or know someone who does?

Thanks Again,

Raymond,

ANSWER: Raymond,

You certainly have some great ideas going, so certainly keep it up and keep developing and enhancing your plans.  The more you learn about this stuff the better prepared you will be. :)

I strongly encourage you to consider feeding your cattle from troughs or hay feeders.  This is so that you minimize the amount of waste and also reduce the amount of feed you have to feed to these animals.  All cattle producers feed forages like silage and hay in a trough of feedbunk for this very reason: saves on feed and reduces your costs. A rule of thumb I learned from a veteran cowman was this: Day one dinner, day two bedroom, day three bathroom. By day three the feed is spoiled so that they won't want to eat it (or at least much of it, unless you force them to clean it up by not feeding them anything until they eat the mess up) anymore.

In a feedlot environment you certainly can have more animals than the ones you want to have on three acres.  You're not grazing them, they're just on a drylot for most of their lives, so you can allocate about 400 square feet (plus or minus, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me at the moment) per ~1500 lb cow. Remember, though, that you will be doubling your herd size each time your cows calve and you intend on keeping the offspring up to the time of slaughter.  Just as an example, the drylot pens of the feedlot just a couple miles north of where my farm is has a pen space of around 10 acres in size and holds about 70 to 80 head of finisher/feeder steers.

As for slaughter, also don't forget about the Oriental/Asian population either.  A lot of beef cuts that the groups you mentioned won't eat may be saleable to the Oriental market (ones within North America, not export) as well.

For your questions:

1) I cannot give you an exact number, actually.  I can only give you a percentage in dry-matter ration.  Maintenance for all bovines is an intake of 2.5% of a bovine's body weight per day.  Lactating cows tend to consume 50% more than this number (which increases it to about 4.5 to 5% of a cow's body weight per day). Grower cattle may need to eat about 3% to 3.5% of their bodyweight per day.  Remember that DM or Dry Matter is when you take all the water out of the feed; there is 0% moisture in the feed.  As-fed percentage values thus change when you incorporate the moisture levels (also in percentage value) in the feed.

Thus, the exact number of pounds a bovine eats per day also changes and remains variable, not only on what I mentioned above, but also (and most importantly) due to weight. A big cow will eat more than a small cow, bulls eat more than cows, and a weaner calf will eat less than a mature cow. For example, a small 1000 lb cow will eat 25 lbs of dry matter forage per day, whereas a larger cow weighing 1500 lbs will eat 37.5 lbs of dry matter forage per day.

2)I was actually referring to the age of the steer/heifer being 18 to 24 months of age by the time they're (supposedly) ready for slaughter.  But, to answer your question, that steer may weigh around 1400 lbs, if fed right and with the growth genetics for being able to "do well" in a feedlot environment.  That's the age most cattle are targeted to reach when finished for slaughter.  Ideally that's likely also the weight of a finished Simmental-Angus cross steer.

3)Just like with question one, it really depends.  There are people and media out there that give their "ballpark" estimates or "exact" values of how much water a bovine will drink per day, but I personally prefer to go by percentages for the very reasons I mentioned above: physiological/reproductive requirements and body weight.  I've estimated that a bovine will drink anywhere between 7% to 10% of its bodyweight in water per day. Lactating cows will drink more than dry (not lactating/nursing) cows, and mature cattle will drink more than growing or young cattle.  Bulls may drink a little more or about the same as a mature cow will.

4) I may be able to answer some questions about deer and oxen (oxen are cattle, by the way ;) )  but you may have to direct your rabbit questions to one of the rabbit experts on this site.  What would you like to know about deer and oxen?

Your very welcome, love to answer your questions anytime. :)

-Karin

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Karin,
What do I want to know about Deer and Oxen? any and everything you just told me about the Angus Cow.If you go through all the answers and questions and information you related to me about the cow is the same information I need about the DEER and OXEN.

Why Deer and Oxen?

Besides the same plans I have with cows, I love OXTAILS! It is a favorite dish when growing up in my family.I'm a black guy from Detroit, born in Cleveland and now lives in Miami and in all three places, OXTAILS and CORNED BEEF is what's happening!I am pretty sure there are kore uses for the OX,all I know about them is the tails.The thing is,Oxtails are not cheap and will get more expensive as time progresses compared to beef, pork and chicken.Which brings me to the reason why I want to raise DEER.

From what I understand, Deer Meat is rare which makes it expensive and unpopular.I want to produce Deer but not like the cow or the pig, I want to keep it rare commodity,keep the price of deer meat up and when I do put my deer meat on the market,I want it to be the best deer meat on the market and that's why I need to know what is the best or rarest breed or species of deer or oxen I have to look for to harvest?What it eats? how to farm them and the oxen? basically every thing you told me about the cow.

Anyway, I was going through my notes and realized I missed a few things.How is the drylot for cows constructed? are they walking and standing on concrete or astroturf? what about the bathing and hygiene of the animals? do I have to worry about the lighting and ventilation?

I want to buy all female Angus cows so I can get them pregnant to have calves, at what age is good time to buy them? and where can I get them? Do I need to brandy them? what is the best way to keep head count and track them?(for tax and business purposes) What is the best way to transport them?

Again I would like to thank you for all your help and let me leave my email address with you so you can email me just in case this site is no longer available, it's:  - Thanks!

Raymond

Answer
Hello Raymond,

I believe oxtails don't have to come from just oxen, they can come from your Angus or Angus-cross cattle.  It is just the name of a dish comprising of a cow's tail.  You don't need a whole other breed or type of bovine in order to just get the tail of a bovine. Oxen are cattle raised and trained to pull carts and wagons, not slaughtered just for their tails: to me that's a whole waste of animal and a lot of beef for just a small piece of anatomy for a special dish. Same goes with corned beef: you can get it from the cattle you intend to already raise.

From the limited knowledge I have of deer, I highly doubt they can be raised the same way that domestic cattle can.  Deer are much more high-strung than cattle are and need more space than cattle do in order to be raised for meat.  I think they need to be outdoors, not confined indoors in a high-fenced enclosure.  But to tell you the truth I am only a cattle expert and not an expert on deer.  I think you may need to find someone who has more information and experience on raising exotic animals like deer who can answer your questions.  You can try one of the experts on the Deer category of this site, if you like, and they may direct you to the right source of information you're looking for.

Now to answer some more of your questions:

1)  Assuming you're looking to house them indoors and not outdoors, there are many different plans out there for constructing barns--they can be just like the dairy barns that are built to house cows during the times they are not being milked.  Much of these barns do not have stalls, but are simply what I've known them as "pole-barns" or "quansets"  that vary in size.  I don't want to give you any exact measurements or anything like that, as many barn structures vary with each farm.  But basically what's important is that you have designated feeding and watering facilities for the animals.  Feeding areas should primarily be troughs constructed down the middle of the barn so that the feed truck can auger the feed from the truck into the troughs as it goes along. The areas where the cattle are living should be wide enough for a skid steer or tractor loader to go along and move out the manure that has built up over time.  Space can be from 12 to 18 feet wide from the inside of the troughs to the wall of the building. Concrete foundation is best, and concrete should construct the middle of the alleyway.  The alleyway should be about 24 feet wide, wide enough for a couple medium-sized tractor or truck to pass through with relative ease.

The whole barn in itself depends on its construction.  Ideally it should be like a pole-type barn (like I mentioned above), can be up to 60 ft wide and just as long or longer in length, and may be one or two stories high, depending on whether you want to have hay and straw bedding stored above the animal's heads.  Head space needs to be 8.5 to 10 feet tall, so just like as tall a room would be in your house.

You will need facilities to handle and vaccinate the animals.  This means having safe, low-stress handling facilities, starting with holding pens, working pens, a crowding tub, a working race or alley, and a good squeeze chute.  Check out the designs by Temple Grandin on www.grandin.com for inspiration, or even Google Cattle Handling Facilities for ideas on what kind of set-up to make for your operation.  When you have beef cattle, you MUST have the facilities to handle them in order to vaccinate, deworm, and doctor them.  I also highly recommend you consider a separate area for calving cows, like a calving facility or barn.  Separate the areas where you are backgrounding/finishing cattle for beef from the cows and cow-calf pairs you are keeping.  

2) Don't use astroturf, you're just going to be wasting your money.  Dirt- or concrete-flooring is probably the best, because you need ground where cattle can comfortably lay or stand and at the same time is ideal for equipment to pass through and pile the manure that builds up.  In a lot of indoor facilities, the best two choices are either dirt or concrete.  

(And I highly disagree with your assumption that you need a HAZMAT person to handle the manure (I hate to say it but I nearly fell off the chair laughing when I seen that)...I've handled cow manure on the farm before, seen it done in dairy barns, and none of the dairy barns need such a person to handle manure, just someone who knows how to handle and operate good loader tractor or a skidsteer (also called a bobcat) and a location to store the manure without causing much complaint from neighbors.  A little dirt won't hurt you, take it from a woman who's grown up on a mixed beef/crop farm all her life. :D )

Now that I have my feedlot info books in front of me, I can now give you an exact number to look for in space requirements for your cattle. For cows 2 years or older in a building, allocate not 400 square feet per cow (that's outdoor feedlot numbers, not for housing cattle in barns), but actually 40 to 50 square feet per animal. With yearling finisher cattle on a solid floor, allocate 30 to 40 sq ft per animal.  Cows in a maternity stall need 100 to 120 sq ft per animal.

3) Like I had mentioned a while ago before, they don't need baths.  That's just extra work you're going to be making for yourself.  They only need to be bathed if you're intent on showing them at fairs or livestock shows.  Otherwise, forget the whole idea.  I've helped my folks raise cattle for as long as I can remember, and we've never had to give one animal a bath.  I really don't even think even the animals that live in barns have ever had a bath.  Just keep their bedding and feeding areas clean, keep their vaccinations up to date and you should be good.    BUT, you really must incorporate and follow strict biosecurity protocols though when it comes to people visiting your farm and incorporating new animals into your herd.  This is especially important if you want to prevent your cows from getting diseases like Bovine Viral Diarrhea, which is a sexually transmitted disease that is impossible to treat but safe to vaccinate for.  I will have to explain more on BVD at another time when asked.  :)  As for people, that's also another thing to discuss at a later date.

4) Yes and yes.  Ventilation is quite important, as well as lighting, but it is a part of providing a source of comfort for the animals. Ventilation is important for controlling moisture (winter) and temperature (summer).  Hot stuffy or very humid rooms are uncomfortable for any living animal, even for a cow.  Comfort level temperatures are from 40 to 70 degrees F, acceptable humidity between 50 to 75%.  Lighting isn't as important, but it's not always the greatest to have animals in the dark all the time.  If you can provide some sort of skylight in the barn, diffused or otherwise, I think they'd appreciate it.

5) Any age, really. 3-in-1 cows typically range from 2 years to 10 years old.  It's your choice whether you want young heifers (just weaned @ ~6 months), bred heifers (@ ~15 months old), bred-dry cows, or bred cows with calf at side.  It takes two years for you to get a calf from a weaned heifer, even though they're cheaper than pairs, but you can get income sooner if you buy bred cow-calf pairs because you can wean off the calf that's at side in a month or more then feed it up to slaughter.  

I'd consider also becoming a source for backgrounding/feedlotting steers for starters instead of starting with cows first.  This way you can get your feet wet and get into the beef production business before getting into the cow-calf calf-crop business.  You'll gain experience in feeding, handling and caring for the cattle before going into the deep end.

6) Dispersal sales, auction mart, private treaty, internet sales, that sort of thing.  Cow-calf pairs are best purchased from dispersal sales, weaned steers from salebarn/auction mart.

7) No.  Branding is only if you're letting them graze with other herds in a community pasture.  If you're just keeping them in your barn as your stock, it's not needed.  Just ear tags to identify each animal with a number, each number being different for each animal.

8) There's no real need to do a head-count if they're going to be enclosed in a barn all the time.  It's more important if and when they're out on pasture or range because there will be times when they may find a hole in the fence to go through and find freedom.  But keep records on each animal as far as reproduction and health is concerned.  A spreadsheet or cattle management software like CattleMax is good for your operation.

9) Via trailer or cattle liner.  Trailer is best for a small number of animals, cattle-liners ideal for larger number of animals.  

If you have any more questions just give me a shout.  My email is crazy_livestock @ hotmail.com (no spaces).  You can send me an email that way so I can achieve contact status with you outside of this site because I didn't get your email. ;)

-Karin

Cows/Cattle

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Karin L

Expertise

Forage-Beef Extension Specialist. Knowledge in almost everything to do with beef and dairy cattle. Strong points include forage production, pasture and rangeland management, grazing management, breeding/calving/weaning, cattle genetics, breeds, feeding and nutrition, starting-up, and most physiological questions. I AM NOT A BOVINE VETERINARIAN; so please any questions that concern serious health of your cattle must be taken to your local large animal veterinarian.

Experience

Part of a farm family that bought, raised, and sold stocker/backgrounder steers; assisted with health management, handling, feeding, pasture management, and forage production. Also worked at local mixed-practice veterinary clinic. Experience with cattle included breeding soundness exams on bulls, castration, fixing prolapses, preg-checking, C-sections, calf pulling, vaccinations, etc. Worked at a local farm and ranch supply store selling medications and feed for livestock. Research assistant for the University of Alberta with range health assessments, and helping with various rangeland research projects. Always learning and gaining more experience as time goes on.

Publications
Alberta Farm Express Agri-News and Call of the Land (Alberta Agriculture)

Education/Credentials
BSc in Agriculture (Animal Science Major) @ University of Alberta, June 2015 graduate, but started studies in 2005. An Sci degree allowed me to specialize and gain significant knowledge in beef & dairy cattle production,animal behaviour and reproduction, ruminant nutrition, forage production/management, rangeland and pasture management & ecology, and plant identification.

Past/Present Clients
Various eef and forage producers in Alberta, CAN

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.