How To Raise Beef Cattle – 4 Practical Tips For Success
There is more than one way on how to raise beef cattle but the basics on how to raise them definitely remain the same. If you are a beginner looking for practical tips on how to speed up your learning curve on raising your beef, you should know that there are four important things you need to consider before entering this venture.
1. Choose your beef
You should know that learning how to raise beef cattle does not only involve how they should be raised but also being able to identify what breed of beef to raise. Experts aiming for larger profits will usually go for Black Angus Beef since people pay more for it. It is considered beef of prime grade because it develops better marbling, which is the amount of fat in beef that keeps it moist, tender, and flavorful when cooked, than the other types of beef.
It is also one of the reasons why they are most requested in restaurants and supermarkets despite their very high cost. Some others will go for dairy cows, especially those who would like to produce milk and other dairy products. While other breeds you may also consider choosing from are Murray Gray, which is the second largest breed in Australia; Hereford, which is used mainly for beef production; Texas Longhorn, which is known for its lean beef; and many others.
2. Choose your location
Similar to carrying for your pets, how to raise beef cattle well means you should be able to choose the right location to place them. While some people think a barn or an access to a parcel of land for pasture is fine, remember, if you plan to raise more than just one or two cows, then you need a larger space where your beefs can graze freely. Of course you should not forget to install fences in their grazing area; otherwise your neighbors might complain of your cows loitering in the community.
Make sure you also build a fence around the area. You can use wood, barbed wire, or electric wire, whichever you think would work best for you. It is also important on how to raise cattle for beef that you consider the weather and time of the year when choosing their location. During summer, it is best to let your cows graze freely in the fields but make sure you keep them indoors during winter, with good supply of grasses and hay.
3. Provide food and water
Of course, how to raise cattle for beef means you need to feed them properly. In fact, it is never practical to raise a beef if you do not have sufficient amounts of hay and grains to feed them or no pasture for your cows to graze on. Aside from hay and grain, make sure you feed your cows with grass and silage, which are also two of the most common food for cows. Of course, the right type of food to feed them will still depend on what type of cows you are raising. For instance, if you intend to sell your cows for beef then fattening them with abundant supply of grains and silage are required.
For dairy cows you need a high-moisture fodder like haylage since they are known to possess higher nutritional value than ordinary hay and also help prevent your cows from common respiratory problems like bacterial pneumonia, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, viral respiratory tract infections, and more. However, cost is usually a factor that discourages cow raisers from using haylage as they are more expensive than common ones. But if you have the means to manage your own crops, the better.
In fact, experts usually prefer to make their own feeds rather than buy it as they trust the quality of the food they produce to be given to their livestock. Do not also forget that a cow can drink as much as 12 gallons of water daily. Therefore, make sure your cows have easy access to water supply like creek or pond or if you have none of these two, make sure you have a large drinking tub where your cows can drink regularly.
4. Know your veterinarian
Cows are very vulnerable to diseases. Therefore, when choosing the best way how to raise beef cattle you should know a doctor or cow veterinarian you can always contact in case of cattle medication and other emergencies. Common ones are blackleg, which is very common among young cows; anaplasmosis, disease caused by parasites present in the blood but not contagious, though can be transferred through ticks; foot and mouth, also caused by viruses; and many others.