6 Beginner’s Tips for Raising Cattle


Do you love raising animals? You may want to know how your food is raised or are excited to start a cattle business. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. You might have some land and a barn in the back, but you need key equipment and sound knowledge to succeed on your bovine adventure.

Ready to get started but need to figure out what it takes? Here are some solid tips for raising cattle to make things easier and more productive.

Land

Cattle eat grass, so are you good to go if you have a field? Not necessarily. Each cow/calf pair needs an acre of land to graze and another acre to produce hay for feed. You can do the math on it, so it is acceptable if you only have enough area to start small. As you learn and acquire land, you will increase your herd.

Barn

If you are raising cattle, you already have a barn, but you need it set up for cattle. For most of the year, cattle spend their time outdoors in the field, but you need a refuge to escape the heat. Shade is critical, and barns help with shelter from direct sunlight and coping with high temperatures.

Cattle still like the outdoors in winter but seek shelter when needed. An open barn provides this. Your barn will also be a place to store equipment, tools and feed, along with a place for calves.

Cattle Waterers

Now that cows have room to roam and forage and a barn to provide shelter, they need fresh water to drink at all times. If you are lucky enough to have a pond, they may be able to access it, but a much better solution is a cattle waterer.

Cattle waterers are automatic devices for providing clean, fresh water around the farm and barn. They are a base and a bowl with a pressurized water line feeding into it and a valve to regulate the flow. There are also auto flow valves and auto thermostats to ensure the water is always topped up and not frozen over.

There are many designs, so visit a well-established company that deals with cattle waterers and all other equipment and supplies for your cattle needs.

Fencing

There are several methods of cattle raising and field rotation on a farm, and you can try different ones to see what works. You will need fencing if you have a few open fields, multiple paddocks, or temporary areas that you move cattle in and out of.

Fencing options also vary. Barbed wire consists of galvanized steel strands with twisted barbs along the length. It is a low-cost option. Electric wire functions as you expect, using pulsing electricity along galvanized metal strands to enforce your boundaries. It is also low-cost and easy to install.

Field fencing is a more permanent type of durable wire roll with a long life span. It is much more visible to animals and farmers alike. Four-foot fences are most common, and a sturdy pole in the ground that won’t easily be knocked over is needed. The exception is temporary fencing, which is portable.

Maintain Healthy Animals

Having a healthy animal starts at the purchase point. You want them alert but not wild, full and round, and able to move freely while not coughing or breathing. Always monitor their well-being and ensure they have access to good feed and water.

If you see signs of distress, deal with it immediately. Use supplements to get the proper nutrition for their needs, and create a vaccination schedule. Lastly, please have a positive relationship with your vet and use them as a guide and advisor for maintaining your herd.

Embrace the Lifestyle

The last and most important thing about raising cattle is that it is more than a 9-5 job. It is challenging and rewarding simultaneously, so you better love it, or you won’t last. This is a very fulfilling farm lifestyle. As you get better at it, you can diversify your herd, start a breeding program, and raise beef for profit.

These are your tips for raising cattle. Experience is the best teacher, as long as it is someone else’s experience, so visit cattle farms and ask lots of questions. You can apply these tips and any other advice you gain from those doing it to your operation. The result? A rewarding endeavour that may dominate your property and life.

Lead Image: Credit: William – stock.adobe.com





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