Beef Cattle Science and Management

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Beef Cattle Science and
Management
Animal Science
Mr. Bushman
Introduction to Beef
The cow-calf industry invests $180 billion
dollars into the national economy each
year.
The total number of beef cows in the
United States is 33.7 million
38% of the total income from all livestock
marketing in the US comes from the beef
industry.
Introduction to Beef
Most of the beef eaten in the US comes from
domestic production
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Pacific Coast
Washington
Oregon
California
Total
.86
1.82
2.40
5.08
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Intermountain West
Montana
4.58
Idaho
1.45
Wyoming
2.39
Utah
1.01
Colorado
2.42
Arizona
.64
Nevada
.71
New Mexico 1.52
Total
14.71
Introduction to Beef
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Western Midwest
North Dakota 2.59
South Dakota 4.63
Nebraska
5.73
Kansas
4.33
Oklahoma
5.83
Texas
16.38
Total
39.5
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Eastern Midwest
Minnesota
Iowa
Wisconsin
Michigan
Illinois
Missouri
Indiana
Ohio
Total
1.19
2.85
.59
.35
1.41
5.91
.89
.98
14.2
Introduction to Beef
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Southeast
Arkansas
2.72
Louisiana
1.63
Mississippi
1.98
Kentucky
3.38
Tennessee
3.22
Alabama
2.44
Georgia
2.05
Florida
3.00
South Carolina .74
North Carolina 1.41
Virginia
2.14
West Virginia .57
Total
25.3
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
New England
Maine
.05
Vermont
.04
New Hampshire.006
Massachusetts .02
Rhode Island .004
Connecticut .015
New Jersey
.04
New York
.21
Pennsylvania .51
Delaware
.009
Maryland
.16
Total
1.1
Introduction to Beef
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd
Alaska
Hawaii
.012
.24
The largest percent of beef cows produced
is in the Western Midwest states, with
39.5% of the 33.7 million beef cows being
produced
This is due to the prime location near feeds
– Don’t have to ship feed as far
Beef Introduction
Question, lets do some math!
– If there are 33.7 million beef cows
produced in the US each year, how many
come from the mid-western region?
Beef Introduction
Question, lets do some more math!
– So, how many beef cows are produced
in the Utah region?
Introduction to Beef
The beef industry is divided into three
segments:
– Purebred Producers
– Cow-calf Producers
– Feeder Calf Producers
These segments are all equally important!
One cant survive with out the other.
Purebred Segment
Provide replacement bulls and females for cowcalf operations.
Their main goal in life is to better the genetics
of the breed.
A great deal of knowledge is needed to be a
successful Purebred producer
– Genetics
– Gestation periods
– Record keeping skills
Purebred Segment
Advantages:
– Involved with perfecting the genetics and
traits of a particular breed
– Stock usually will sell for a higher dollar
Disadvantages:
– Time consuming
– Costly
– Takes experience
Cow-Calf Segment
Primary goal:
– To produce a the heaviest calves possible at
the time of weaning (205 days)
Cow-Calf Segment
Feeds used in the cow-calf segment
Roughages
– Pasture
– Hay
– Silage
– Straw
– Corncobs
– And Alfalfa, being the most common
Cow-Calf Segment
Forages
– Feed that grown for livestock consumption
– Grazing should be used as much as possible
– Grazing is not possible year round, so
mechanical harvesting takes place
Swather
Baler
Combine
Bale wagon, etc…
Cow-Calf Segment
Pasture and Hay Land
– Proper management of pastures increases
the yield of forages harvested
– Too many cows being fed on a small amount
of land will be detrimental to the forage crop
Rotational Grazing
– Rotating the livestock from field to field when
the feed has been depleted
Cow-Calf Segment
Crop Residues:
– Example – Corn, Barley, etc…
– Reduce feed costs
tremendously
The Carrying Capacity of a pasture refers to
the number of animals that can be grazed on a
pasture during a certain time period
Cow-Calf Segment
Hay Bales:
– Harvested and tightly compacted forages
Round – Forage that is rolled into bales
Ton – Baled in to 2000 lb rectangles
½ ton – Baled into 1000 lb rectangles
Hand bales – Baled into 50 – 100 lb rectangles
Cow-Calf Segment
Hay Bales
– Must be harvested with the right moisture
content
Spontaneous combustion
– Stored under shed if possible to protect from;
Sun damage – Sun will bleach the hay and
decrease the quality
Water damage – Water will seep into the hay, form
mold and decrease the quality
Cow-Calf Segment
Dry Cow:
– With-out young
– Not lactating
Heifers
– Young and never
had a calf
Pregnant Cow
– In gestation
– Lactating
Cow-Calf Segment
During the summer months cattle are
grazing
During the winter months cattle have to be
fed, alfalfa, grass or silage
Where do you think most of the expenses
come from, winter feeding or summer
grazing?
Cow-Calf Segment
Lactation:
– The ability to produce milk
– Very important in the Cow-Calf segment
– Milk is what produces the calf
Summer grazing can usually meet the
requirements needed
Winter can be more challenging
Feed rations need to be developed
Cow-Calf Segment
Creep Feeding
– Providing the calves with additional feed
– Usually grain
– Must introduce the grain slowly
Advantages
– Produces a 30-70 lb heavier calf at weaning
– Better finish at weaning
– Already used to grain when they go to the
feedlot segment
Cow-Calf Segment
Creep Feeding
Disadvantages
– $$$$ Cost
– Hard to evaluate inherited feed abilities
– Replacement heifers could be too fat
– Studies show that calves on creep don’t gain
as well at the feedlot.
Cow-Calf Segment
Replacement Heifers
– To replace the females that die or become too
old to produce young
– Usually 10-12% of the herd will need to be
replaced each year
If you have 300 head you will need to keep 30
replacement heifers
If you have 25 head you will need to keep 2-3 head
of replacement heifers.
Cow-Calf Segment
Breeding Bulls
– They are mean, they are big and they are a
royal pain in the butt
But, we need them!
Unlike cows that we maintain in the winter,
bulls need to be fattened and have good
flesh when breeding season begins, Why?
Cow-Calf Segment
Breeding Management
– Most important part in the cow-calf segment
– Goal is to have 100% calf crop
– We achieve this by
Placing 1 bull to every 25 cows
So, if we have 300 head we would need 12 bulls
– Beef managers need to understand the
gestation period of their herd.
Cow-Calf Segment
Gestation period of cattle
– There are two times of the year that beef are
being produced due their gestation period
Fall Calves
Spring Calves
– Fall calves are born beginning in February, so
the cows would be bread May 1st (Most
Common)
– Spring Calves are born in November, so they
would be bred in March (Not Common)
Cow-Calf Segment
Castration
– Removing the testeis from the male
Done two different ways
– Surgically
Can make sure that both testicles are removed
Can be bloody if done incorrectly, and get infection
– Elastication
Involves no blood, still can get infection
Could miss a testicle that has not dropped yet.
Cow-Calf Segment
Steer
– Bull that’s been castrated
– Very common in cow-calf operations
– Needs to be done at a younger age
– Bulls have to be castrated before they can
move on to the feedlot segment
Keeps them from fighting and losing weight
They will grow, finish and taste better
Cow-Calf Segment
Dehorning
– Removing the horns from the animal
– Why we dehorn
Bring less money if they still have horns
Less space needed in feedlot and truck
Less chance of harming another animal
Less damage to facilities
Polled
– Bred not to have horns
Cow-Calf Segment
Dehorning
– Should be dehorned at a young age
– Should dehorn in the late fall, winter or early
spring
Less problems with heat and flies
– Horn is removed using dehorner
Cow-Calf Segment
Dehorning
– The wound is soldered with a hot iron to help
clot the blood
– Powder is placed on the poll to help clot any
blood remaining
– This is not a desirable characteristic in beef
production, breeds that are polled are more
desirable
Angus
Polled Hereford
Cow-Calf Segment
Branding
– Used to identify livestock
– It is required by law in some states, to run
livestock on federal lands
– Calves are usually branded in the spring
before they are turned out to graze
– Can be done two ways
Calf is placed on the ground
Calf is ran into a turn table chute
Cow-Calf Segment
Branding the old fashion way Westlem’
Down
Cow-Calf Segment
Calf Branding Turn Table
Cow-Calf Segment
Ear Tagging
– Tags are placed in
the ear with herd
number for
identification
Ear Tattooing
– Placed in the ear
permanent
identification
– Use a number to
be specific
Cow-Calf Segment
Weaning
– Taking the calf away from the mother and
wean it from its mothers milk
– Calves and mother are completely separated
– When calves are weaned there are several
options
Sell to the feeder segment
Sell as yearlings
Growing and finishing
Cow-Calf Segment
Weaning
– This has to be done carefully, due to the
stress on the calves they are susceptible to
sickness
Backgrounding
– Feeding the calves for a short period of time
before they move to the feedlot.
Get more weight and increase your income
Cow-Calf Segment
Advantages:
– Requires less labor then Purebred
– Lower investment in seed stock, equipment,
facilities, paper work and registration
– Good way of life
– Large amounts of land are required
– Be involves with baby calves
Cow-Calf Segment
Disadvantages:
– A large investment of land is usually required
– It is difficult to expand and reduce the herd
operation quickly
– Price that is received in based more upon the
supply and demand in the nation, rather than
the cost of production
Feeder Segment
To produce cattle for slaughter in the
shortest time possible.
Young calves are purchased from the cowcalf operation and fed out to a fat finished
weight
Some feed the feeders on pasture for
some of the time then move them to the
feedlot.
Feedlot Segment
Today's trend is moving toward a
confinement operation
What do we feed feedlot cattle?
– Feedlot cattle are fed a high protein diet of
corn, barley and soybeans along with a small
amount of roughage.
Feedlot Segment
Advantages:
– They can adjust well to changes in:
Feed supplies
Operating Costs
Labor Supply
Economical Outlook
Can expect a return on the investment in
4-6 months
Feedlot Segment
Disadvantages:
– Large enclosed facilities are required,
increased expenses
– Increased problem with disease
– Increase in transportation costs
– High risk business due to the large
fluctuations in the market
Introduction to Beef
Small-sized herds are typical for all CowCalf operations.
80% of all beef herd in the US are have
fewer then fifty head of cows
Beef Breeds
Breed:
– A race or variety, the members of which all are
related by decent or distinguishable
characteristics.
There are more than 250 breed
recognized in the world.
There is a wide variety of beef breeds to
better suit their environments.
Beef Cattle
Composite breeds:
– New breeds developed to combine desirable
characteristics
Purebred:
– Being of pure ancestry
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