Beef Management

Beef Cattle Management
Seedstock Producers
• cow-calf producers which produce breeding stock for purebred or
commercial operations
Cow/Calf Operations
• generally use purebred breeding stock in crossbreeding programs to
produce commercial offspring
Stocker Operations
• purchase weanling calves from cow/calf producers and feed them
out on pasture land
• a segment of the beef cattle industry whose sole purpose is to feed
and fatten cattle
Beef Packers
• harvest finished cattle which are purchased from feedlots and other
• Truly the final segment of the beef industry. Why we do it!
Cattle are ruminant animals (have a 4 compartment stomach).
Because of this they need to feed on roughages (high in fiber)
as well as some concentrates (feed high in energy and low
in fiber)
The mixture of this feedstuff given in a 24 hour period that
provides a balanced diet containing high amounts of energy
and protein needed for optimum growth of the animal is
called a ration.
The science that deals with the feed and their effects on
health is called Nutrition.
Understanding the behavior of an animal is very
One of the most important things to know is the
“Flight Zone” which is the cattle’s safety zone.
Two functions of a beef facility should be to
1. Safety
2. Ease to people and safety and control of
• Avoid sudden movements
• Keep calm and relaxed around cattle
• Refer to Temple Grandin’s methods of animal
Providing a Proper Facility
• Confined
-Avoid square corners in alleys or corrals. The shadowing
may scare cattle
• Unconfined
-Depending upon the pasture and the type of cattle
operation, a pasture can be fenced with electric wire,
barbed wire, or solid fencing.
-Must be provided with mineral supplement.
-Pasture poisoning consists of magnesium deficiency
Weight Loss
-Internal parasites adhere to the wall of the
intestines and use nutrients that would
otherwise be used by the animal
-Inadequate nutrition
Selecting an Animals
There are a number of reasons you would “select an
animal”. The two most significant reasons are:
1. Culling (selecting for breeding stock)
2. Market (selecting for future meat)
• This selection process may use the Body Condition
Score (a number which describes the level of flesh or
fat an animal possesses: best is five)
• Or for culling you may use the Expected Progeny
Differences (EPD) (a number estimate of breeding
potential for characteristics such as gain, muscling and
maternal and carcass traits)
If a male animal is to be used for breeding you
would keep that animal “intact”
If a male animal is to be used for meat you would
castrate that animal or remove their testicles.
Soundness (structural correctness) is a top priority
in evaluating breeding cattle as it is essential for
their survival in grazing conditions.
Preparing Female
• When preparing the female you need to be
prepared or knowledgeable about estrus,
which is defined as a regularly occurring state
of sexual receptivity during which the female
will accept the male and is when ovulation
takes place.
Also known are “Standing Heat”
Happens every 21 days for 3 days.
Signs of Estrus:
- Enlarged Vulva
- Standing for mount
- Mucus discharge
- Restlessness
- Rubbed tail
- Decreased feed intake
Selling Breeding Seed
Embryo transfer- where the eggs of a superior
donor cow are flushed and collected, fertilized
and placed in another cow.
Semen Collection- semen is collected in order to
perform artificial insemination, where the
semen is placed in the cow to impregnate her
• This is defined as the period of pregnancy in
animals, or the time from conception to birth.
• Cattle gestation periods last 285 days.
• At the end of gestation is Parturition which is the
process of giving birth.
• This is an important time in order to avoid
Dystocia (trouble giving birth)
Calf Nutrition
When the calf is born it is important that they
receive colostrum with in first hours of live.
Colostrum is filled with antibodies from the cow,
and paves the road for the future health,
immunity and survival of the calf
Calves should be vaccinated against bacterial
diseases known as clostridial diseases at two to
four months of age, then receive a booster shot
at weaning (8-10 months old)
• Identification
– Ear tags
– Tattoo
– Brand
• Dehorning
– Horns are a defense mechanism for cattle. Dehorning may
be safer for handlers.
• Implants
– Slow releases pellet which are inserted under the skin, in
the ear, and contain protein anabolic steroids
• Solid Manure is disposed of by applying the
manure to the land for fertilization.
• Runoff is collected in holding ponds
• Dust is controlled in feedlots by watering
feedlots surfaces.
• Mounds are provided in feedlots pens to
provide a dry place for cattle to stand, help
improve drainage, provide a windbreak

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