The Large Animal Industry. The Meat Industry. Each year the average person in this country consumes 97 pounds of beef and veal, 64 pounds of pork, and 90 pounds of poultry. The Meat Industry. Very few nations in the world even come close to us in the per capita consumption of meat.
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Each year the average person in this country consumes 97 pounds of beef and veal, 64 pounds of pork, and 90 pounds of poultry
Very few nations in the world even come close to us in the per capita consumption of meat.
Our land is well suited for the production of animals.
Americans spend a small portion of their income on food when compared with the rest of the world.
Critics say Americans are wasteful in feeding several pounds of feed to animals in return for a pound of meat. Grains fed to animals could be better used to feed people.
Producers argue that the land on which animals are grazed could be used for little else. Almost half of the land in this country is unsuitable for raising crops.
Grains used for fattening livestock are not considered good for human consumption
Agriculture animals also make use of by-products for feed.
Meat is very dense in nutrients, a pound of meat may equal or surpass the nutritive content of the feed that produced it. Meat is among the most nutritionally complete food that we eat.
Over three quarters of the cash receipts for marketing of meat animals come from the sale of beef.
The average size beef herd is around 100 head.
In the US there are over forty different breeds as well as many crosses of these breeds.
The breed produced may be selected on many different criteria:
disease resistance, heat tolerance, mothering ability, feed efficiency, size, temperament, or color.
Breeds of beef cattle are broken into three categories or groups
Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn, these were the first breeds brought into this country, they represent the largest segment of the beef industry.
Limousin, Simmental, Charolais, Chianina, desired for their size and ability to grow
Scientifically classified as Bos indicus, the most common type of Zebu is the Braham.
Other breeds developed form this line include; Brangus, Simbrah, Santa Gertrudis and Beefmaster.
Purpose is to produce seed stock cattle. These cattle are used as the dams and sires of the calves that will be grown to market weight.
Growing purebred stock allows breeders to concentrate on improving an accentuating the advantages of a particular breed.
Most calves produced are crossbreeds from purebred parents of different breeds.
Much of this industry is centered in the southern and western states, however, cow-calf operations are found all across the country.
In the west it is common to leave cows on free range-not fenced in until calving, at weaning time all stock is rounded up for the calves to be sold.
Calves are usually sold at weaning weight, around 500 pounds. Buyers prefer calves that have been castrated and vaccinated and are in good condition.
Provide a step between the weaning of calves and the finishing or fattening of the animals prior to slaughter.
Weaned calves are placed on pasture and fed a ration to allow for skeletal and muscular growth. Before calves are sold to a feedlot for finishing they must be physically mature.
Many feedlot operators are also stockers. Final phase before the animals are sent to slaughter.
Animals are fed a highly concentrated ration which is designed to put the proper amount of fat cover on the animals.
Producers usually want sufficient fat cover to allow the animals to grade low choice.
Feedlots range in size from feeding fewer than 100 head to those feeding thousands of head each year.
When animals reach the proper degree of finish, they are sold to slaughter. Usually around 18 to 24 months, weighing 800 to 1500 pounds depending on breed and body type.
At one time in this country, most people on farms raised hogs. The animals required relatively little space and fit well into most enterprises as a sideline.
Gestation period of a sow is short, several pigs are born in each litter.
Time required to build up a herd of hogs is short compared to most other agricultural animals.
Hogs were once raised to produce fat which was rendered into lard.
Lard was used in cooking and before petroleum based products was the basic ingredient in a variety of products from lubricants to cosmetics and soap
Since 1950 hogs have been produced mainly for meat. Per capita consumption of pork increased. Producers have developed hogs that are much leaner than their ancestors.
As a pork producer, the US ranks behind Asia and Europe.
Pork production and consumption rank second to beef in the US. Pork is distributed throughout the country. There are religious groups that do not eat pork.
Popular breeds of swine in the U.S. are categorized as mother or sire breeds.
Mother breeds include: Landrace and Yorkshire, sire breeds are Duroc and Hampshire.
Most hogs are crosses of the mother and sire breeds.
Farrowing- where sows give birth to litters of pigs. Sows are usually kept in farrowing crates to prevent injury to the piglets by the sow.
Finishing- taking feeder pigs to market weight.
Many producers use confinement systems. Pigs are weaned and grouped with other of the same age and size. The animals are kept in pens rather than running loose.
Hogs are marketed at about 20 weeks usually weighing 220-260 pounds.
On the average, pigs will gain one pound for every five pounds of feed consumed. This is known as the feed conversion ration.
Hogs are very susceptible to diseases, many hogs are raised in “shower in shower out” operations.
Workers and visitors must shower and put clothes provided by the producer, cuts down on transmission of diseases
Compared to beef and pork, Americans eat relatively little lamb and mutton.
Lamb refers to meat from a sheep that is less than one year old.
Large cities along the eastern seaboard, account for almost half of the lamb consumed.
Per capita consumption of lamb is only about 2 1/2 pounds. 96% of this consumption is lamb.
Americans have not developed a taste for the strong taste of mutton.
Most lamb and mutton are raised in the midwest. South Dakota ranks fifth in lamb and mutton production.
Breeds of sheep are broken down into categories according to the type of wool the animals grow.
Medium wool types, including Suffolk, Hampshire, Dorset and South Down are commonly used to produce slaughter lambs
Predators are a major problem facing producers.
Coyotes and wild dogs kill many sheep each year.
Some producers report losing 29% of their lamb crop to predators each year.
Wool is one of the oldest known fibers used for clothing.
use recorded by ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Hebrews.
late 1800’s cotton production began to overtake wool as the primary clothing fiber.
Wool fibers are made up of two distinct layers of cells: the cuticle on the outside and the cortex on the inside.
Wool is graded according to the diameter of the fiber. Fine diameter wools are the highest grade.
When wool is cleaned, oils are extracted from it, these oils are called lanolin. Lanolin is used in many soaps and lotions
Mohair is the fiber fleece from Angora goats. This fiber is used to make a fabric that resists wrinkles.
First source of power. Used for work, transportation and war throughout recorded history.
The numbers of horses and mules in the U.S. grew until the 1920’s when the car, truck and tractor caused a sharp decline in their numbers.
Numbers continued to decline until the 1960’s. Since then, numbers have increased dramatically.
Horses are categorized into three categories: light horse, draft horse and pony.
light horses weigh over 900-1400 pounds.
This group is further divided into groups according to use.
Gaited saddle horses, driving horses, stock horses, and racehorses.
Ponies range in weight from 500-900 pounds. They may also be defined by height at the withers being shorter than 54 to 56 inches depending on the breed.
Draft horses weigh more than 1400 pounds.
They are used for pulling heavy loads and are seen in pulling competitions and parades.
There are more registered Quarter horses than any other breed in the US, Arabians rank second.
The mule has its own place in the history of America.
Around the Revolutionary War, mules began to be bred to work on farms and plantations.
Particularly popular in the South, because they adapted well to working in hot humid weather
Mules are a true hybrid, a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. Because of this, mules are usually sterile and cannot reproduce.
Mules are more surefooted in rocky or hilly terrain. They are used to take tourists through the Grand Canyon. Mules will seldom overeat as horses will.