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
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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
Introduction to Beef • 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 cow-calf 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 cow-calf 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 Cow-Calf 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