Raising Cows On The Farm
A brief description of raising cows on the farm.
Whether you raise cattle on your farm to make a living or for a hobby there is a lot you need to know. Raising cattle does not require as much effort as raising other livestock, but there is things you need to know. I have been raising cattle on my farm for many years and here are a few pointers to help you out.
When you decide you want to start raising cattle you need to ask yourself a few questions.
What kind of cattle am I going to raise?
There is many different breeds and types of cattle. I personally recommend the black angus. They bring more when you sell and are easier to maintain.
What kind of land and fence do I need?
Cattle require at least 1 to 1 1/2 acres each of good pasture. They also need a very sturdy fence to hold them in. I use a five strand barb wire fence with a row of electric fence in the middle. This keeps the cattle where you want them.
Now that we have taken care of two of the biggest steps it is time to start talking about caring for the cattle. You need to keep a source of clean, fresh water for the cattle. They drink gallons a day, so if you have a lot you need something that will hold a sufficient amount. During the spring and summer the cattle graze mostly on the pasture. They will need some sort of supplement to go along with it. I also keep a mineral salt block in the pasture and a medicated worming block. The cattle need these items. I also spray the cattle at least every other week during the summer months. The spray needs to be a combination of one that keeps insects off them, and one that kills parasites.
The winter months are the hardest times for raising cattle. You need to keep hay present for them at all times. I also feed them crushed corn and supplement to complete their diet. I also have to give them an assortment of shots if they become sick. You also have to keep their water from freezing. Each cow will eat at least 15 pounds of hay a day so it takes quite a lot of hay. So be prepared and buy it in advance during the summer months when everyone is cutting it.
You also need to keep check on your cows that are about to calve. Sometimes they will have problems with delivery. Most of the time thay don't but sometimes there is things that do happen. One of the most common is having to assist in pulling the calf. Also there is breech births sometimes. Once the calve is born I try to give it all of its shots as soon as possible. You also need to keep a eye on the calf to make sure it is getting plenty of milk from it's mother. On rare occasions they don't and you might have to bottle feed the calf.
It is a job to raise cattle. Your reward from all of your hard work comes when you carry a load of calves off to the sell barn and get that big check. If you keep a good operation and keep your expenses to a minimum, there is good profits to be made raising cattle.