With the rise of environment awareness, sustainable Angus cattle farming are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, farmers are finding it more lucrative than other methods. In fact, you can greatly reduce your costs by raising grass fed beef.
Current research shows that raising grass fed beef cattle that is correctly pastured can yield a lot more meat. In fact, beef cattle that are grass fed can yield up to 90 kilograms (200 pounds) or more. Moreover, the beef cattle cost less to raise and have less fat than commercial grain fed beef cattle.
Starting with the Pasture
You can start raising your beef cattle more sustainably by increasing your knowledge about pasture. Generally, your hay will be comprised of locally favored forage. In South West Victoria (Lower), the most common pastures for cattle are perennial ryegrass or phalaris with subterranean clover. In Alberta, a common mix is brome (bromus) and alfalfa.
Even so, regardless of the grain you choose for your pasture, there are certain criteria for growing feed for your beef cattle. Moreover, there are certain tricks of the trade that can be beneficial:
Combine grass and legumes – Compared to grass, legumes are much richer in calcium, protein and magnesium. Legumes also have a longer root system with helps prevent the field from becoming sodbound.
Prevent bloating – grass that is planted with legumes can reduce the risk of bloating that can be caused from the legumes.
Mixed feed preference – like humans, cattle prefer a variety of food. Mixed feed will keep your beef cattle happier and healthier. Also, there is no need to worry about weeds; the cattle will enjoy the variety.
Remove toxic plants – get rid of all toxic and poisonous species that can harm your cattle. Prime examples include deadly nightshade, nettles, some mushrooms, pigweed, jimson weed, hemlock and many others. If you are unsure if a plant is toxic, take it to a specialist to be identified.
Rotating – to benefit both the land and the cattle, make sure to rotate the grazing. The pasture crop can be safely eaten down to about two inches then it is time to rotate the cattle. Your trimmed pasture will recover. Although the growth may be slow, the pasture crop will grow back even fuller.
In order to rotate your cattle for feeding, a fence is needed. Unfortunately, fencing can be costly. However, a more cost effective solution is to have a mobile electric fence that can be moved up and down the field.
Summer feeding is rather easy. Winter feeding is more of a challenge. Generally, cattle graze on hay for the winter. However, there is some planning needed. For instance, steers and calves of different weights, young calves and older cattle all require a different eating regime and calibrated rations. Since the weather is colder, cattle will actually need more food. A good rule of thumb for feeding in the winter months is a pound-a-day increase during the first winter and about 0.8 to 0.9 pound per day for the second winter.
Also, beef cattle require a good supply of vitamin A. Dark green pasture provides plenty of vitamin A in the summer months. However, supplements are recommended in the winter. Generally, the supplements can be found at a feed store. The container will also have instructions for dosage.
The effects of seasonal changes in cattle breeding are tremendous and sometimes controversial. In fact, many ranchers spend a great deal of energy on deciphering the weather and markets for the season.
Unfortunately, none of the worrying and contemplating helps the matter in the slightest. In fact, the situation is actually out of everyone’s control. However, focusing on issues that can be managed is a lot more productive and stress free. In reality, the things that can be managed can essentially help you achieve the goals of your cattle business.
At What Time
Selecting the perfect time of year to calve is always a huge decision. The most common time of year is in the early spring from February to March. Generally, calves born in February are heftier and older when weaned in October when compared to calves born later. However, when early calves are born the cows start lactating while they are still feeding on hay.
Calves born in in the fall during the months of September through October are also a popular time of the year. Some of the benefits include greater calf prices in the spring, decreased calf deaths and fewer calving difficulties. The drawback for fall calving is that the herd requires either better management or more feed than a spring calving herd.
One of the best ways to determine a suitable calving season is by your forage base. The forage base affects the quantity of required supplements you buy for the herd. There are also other factors to keep in mind such as total labor costs, market seasons, weather fluctuations and patterns during breeding, calving and weaning.
Amount of Time
A major consideration is the length of the calving season. To achieve optimum conception rates, many ranchers utilize a long calving season that is 120 days or more. A short calving season is considered to be 90 days or less. It allows a rancher or producer to apply certain management practices like a specialized nutrition program, a more in depth health plan, tactical marketing of larger, attention to labor and undeviating calf crops.
Finding the right balance is the key. Beings that there are many variables like geographic location and cattle type, the solution is not the same for everyone. However, recent studies suggest that a 70-day calving season offered a much better balance than either a 120 day or a 45 day calving season.
As of late, Angus beef has been gaining a lot of attention in the markets and media. So much so that many are asking “What Makes Angus Beef Delicious?” For the most part, many just go to the grocers and buy beef without thinking about the grade or type. In fact, very few know the difference between Angus and beef with no marbling.
Angus is a cattle breed. It is not the quality of beef nor does 100% Angus mean that it is organic and natural. Angus cattle are a particular breed that is indigenous Scotland. The breed dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. Early in development was in 1808, by Hugh Watson in Keillor, Scotland. Watson felt that black is the proper color of the breed. He gathered stock and produced cattle of exceptional character and quality. In fact, Watson is considered the founder of the high quality breed of Angus you see today.
In the 1870’s, Angus cattle were brought to the US. And only 10 years later in the 1880’s the American Angus Association was established.
All beef is graded for its wholesomeness, consistency and quality. Most everyone has heard of the different grades such as Select, Prime and Choice. Prime grade is at the top of the scale of quality.
Marbling also plays a big factor in the grades quality. It is in reference to the tiny white flecks in beef. Marbling is also the key to beefs flavor. In fact, the greater amount of marbling, the higher the quality of beef. And if a cut is Certified Angus Beef, then you know it is top quality. Truthfully, the beef with be full bodied in flavor, extremely tender and contain a lot of juice making it very moist. This is because Angus beef contains a lot of marbling.
Certified Angus Beef
The standards for certified Angus beef were not established until 1978. It was developed so that the Angus Beef label would show the specifics of marbling, age, color, quality and tenderness. There are also different labels and categories for Angus beef quality which is comprised of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards. For example, the labels include Prime, Select and Choice, Prime being the highest quality meat. So if you want the best of the best, an excellent choice would be Certified Angus Prime. In fact, Certified Angus Prime has all the quality of delicious beef; choice cut and grade, perfect marbling and a history of detailed quality breeding.
There are numerous products that come from cattle, such as milk, meat, dairy, and leather, however, the quality of these are ultimately reflective of the quality of the breed of cattle. Anyone venturing into farming and cattle breeding as a business will quickly learn that good genes is paramount for successfully breeding, and that directly equates to quality products that will generate the most profit.
The importance of genes in cattle breeding for business shouldn’t be underestimated because it directly reflects on the health and quality of a herd, and, in farming and cattle breeding, for dairy and meat purposes, it means ‘everything’.
The Importance of Genes in Cattle Breeding and Farming
Running a successful farm that raises cattle requires that adequate shelter, water and feed be provided, to maintain a healthy herd. Although, without good line breeding a herd will have an imbalance in the quality of cattle. Good genes ensures that cattle breeders and farms have a healthy balanced of cattle that produces consistent offspring, unlike cattle owners who regularly introduce different genes into their herds.
Constantly introducing new genes to a herd causes inconsistent offspring and an imbalance health level among cattle, which equates to uncertain prices at the market. The ultimate goal for farmers is to raise highly profitable animals that reproduce the same quality offspring. Basically, strong line breeding concentrates the genetics of animals, making them stronger, more resistant to disease, and more adaptable to their environment.
For those starting a new herd, finding the right breed of cattle is paramount for future success in the cattle breeding and farming business, finding the right breed that will best meet one’s need is the next step. Thankfully, quality seed stock is available, along with years of experience and knowledge in cattle breeding and farming, at Southfork Angus, on the Morning Peninsula.
Southfork Angus is Home of Quality Seed Stock on the Morning Peninsula
Who doesn’t want functional cattle that are adaptable to various environments, and that produce hardy offspring as a result of strong genes? It’s every farmer’s dream to have cattle that are quite tempered, highly fertile, easy to handle, and highly profitable. And, that is just what you will find here at Southfork Angus.
Breeding Angus cattle entails a wide range of variables that includes producing offspring that are largely used for marketing beef. The underlying principle is about being successful in breeding cows to sell as beef or replacements.
The process of breeding Angus cattle may sound simple, but there is a lot involved and a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. Initially you begin by starting a beef cow-calf operation. That requires a ranch or farm where you have bulls and cows that breed to produce calves.
As a rule, most rookies begin as commercial cattlemen to attain the experience in selecting cows and bulls, calving, weaning, culling, marketing and replacing heifers. After a rookie gains experience then he or she goes into raising purebreds or doing seedstock.
Selecting Your Herd
Buy high quality cattle that meet or exceed your standards for good breeding. Select you own bull so that you can improve your herd. Remember, the bulls genetics will pass onto at least half of you calf crop. In addition, know the meaning of conformation so that you are able to determine how good of a bull you will need.
Select a Breeding Program
There are basically two types of breeding programs. A well, parts of both programs can be combined to fit your needs.
Small Herd – If you have to small of a herd to have a bull then artificial insemination (AI) is likely your best option for breeding your herd.
Large Herd – If you have 10 or more cattle and AI is not something you want to do, then it is best to get a herd bull. Generally, you will need 1 bull per 25 cows. However, high fertility bulls with a big libido are able to service 50 cows with no lowering of conception rates. Typically, bulls reach peak fertility when they are 20 months of age. After that, a bull’s fertility can drop due to injury or injury. However, with a healthy diet, a bull’s fertility will not decline until the ag of 6 or 7.
Breeding Your Cattle
It is imperative that you know when your cows go into estrus, which is a cyclical period of sexual receptivity and fertility. Once you know when your cows are ready to breed then you can administer your breeding program.
However, if you have a herd bull then you do not need to know when your cows go into heat. But you do need to know when they breed so you have accurate records.
If you are artificially inseminating your cows and heifers, make sure you how to do it and when to AI your bovine females. You can also hire a professional if you are not comfortable doing AI.
It is important to monitor your cows and bulls during the breeding season. If you have numerous bulls then you may have some trouble with them fighting over females. A few rules of thumb:
You can run bulls under age 4 with older bulls to prevent the cattle from being serviced by the bull with the highest fertility. Otherwise, you may have a bull that gets injured, has a broken penis or does not get the job completed.
If you notice crooked tails or you see tails sticking out when the cattle walk, then the most likely have been bred within the last 24 to 48 hours of noticing.
Remove the bulls after 64 to 85 days from the time they were put in. but if you choose to have year round breeding and calving, pull the bulls out after 2-3 months. This gives all the cattle 3 to 4 opportunities of being covered.
Regardless if you are a veteran or novice, there is more than one way to raise cattle. Quite frankly, there are many variables such as the breed, class and type along with how the cattle are raised. For example, dairy cows are raised differently than beef cows. Dairy cows require maximum management and care and generally plus there are no calves to raise. Whereas, beef cattle are raised to live with minimal management that are bred to raise a calf that will most likely be sold for beef. And when compared to dairy cattle, there are more types of beef cattle that you can raise
In order to know what breed of cattle you should invest in, you will have to do a little research. First off, decide on the type of breeds that you want. Make sure to stay in accordance to your goals for the ranch or farm. Never make a decision based on work load or what you like or favor.
Raising dairy cattle is a lot more time intense and costly than raising beef cattle. For example, there is more of an investment in equipment plus more government regulations. Work involves milking and feeding two times a day and seven days a week.
But the most importance rule of thumb is to always select the very best animals you can find. This includes cattle breed and health. A healthy cow will have a shiny coat, bright and clear eyes, a moist and clean muzzle and no cuts, lumps or limps.
If you are not familiar with dairy cattle, it is best to talk to an experienced herder who can give you some tips. Avoid taking advice from a person trying to sell you cattle. You can also learn quite a bit about cattle at a fair or show. Generally the judge of these shows will know quite a bit about cattle including their breed and health. Generally, the best and most popular breeds for dairy are Guernseys, Jersey, Holstein and Brown Swiss. And if you live outside the United States, Ayrshires are a popular choice. Also keep in mind that dairy cattle look a lot different than beef cattle. A healthy milk cow will seem bony and have prominent hip bones and shoulder tops. Typically, the ribs will show and the chest and belly will be large. However the ribs should never stick out.
Another factor to consider before buy dairy cattle, are the udders. You need to know how to identify a quality and producing udder. Generally, the larger the udders the better. Equally, the udder should not be hanging loosely and wavering like a pendulum.
Raising beef cattle for profit or your own beef production can be a satisfying venture. On the other hand, there are many management skills needed in order to be successful. Moreover, every beef cattle endeavor has different resources like feed, labor, land, management and capitol. And for maximize returns, proper management is essential.
For the best beef production, begin with a breed that is not labor intense and is known for having a good temperament. Some of the most passive and low maintenance breeds are Shorthorns, Herefords, British White, Galloways and Red Polls. However, it is advisable that you do some research before deciding on a breed. The best resources are books and magazines. The Internet also has some great information. In addition, you can visit your local college or university and talk to a few experts.
Today, cattle farming is considered a profitable and enjoyable venture. For instance, there are numerous products that are derived from cattle such as meat, dairy, milk, leather and fuel from the manure. As well, raising cattle is considered a hobby for many entrepreneurs. But before starting a cattle farm business, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.
The main requirement for cattle farming is the farm land. Appropriate land includes enough acreage for the cattle to roam and graze freely. Depending on the number of cattle you farm, one to two acres will generally suffice for a small farm.
As well, a few trees on the property are very beneficial so that your cattle has some shade in the summer when temperatures get hot.
It is also important that the acreage is fenced. Otherwise, your cattle will roam or get lost. Basic barbwire or wood fencing is all that is typically needed. Just make sure to do some research about livestock fencing before you start building. That way you are ensured that finances are not squandered.
Buying the Right Breed of Cattle
There are innumerable breeds of cattle available on the market. And choosing the right breed for your business is directly connected to the success of your company. In fact, there are breeds for about every type of endeavor you desire such as breeds for collecting dairy products or breeds for just meat. For the production of meat, the Angus cattle breed and other breeds like Herefords, British Whites, Red Polls and Shorthorns. In fact, Angus beef is known to be one of the most profitable due to the superior beef quality and attractive marbled appearance. As well, Angus beef is the most common in the United States. The Angus cattle breed is also a good choice for crossbreeding. This is because it reduces the probability of difficult calving (dystocia). As well, the Angus cattle breed has a dominant polled gene thus generating polled calves.
For dairy production, popular breeds include Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss.
In addition, make sure that the cattle you buy are of good quality and are healthy. Plus, never buy a sickly cow.
In order to properly raise cattle, there are certain necessities that are vital such as water, feed and proper shelter. Although you do not need to spend a fortune on a barn, your cattle need at least a simple enclosure to keep them from the elements. You can invest into a more elaborate barn once your business gets off the ground.
Water also needs to be present at all times. In truth, a single cow requires as much as 12 gallons of water a day. And as far as feed, it varies for each breed. For instance, beef cattle require a lot different feed than dairy cattle.
Aside from shelter, feed and water; your cattle will need veterinary support and possible medications so that they stay healthy. Plus, healthy cattle ensure that you have a good return on your investment.
When first starting in the business of cattle farming, it is difficult to select the breed of cattle to purchase since such a large number of breeds are available for your consideration. Think long and hard before investing your money in any breed of cattle to ensure that your efforts are profitable. To begin your search for your answer on this issue, we offer you a list of reasons why the Angus cattle breed is the one for you.
Angus females or cows reach fertility early and maintain it even into the late stages of their lives. Even under less than desirable conditions, they can produce calves. In addition, they are ideal mothers who nurture their calves with love, milk, attention and protection.
On top of being excellent breeders, Angus cows and bulls are hardy animals with little if any health problems. These cattle can survive wet, dry, cold and hot conditions. Cows stay healthy and strong throughout these various conditions to continue to tend their calves until they are old enough to wean. Bulls and cows will forage effectively even on steep hillsides when necessary.
Produce Quality Meat
Angus always produce high-quality meat consistently since they develop intra-muscular fat marbling as they reach butchering age. This helps produce a tender, flavourful product with ideal colouring.
High Market Value and Demand
Sides of Angus beef bring in high prices at market, which helps you receive a profitable return on your original investment. In addition, since the meat is flavourful and tender, there is a large demand for it with butcheries, marketplaces and restaurants.
Documented Gene Background
The gene pool of Angus cows and bulls are well documented in order to provide you with a family history of their health. You will discover that this is a valuable asset in cattle farming to ensure that you purchase only the strongest of stock for your farm.
Ideal for Milk Cows
Angus cows are ideal milk cows in case you have an interest in dairy production rather than meat production. They have a shorter gestation period for calving on average than many other breeds do, which is effective for maximising the output of milk.
For further information on the benefits of the Angus cattle breed, consult with Southfork Angus. We breed functional, highly versatile cows and bulls that are capable of adapting to a wide assortment of environments. Our company guarantees that our Angus cattle are reliable, easy to handle, healthy and reliably fertile.
Cattle farming is a challenging venture that can lead to profitable results when you learn the right skills to perform it in the proper manner. In Australia, beef production is a highly competitive business that has adopted new methods over the years to address the fact that consumers now desire their beef to be chemical-free and raised using humane practices. Learn the following list of the important aspects of this business that all cattle farmers should keep in mind to make the venture a success.
List of Important Aspects
2. Soil and pasture management work together to produce the ideal grazing for cattle. At times, you need to place the condition of your pasture above the needs of your cattle to improve its condition. The trick is to learn sustainable practices to cultivate pasture lands through both rainy and dry seasons in the right manner to offer adequate grazing for your cattle on an ongoing basis.
3. Water management is crucial with cattle farming. The recommendation is to water cattle through the use of troughs instead of allowing the cattle access to the local waterways to prevent contact with water that may suffer from contamination or other issues.
4. Efficient use of supplies and fuel cuts down on waste and the expense of purchasing these elements. This includes everything from supplies to care for the pasture to the fuel to run tractors and other equipment.
5. Constant monitoring of the health of the cattle as well as the size of the herd helps to maximise your beef production. In addition, you must watch over the financial status of the business to ensure that you bring in sufficient revenue in to keep the venture profitable.
6. Basic business management skills also will help you understand the financial, purchasing, marketing and sales part of cattle farming. The successful beef producers understand the importance of these skills and increase their knowledge as much as possible in all these areas.
Of course, the above are just a sampling of the important aspects that cattle farmers need to think about with cattle farming. For further information, contact Southfork Angus at your convenience. We provide quality seed stock for the Mornington Peninsula and surrounding areas.
In the United Kingdom, there are three distinct breeds of polled cattle; the Red Polled Norfolk and Suffolk breed that is found in England, the Galloway and the Aberdeen-Angus. Though, polled bulls and cows seemingly existed in Scotland before recorded history. Actually, prehistoric carvings of Aberdeen and Angus cattle have been found in many Scotland caves. As well, historians have found evidence of the hornless cattle in Siberia that date back a few centuries before the creation of the Angus petroglyphs. A hornless race of cattle was also illustrated in ancient Egypt by painters and sculptors. And as history portrays, Scottish breeds arose from the aboriginal cattle of the country. Today, the cattle breeds are indigenous to the districts from where they are found.
Bulls and cows of the Aberdeen-Angus breed are said to be superior to other breeds. This is because they are from purer stock. Although, little is known about the breeds’ early origin, it is believed that the perfection of the original stock started in the later years of the 18th century. Moreover, there are recordings of Aberdeen-Angus cattle dating back to 16th century and earlier.
Northern Scotland – bulls and cows were not of uniform color but had broken color patterns or varied color markings. Few cattle had horns but many were polled. Those that were polled were referred to as homyl, humlies and humble. Angus doddies or hornless cattle in Aberdeenshire and Angus, were also a familiar title for hornless cattle before the 1800s.
High regarded Characteristics
The Aberdeen-Angus breed have been so distinguished that even a herd book was created in 1862. In addition, the society was formed in 1879. By the mid-20th century, Angus cattle had become commonplace throughout the British Isles. However, the breed gained widespread recognition in the mid-18th century.
Because of the Aberdeen-Angus native environment, the cattle are extremely hardy and can survive the typical harsh winters of Scotland. The cows generally weigh 1,210 lbs. (550 kilograms) and the bulls weigh 1,870 lbs. (850 kilograms).
Calves are frequently born smaller than the average market weight. So in order for veal production, crossbreeding with dairy cattle is necessary. Also, Aberdeen-Angus cows are naturally polled and are black in color. Moreover, compared to other breeds, the Angus matures much earlier.
Another strain of cattle is the Red Angus which emerged in the mid-20th century. In actuality, there is genetic difference between red and black Angus, aside from their colour genes. However, the breeds in the United States are different.
Angus cattle are also very muscular and are viewed as medium-sized. The leading use of Angus-Aberdeen cattle is for beef consumption and production. In fact, the beef is considered superior to other types of beef due to its marbling qualities. Indeed, the marbling qualities make is quite popular in many countries, even Japan and throughout the UK and Australia.
Aberdeen-Angus cattle are also used in crossbreeding in order to decrease the chance of dystocia (difficult calving). As well, crossbreeding the Angus is popular because of their dominant polled gene. Also, crossbreeding is used to create polled calves.