Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:19 AM
Cattle farmer Bryce Oxford recently offered his top tips on how to raise beef cattle for beginners.
OAK HARBOR, WA / SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 / Beef cattle can be an excellent addition to any farm, large or small. They convert your unwanted plants or lush grass into top-quality beef with which you can fill your freezer. However, raising beef cattle means you need to select the most ideal cows, feed them properly, and care for all of their needs. Cattle farmer Bryce Oxford recently provided his top tips on raising beef cattle for beginners.
“One of the most important parts of raising beef cattle begins before you even bring them home,” Bryce Oxford said. “You need to have the proper facilities, which include a spacious grazing area, shelter, and a strong corral.”
Bryce Oxford explained that choosing the correct beef cattle is also an essential part of the process. Look for cattle with bright, clear eyes and an alert demeanor. Coughing is a sign of an unhealthy beef cow as well as a body that appears hollow instead of rounded. Bryce Oxford emphasized the importance of not purchasing beef cattle with swollen joints or mucus coming out of the nose. Some illnesses from unhealthy cattle can be transferred to humans.
“Be prepared for big eaters,” Bryce Oxford said. “Beef cattle eat a lot of dry feed, which usually equals about 3 percent of their body weight per day. You must be prepared to purchase a lot of hay or have a lot of pasture room for them to graze.”
Bryce Oxford added that veterinarians specialized in farm animals can help you determine what’s required to keep your beef cattle healthy. Sometimes, these animals will need supplements to put on more fat or meet other nutritional needs while lactating. Vitamins and nutrients can be mixed into the feed to promote superior health. Bryce Oxford emphasized the importance of never feeding your beef cattle hay or grain that is moldy or has been soiled.
“Maintaining a good relationship with your veterinarian is essential when raising beef cattle,” Bryce Oxford said. “They’ll help you create a schedule for vaccinations, monitor vital signs when needed, and can determine if your cows have an illness before it’s too late.”
Bryce Oxford finished by explaining that creating a stress-free environment for your beef cattle is one of the top ways to ensure they are happy and healthy. Stress can make beef cattle more likely to experience injuries or illness, so it’s important to always handle them in a calm and stress-free manner. This includes loading and unloading them in a patient manner, moving them from pasture to pasture calmly.
Adding beef cattle to your farm may be one of the best decisions you make, especially when it comes time to fill your refrigerator with delicious beef. Keep your cattle calm, well-feed, and healthy, and you’ll realize these animals are well worth the work.