Beef Cattle Science and Management - Lehi FFA

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					Beef Cattle Science and

      Animal Science

       Mr. Bushman
       Introduction to Beef
The cow-calf industry invests $180 billion
dollars into the national economy each
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
           Introduction to Beef
 Most of the beef eaten in the US comes from
 domestic production
 Region/State % of U.S. Beef    Region/State % of U.S. Beef
         Cow Herd                       Cow Herd
Pacific Coast                  Intermountain West
    Washington    .86              Montana     4.58
    Oregon       1.82              Idaho       1.45
    California   2.40              Wyoming     2.39
    Total        5.08              Utah        1.01
                                   Colorado    2.42
                                   Arizona      .64
                                   Nevada       .71
                                   New Mexico 1.52
                                   Total      14.71
            Introduction to Beef
  Region/State % of U.S. Beef     Region/State % of U.S. Beef
          Cow Herd                        Cow Herd

Western Midwest                 Eastern Midwest
   North Dakota 2.59               Minnesota      1.19
   South Dakota 4.63               Iowa           2.85
   Nebraska     5.73               Wisconsin       .59
   Kansas       4.33               Michigan        .35
   Oklahoma     5.83               Illinois       1.41
   Texas       16.38                Missouri      5.91
   Total        39.5               Indiana         .89
                                   Ohio            .98
                                    Total         14.2
             Introduction to Beef
  Region/State % of U.S. Beef     Region/State % of U.S. Beef
          Cow Herd                        Cow Herd
Southeast                       New England
   Arkansas       2.72             Maine          .05
   Louisiana      1.63             Vermont        .04
   Mississippi    1.98             New Hampshire.006
   Kentucky       3.38             Massachusetts .02
   Tennessee      3.22             Rhode Island .004
   Alabama        2.44             Connecticut .015
   Georgia        2.05             New Jersey     .04
   Florida        3.00             New York       .21
   South Carolina .74              Pennsylvania .51
   North Carolina 1.41             Delaware     .009
   Virginia       2.14             Maryland       .16
   West Virginia .57
   Total          25.3             Total          1.1
            Introduction to Beef
Region/State % of U.S. Beef   Region/State % of U.S. Beef
Cow Herd                      Cow Herd
Alaska         .012           Hawaii            .24

  The largest percent of beef cows produced
  is in the Western Midwest states, with
  39.5% of the 33.7 million beef cows being
  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
– 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
– Involved with perfecting the genetics and traits
  of a particular breed
– Stock usually will sell for a higher dollar

– 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
– Pasture
– Hay
– Silage
– Straw
– Corncobs
– And Alfalfa, being the most common
       Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
    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

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
    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
– Young and never
  had a calf
Pregnant Cow
– In gestation
– Lactating
       Cow-Calf Segment
During the summer months cattle are
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
       Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
– 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
– $$$$ 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
– Spring Calves are born in November, so they
  would be bred in March (Not Common)
        Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
– 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
– 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
– Bred not to have horns
        Cow-Calf Segment
– Should be dehorned at a young age
– Should dehorn in the late fall, winter or early
    Less problems with heat and flies
– Horn is removed using dehorner
       Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
    Polled Hereford
        Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
Ear Tattooing
– Placed in the ear
– Use a number to
  be specific
       Cow-Calf Segment
– 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
    Sell to the feeder segment
    Sell as yearlings
    Growing and finishing
       Cow-Calf Segment
– This has to be done carefully, due to the
  stress on the calves they are susceptible to
– 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
– 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
– 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
Some feed the feeders on pasture for
some of the time then move them to the
         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
– 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
– 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
– A race or variety, the members of which all
  are related by decent or distinguishable
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
– Being of pure ancestry

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