There is something romantic about the idea of owning a large herd of cattle. Seeing yourself living off livestock you raised seems ideal. However, cattle farming for beginners is not for the faint of heart.
Before you buy your first head of cattle, research needs to be done to have a raise cattle and a happy herd. At New Heritage Feed Company, we believe in providing education and good feed for farmers and their animals.
Visit us at our site for information on chemical-free wholesome feed for your herd. We care about your livestock and look forward to serving you and your farm animal friends, whether that’s in your backyard or a commercial farm.
Cattle Farming for Beginners: Lay of the Land
A fundamental need for such large animals is space to roam. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) recommends 1.5 to 2 acres per cow and calf pair to eat for a year. That acre should consist of grass that has the right nutrients for your cattle to feed on.
Also recommended is before purchasing any cattle to do a soil sample. This will tell you the quality of the land and if there are missing minerals in your grass. The correct seed should be planted to prevent that loss.
Once your pasture has premium nutrient-rich grass, it is time to maintain it. Grazing from your herd alone will not help to keep the field in good condition. The land must be mowed and monitored for bare spots or mud pits.
You are making sure that the fencing keeping your cattle on their own pasture. It should be up to date; if it is not, your cattle can and will break through and wander to land that is not for them.
If you do not provide a big enough pasture to roam and graze, they will run out of food. Having feed alone will not be sufficient, even if it is our healthy and natural feed.
Don’t forget the importance of a water source to keep your cattle hydrated with clean water.
Such maintenance will ensure that your herd is fed, safe, and happy. Accompanied by our organic feed, your cattle’s diet will be ideal for them.
Next Steps: Start Small
Once your land is ready for cattle, it is time to begin shopping. The ideal cattle to start with would be a “3-in-1” cow package. This refers to a pregnant two to five-year-old cow accompanied by a healthy calf. So you have two healthy head with one on the way.
The pregnant one will provide milk and care for both calves, making your job just a little bit easier.
When you’re talking cattle farming for beginners, patience is a virtue. Be patient when you’re shopping for cattle. The cattle purchase is an investment in your farm and a living animal that should have its needs met.
Grade cows make for great starter cattle. They cost less money than high-quality cows and will take less capital to purchase. The other plus in that purchase is that you may breed your cows up through high-quality bulls.
What is a grade cow, you may ask? It is a system of classification that the USDA uses to tell the muscle structure of a bovine. It also takes into account the animal’s fat as well.
If a mistake is made with the grade quality cattle, it is also a less costly mistake.
A way to keep your cattle comfortable during transport to their new home or other places is with wet sand. A few inches in the bottom of the trailer will offer some cushion for them. In hotter months, the sand is cooling.
When looking to grow your herd, you can bring in a bull if you do not have one or use artificial insemination. Either technique is essential in raising livestock. It should be noted, though, that prices are based per cow.
Artificial insemination is a way to bring quality into your herd and sell bull sperm to farmers.
While we’re on the less pleasant aspects of cattle farming for beginners, let’s talk culling.
If you are looking to maintain or lower the numbers of your cattle, culling may be a part of that. Culling is the practice of lowering the amount of whatever animal you have. In other words, harvesting.
This can be through selling, hunting, or harvesting your livestock. It is customary to cull the animals that are sick, old, or weak. They are not fit to eat or contribute much to their herd.
As your numbers grow, so should your pasture. Let’s keep in mind that each head of cattle will need 1.5 to 2 acres to move in. At the same time, you should still also be maintaining the land so that it stays in good condition.
Breeding and harvesting will absolutely aid you in maintaining a quality herd that has the potential to bring profit.
Drive it Home
There is plenty of information on cattle farming for beginners out there to guide you.
The USDA’s website is a great source of knowledge from beef pricing to advice on buying livestock.
We at New Heritage Feed Company can also support you and your growing herd by offering them healthy organic feed. Cattle farming for beginners is one of our specialties!
We proudly make our feed with naturally sourced ingredients. We add power and nutrients with the ingredients used and essential oils.
Although we do love them, cows are not the only ones we feed. We provide high-quality natural feed for chickens, rabbits, and goats too!
The packaging used for our feed is no-frills and made from recycled materials when possible. They are a sign of our determination to be socially away are as eco-friendly as possible. We will have plain packaging to be more green.
Our feed is available online as well as feed stores in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Through our blog, we share the knowledge we have gained through our own farming experiences. Whether that is keeping feed cattle going through winter or what bunnies make great pets.
We are passionate about the people who farm and their animals. This is why we donate 10 percent of our profits to organizations making it possible for people to live a more natural life.
Visit our site today for blogs, feed, and more.