So, you bought your first herd of cattle! Very good for you and welcome to the world of cattle breeding. Now we will deal with the work involved in the care of ruminant cattle. The care of the cattle is, in general, similar to the care of the cows, with the exception that it does not exclude other kinds of cattle such as heifers, steers, calves and bulls.
Caring for livestock should be relatively easy as long as you know what you’re up against, as long as you have your fences, buildings, water resources, mineral resources, food and everything in good working order. The diverse types and kinds of livestock require different care. Breastfed calves usually require more work therefore requires more care than weaned steers or heifers, for example. Bulls need more care than beef cows with calves, and feedlots for cattle take even more care than cattle when feeding on turf.
Whichever type of livestock you have, the steps for caring for these are relatively the same. Read the following steps to see how you can care for your livestock. If you keep cattle, then take advantage of our comprehensive hoof trimming service to ensure the health and wellbeing of your cows. Contact us now.
- Feed them or provide plenty of pasture.
This is the most important aspect of livestock care. Do not wait for them to have a long life if they do not know how or what they eat. Even when cattle eat mainly grass and can graze in pastures, some operations require food such as fodder, hay and grain for livestock that needs to be cared for or raised in dry areas or pens. The areas where winter is experienced with lots of snow do not allow cattle to graze as they do in the summer months. Cattle that are fed to the slaughterhouse are often kept in pens without pasture to graze. In both scenarios the product needs to be fed, do not allow them to find food in their way.
Winter grazing is practiced in those areas where snow accumulates, and it is a sustainable practice and cost saving to get the cattle out of the pen and on the fields or pastures during the winter. These winter grazing practices include grazing in swaths, in bales and in storage.
Rotating grazing is a highly recommended practice to use when livestock graze on pasture. It is better and uses spaces to graze and distribute fertilizer more equitably than with constant grazing.
- Keep water and minerals available at will
Another important part of livestock care, since water is the most important nutrient for any livestock and would be inhuman, much less cruel, to deny such a thing. Minerals in the form of loose ore with salt or a block of salt are also important, as livestock have a great need for salt with the type of feed they consume.
- Keep livestock up to date with vaccines and programs to deworming or delousing
This is particularly important if you do not have livestock locked in (more akin to raising livestock than to breeding or preconditioning for fattening or fattening livestock in the pen) and if your livestock is at risk of catching any disease such as carbuncle, bovine viral diarrhea (DVB), diarrhea in calves and IBR (rinotraquetis bovina infecciona). Certain kinds of livestock are more prone to certain kinds of diseases than others, so be sure to check with your veterinarian of large animals or farmers or ranchers (in case you will not find the veterinarian) for the vaccines that best suit your area.
- Check them regularly to assess signs of illness or injury
The cattle in the dry areas are checked with the same frequency with which they are fed. The cattle in the pastureland are checked with the same frequency with which they change from one pasture or pen to the other.
Breeding animals need to be checked more frequently, especially. If there is more than one bull in cattle in heat. The breeding bulls during the reproductive season are at risk of injury due to competition between bulls for the right to procreate with a particular cow or a harem of cows. A limp, an injury or a broken penis can compromise a bull’s ability and success in cow reproduction.
This livestock also needs to be checked to register which cows have been pregnant and which are in heat. Cattle in dry areas are at risk of getting sick with pneumonia or shipping fever, acidosis, black foot, etc. The finished cattle are at risk of suffering from acidosis that those that are to recreate or precondition them for fattening, but in a similar way they are also prone to suffer from respiratory diseases by consuming powdered food.
- Keep fences and machinery
Good fences are good for neighbours. Good machine maintenance makes farmers happier. These types of things should be kept in mind when caring for livestock.
The livestock will escape if the fences are not maintained or fixed, in case they are broken. From time to time there will be a fugitive even if it tries to keep the fences in good condition, and that is to be expected, but it should not become a common event for you.
Machinery that stays oiled, oiled and worn or broken pieces that are replaced respectively will last for a long time. Older machines tend to require more care than your livestock will have or that the new machine has, but the new machine will run out faster if you do not take care of it.
- Cattle care is not for everyone, as it requires a lot of work and commitment to keep animals healthy and well fed.
- Bulls and cows with offspring can be dangerous. Wild cattle can also be dangerous if you drive more or less and put it in a tight corner with no exit, except through you.
Here at Victorian Hoof Care Services you can forget about limping because we will take care of cattle’s hooves properly and help you keep your cow healthy and strong for dairy production.