Commercial beef cattle business is highly lucrative and easy to establish. The meat/diary is in huge demand and marketable. The business is capital intensive requires landed property, equipment, feeding and housing.
The farmer should decide on small, extensive or intensive farming. Major challenges are disposal of effluence, feeding sources and funding. Depending on your business template you might need lactating cows, bred heifers, feeders, herd bulls or replacement cows.
To start determine the popular breed in your demography. Then write a business plan and feasibility study. Approach an agricultural based bank for long term, low interest loans. Finally get state or government permit, incorporate the business and get insurance cover.
The Top Beef Producers
Some countries are major sources of beef worldwide. The top beef producers are Russia, Australia and Brazil. Others are the European Union, Argentina and United States of America.
Things to Consider
There are things to consider before starting a Cattle Beef Farm. The first is the breed of cattle, range of beef, intensive or pasture.
Others are method of feeding, healthcare, cattle housing and method of bedding. More include veterinary services, management tools, equipment and inventory.
- Breed of cattle
- Range of beef
- Intensive or pasture
- Method of feeding
- Cattle housing
- Method of bedding
- Veterinary services
- Management tools
Beef Cattle Breeds
The type of cattle raised for meat production is huge. The three stages of beef production are calf operations, background and feedlot. The cattle are selected specifically for beef production. Some are dual purpose for the production of meat and milk. Others are bred for their offspring while the calves proceed to a feedlot for fatten.
The breeding could be through a natural mating process or artificial insemination. The selective process focuses on the animal’s genetics, disease resistance and adaptability to a geographical location. The cattle need a stress free environment to grow and gain weight.
Different types of cattle breeds are Afrikaner, Aberdeen Angus,Ausralian Bradford, Geefmaster. Others are Black Haredford, Boran, Brahman, British White and Chianina.
We have Dexter, English Longhorn, Galloway, Han-u, Highland and Irish Moiled. More include the North Devon, Red Angus,Salers, Sussex, Square Meater, Wagyu, White Park and Welsh Black.
Beef Cattle Breeds
Here is a list of some beef cattle breeds
- Australian Bradford
- Black Hereford
- Boran, Brahman
- British White and Chianina
- English Longhorn
- Irish Moiled
- North Devon
- Red Angus
- Square Meater
- White Park
- Welsh Black
The Features differ based on breed and geographical location. The colours are red, black, white, yellowish brown, deep red. Some are extremely muscular, large with long hairs. Others have hump over shoulders, long or short horned, upswept horns and hardy.
Types of Cattle Production and Uses
Cattles are the main source of protein, milk and hide. They have pharmaceutical applications, used in fertilizer, dairy products and fuel. There are basically four types of cattle production.
You have the extensive diary, intensive beef, intensive diary and range beef. Intensive diary uses both automated and manual milking system. Animals that live outside with lots of grazing are extensive diary. Range beef farming is when cattle are allowed to graze extensive pastures.
- Aberdeen Angus
- Extensive diary
- Intensive beef
- Intensive diary
- Range beef
Equipment for Beef Farming
The equipment for beef farming is different from those used for milk production. Different functions determine the type of equipment you need. You need loading chute for transporting the cattle and scale to weigh them.
Build a crowding pen, holding pen and holding chute. The working chute connects holding pen and holding chute. You need a sturdy head-gate , scissor-stanchion, feeder bunks and portable hay feeders.
The cattle need an electric fence to prevent wandering. The calves require their own feeder area and passage gates. Add fixation forehead adhere passageways and panel with passage for calf.
You need different gates or pasture door, divider doors and supporting gates. You need to create a passage semicircle quadrant and fence to divide pens.
Beef Cattle Equipment
- Feed area for calves
- Resource post
- Mobile strain gauge
- Divider doors
- Dividers between pens
- Pasture door
- Perimeter fencing
- loading chute
- scale to weigh
- crowding pen
- holding pen
- holding chute
- working chute
- Bucket, rope, wheelbarrow
- head gate
- Feeder bunks
- Portable hay feeders
Beef Cattle Housing
The cattle need confinement pens and roof shelter. The housing provides shelter from extreme weather conditions like rain, sun, snow or windy days. Other considerations in housing design include location, topography, pasture and breed of cattle.
There are strict government rules on housing, permits and licensing. The land you choose should conform to zoning requirements, good drainage and away from urban areas. The housing structure depends on the type of farming.
To house beef cattle you can build an open side single slop roof or hoop barn. The hoop barn is ideal for farmers who prefer the cattle grazing. Make sure the barn has adequate ventilation, lighting and heat.
The animal’s diet affects the flavour of the milk and meat and farmers use different feed systems. The different feed production systems are silage, legumes and grass. Beef pasture cattle are fed grass, soy, grains, hay, corn supplements. The feeding systems are grazing, industrial production and integrated livestock-crop farming. Industrial production relies on intensive feeding programs and inclusion additives, growth hormones, veterinary drugs. Grazing is basically free ranging grassland areas or pastures. Some farmers integrate crop residues, fallows to the feeding program. The farmer may choose exclusive grass feeding, corn or concentrated animal feed. Others use barley based diet, mixed feed grains with antibiotics routinely added to the grain feed.
What is Fed to Cattle
- Sorting box
- Growth hormones
- Veterinary drug
- integrate crop residues
- Concentrated animal feed
The animals have diseases like mad cow diseases or E.coli. Others are campylobacter, bovine leukaemia virus. Symptoms to watch out for are abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and nausea.
Common diseases are foot rot, hardware disease and white muscle disease. Others are bloat, prussic acid poisoning and grass Tetany.
|Foot rot||Trim hooves heavy cows||Remove foreign object in hoof, antibiotic|
|Grass Tetany||low blood serum levels of magnesium|
|Prussic acid poisoning||Cyanide|
|White muscle||lack of selenium (calf)||Mineral supplements|
|hardware||Ingested foreign objects|
Beef Cattle to Produce
There are a few determinants on breed of cattle to produce. Breed determinant include breed type, frame, muscle content, color. Others are weight, horn, sex, fat/body ratio, health of breed. Large frame animals with thick muscle in proportion to bone and fat attract best prices.
Sell the meat to refrigerated trucks, restaurants and hotels. Sell directly to meat wholesalers and retailers. You can sell to other farmers and beef processing companies.
It is important to know when to market the product. You need to keep up with marketing trends, where to sell. You need to know the prevailing costs, feeder calf sales methods. To achieve premium price you need to produce quality beef cattle, find best sales outlet and know when to sell. Evaluate cost, returns, alternatives, price differentiation. Other things are sales price of finished cattle
A good marketing plan involves livestock fixed costs, variable costs value of product. Others are annual equipment costs, facility cost, taxes. Places to market are auction sales, graded, pooled, farmers market. Others are Tele-auction, online, video-auctions, private treaty, branded beef companies, direct selling to customers.