Flashcards in Beef cattle Deck (75)
What are the types of beef production?
1. cow-calf operations
2. Cattle feeders/Feedlots
3. Purebred breeders
Cow calf operations are dependent upon what for nutrition?
Roughages - pasture, hay, and silage
*cows are maintained on pasture with little grain
What type of beef production requires less labor and lower financial investment?
FYI - typical of the Western States and upper great plains
What is the purpose of cattle feeders/feedlots?
grow and finish calves till market
Why are feedlots more expensive than cow calf operations?
They buy yearlings and finish them until market by keeping them confined and feeding grain ($$$ and labor intensive)
What is the purpose of purebred breeders in beef production?
they keep herds of purebred stock - to provide replacement bulls and heifers for cow-calf operations
**this requires knowledge, skill, and $$$$$$
How many animals are on commercial feedlots? How many are on farmer feeders?
Commercial - more than 1000 animals
Farmer feeders - less than 1000 animals (farmers use their own roughage and grain)
What are the two types of feedlot finishing?
1. Finishing immediately (mostly grain)
2. Deferred finishing systems (roughage with some grain)
What breeds/animals are suitable for finishing immediately? What is the time frame like?
Best for heavier breeds and animals
Steer calves: 275 days
Heifers: 230 days
Yearlings (male) - 175 days
Yearlings (female) - 130days
What is the typical time frame and process of feeding for calves that are bought for deferred finishing systems?
-calves bought in autumn and wintered on roughage - small amts of grain
-calves are pastured for 90-120 days during the summer
-subsequent fall --> feedlot for 120-150 days; all grain diet
What farms are suitable for deferred finishing systems?
Farms that produce roughages
Ideally, how many heat cycles will a cow have between pregnancies?
How many bulls are needed to service 100 cows?
How long do bulls run with cows to maintain a short calving season?
What is the time frame of pregnancy diagnosing?
60 - 90 days after breeding season
(non pregnant animals will be sold)
If your cow calf operation is on a spring calving schedule, when will you perform a pregnancy check?
Calves born in the spring (March) --> next preg check will be in the early fall (September)
at the the same time as weaning the spring calves
What are management procedures routinely performed on calves on cow-calf operations?
Castration (between birth and 4 months; burdizzo pincers or elastrator bands)
Dehorning (chemical or physical)
Branding or marking (hot iron, freeze branding, ear tagging, tattoo, rumen bolus)
What are the 4 main goals of a successful cow-calf operation?
1. maintain reproductive efficiency
2. Minimize calf morbidity and mortality
3. Keep cows cheaply over winter
4. Market a calf that someone wants to buy
(Aim to maximize number of calves sold)
How long is the gestation period of cattle? When must they be bred to ensure they produce 1 calf per year?
Gestation is approx 9 months (180 days)
they must be bred within 80 days of calving to produce 1 calf per year
When is a beef cow in highest nutrient needs?
Period 1: Post calving - high lactation (~82 days)
What scale is used to score beef cattle body condition?
BCS ranges 1-9
T/F: Both beef and dairy cattle use a 1-9 BCS scale
dairy cattle= 1 - 5 scale
What are the 6 points of reference when performing a BCS on beef cattle?
What is considered an ideal BCS for beef cattle?
(between 5-7 is ideal range)
What are problems encountered in beef cattle with BCS of less than 5?
Failure to cycle
Failure to conceive
Increased calving interval
Increased days on estrus
Decreased calf vigor
What are problems encountered with beef cattle that have BSC of 8 or 9?
Costly to maintain
Increased rate/chance of dystocia
Failure to cycle
Failure to conceive
What are the biological priorities for nutrients in beef cows?
In order of priority:
FYI - feed costs are about 50-70% of total costs
What factors influence nutritional requirements?
Stage of production
What is a good way to keep nutrition costs low for beef cattle?
Utilizing forages and pastures
beef cattle do well on pastures. When grazing is not available - forages and crop residues (cornstalks etc) can be used