The Cattle Industry and Cattle Production Systems Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in The Cattle Industry and Cattle Production Systems Deck (32)
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Native beef cows =

•From the UK, continental = everywhere else e.g. France.


What are the main breeds of cows seen in the UK? (Slides 4-16) (13)

•Holstein (black and white), Friesian = bulkier.
•Jesery (light brown), smaller than Holstein, have personality.
•Shorthorn (red/white/roan coat) - beef /dairy.
•Ayrshire (red and white (like Holstein)), Scottish, bit smaller than Holstein.
•Brown Swiss (brown beige colour), dairy, continental.
•Montbeliarde (red and white, usually more white), french, rounded.
•Fleckvieh (red and white, more red), cross, continental, very rounded.
•Hereford (red body, white face, white flanks), native, beef, quite quiet.
•Aberdeen-Angus (black), beef.
•Limousin (light red/beige), french, quite feisty + hot-headed, beef, grow very fast.
•Charolais (cream/white, fluffy), need, quiet, French, fast-growers.
•Simmental (white and beige), continental, fast breed, crossed more with dairy.
•Belgian Blue (Blanc Bleu Belge) (blue and white) double muscling (stronger muscles) due to mutation in the myostatin (MSTN) gene, which encodes the growth-regulating factor myostatin - defective gene passed on so muscles grow larger = lean meat.


Sire =

•Father (bull).


Dam =



Pre-weaning calf = (2)

•Period from birth to weaning at ≈ 8-10 weeks old.
•GIT transition from monogastric to ruminant - develops one stomach to four to process forages (rumination).


Heifer =

•Female bovine that will/has calved for the first time in her life/when she has calved once.


Steer/bullock =

•Male bovine that has been castrated (bull usually).


Bull =

•Entirely sexually mature male.


Springer =

•Cow or heifer close to calving - udders developed.


Transition cow =

•Cow within the period of 3 weeks pre and 3 weeks post-calving - critical period, usually when they have issues, different nutrition and care.


Fresh cow =

•Cow that has recently given birth and is beginning to produce milk.


Dry cow =

•Dairy cow that is no longer producing milk, usually pregnant and have a dry period ≈ 60 days before calving,


Freemartin = (2)

•A female that is the twin of a bull (M+F) usually becomes infertile partial intersex (90-97% of time).
•Testosterone produced by the male twin in uterus affects the influence of female sexual organs - don't have ovaries/uterus or a complete reproductive tract.


What is the lifecycle of a dairy cow?

•Calvine ---> pre-weaning calf ---> weaned ---> bulling heifer ---> bred heifer ---> springing heifer ---> calving ---> high group ---> mid group (need to know level of production of animals e.g. lactation curve for factors such as nutrition) ---> low group ---> far-off dry cow ---> transition cow ---> calving.


Cow-calf operation/suckler herd =

•A management unit that maintains a breeding herd (female) of cows and produces weaned calves for sale.


Feeder cattle =

•Those requiring more growth and/or fattening before slaughter (weaned already).


Feedlot (US + Canada, not in Europe) =

•Beef cattle enterprise where cattle are placed in confinement, fed harvested feeds and fattened for slaughter (quick turnover, not very ethical).


Finished cattle =

•Fed cattle whose time in the feedlot is completed and are now ready for slaughter - at end of production @ optimum weight.


What is the lifecycle of a beef cow?

•Breeding heifer ---> block service of cows ---> close-up cow ---> pre-weaning calf ---> weaned calf ---> store animal ---> fattening animal.


Why has the number of cows decreased in farms?

•Cows produce more milk.


What are the main statistics for the UK cattle industry? (3)

•≈9.5 million cattle (DEFRA 2019).
•≈13,200 dairy farms (average herd size = 148).
•≈26,000 beef farms (average herd size = 26).


What are the cattle prices like in the UK? (4)

•Dairy heifer = £1500.
•Dairy cow = £1100.
•Cull cow (end production cycle/issues/diseases --_> dec in production, 500-800kg/bull = 1000kg), dairy cull = 105p/kh, dead weight approx 60% liveweight = £378, beef cull = 240p/kg.
•Bull dairy calves considered "waste of production systems" - use sex semen for more females.


What are the rules for organic cattle production in the UK? (5)

•Free-range at pasture (spring + summer, expensive to buy organic feed) whenever conditions allow (average 200 days year^-1).
•Fewer pesticides + no artificial fertilisers on pasture.
•More strict rules regarding antibiotic usage - US - can't use any, Europe - have to wait 14 days for organic, normal waits 7 days to withdraw milk.
•Reduced production, both milk and meat.
•Higher market value, milk approx 40p/L.


What is the farm assurance scheme? (2)

•Red tractor - single scheme accepted by all major buyers - monitor what consumers value most about their food and understand what they expect from farmers.
•Values are translated into practical on-farm standards so red tractor farmers can demonstrate they are producing what consumers want.


What does the red tractor scheme monitor? (4)

•Animal welfare.
•Food safety.
•Environmental protection


What are the different farm accreditation schemes in the UK and what do they test for? (4)

•1). CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification Standards) - can be accredited free from BVD, IBR, Leptospirosis, Johne's disease, TB and Neospora, technical document details rules of accreditation are designed by industry leaders and experts for monitoring control and eradication of disease.
•E.g. Premium Cattle Health Scheme - SRUC/SAC and HiHealth Herdcare Cattle Health Scheme - Biobest ∴ animals sold for higher prices with accreditation.
•2). BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) Free - English voluntary for BVD control, tested animals are accessible on a national database, providing farmers traceability when buying and selling stock.
•3). Scottish BVD Eradication Policy - mandatory annual BVD screening of herds in Scotland since 2013, 4,000 PI (persistently infected) identified since start of scheme, steadily inc number of controls introduced e.g. movement restrictions on 'not negative' herds.
•4). Action Johne's (GI disease similar family to TB, causes productivity issues, hard to control, zoonotic potential) - started in 2015 to help educate and engage members about Johne's disease - provides strategies to manage control of disease on farms, has BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser, National Johne's Management Plan = mandatory part of Red Tractor in 2020 and mandatory for some milk purchases.


What are the UK government departments involved in the cattle industry? (3)

•DEFRA - responsible for safeguarding natural environment, support food and farming industry and sustaining rural economy.
•APHA - safeguard animal and plant health for people, environment and economy.
•AHDB - The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board - helos make GB livestock, dairy and agriculture sectors more successful providing w/market info to improve supply chain transparency + stimulate demand in UK and export markets.


What is Bovine Tuberculosis? (5)

•Mycobacterium bovis = bacteria.
•Zoonotic - other animals + humans: badger, deer, goats, pigs and camelids (llamas and alpacas) + other mammals. •In cattle, TB is primarily a chronic respiratory disease but clinical signs are rare.
•Human cases of TB caused by M.bovis infection rare but can cause significant problems in developing countries - routine pasteurisation of milk highly effective, need to report cases to government.
•7.7 million cattle TB tester per year.
•Compensation given to farmers from government when herds culled.


What are the measures in place to control TB in the UK? (5)

•Skin test - wait 3 days after injection, vet reads tests ti see if there is a reaction on the injection site (comparative test using Bovine and Avian tuberculins).
•Blood test = Gamma interferon.
•Proactive Badger culling across a zone = 23% reduction in cattle TB incidence = occurrence of new cases.
•Reactive culling of badgers around affected farms inc TB incidence by 27%.
•If cows vaccinated they will always test +ive for TB, so cant give them.


What is cattle identification? (4)

•All births, deaths and movements (traceability when animals sold) recorded online on cattle tracing system (CTS).
•Cattle registered issued with identification document (passport).
•Tagging - in same position, different sizes, deadline for fitting tags and getting passports, beef calves have longer deadline for first tagging (20 days after birth) as difficult to tag when calves outside, dairy = 36 hours from birth. Second tag = up to 20 days from birth, passport = 27 days after birth.
•In US tattoos - for vaccination e.g. cirrhosis.