Small Beef Cattle Farm



Small Beef Cattle Farm On A Few Acres 

Have you considered raising beef cattle? I believe you will find them to be the most rewarding and best suited enterprise for a small farm.

     If you own and/or happen to be living on a few acres you may have the resources to raise a few beef cattle. Small beef cattle farms and ranches are becoming popular as a means to supplement off farm income. 

      Beef production is a large and important segment of American agriculture and one of the largest industries in the world. Beef enterprises work well with grain, orchard, vegetable, or other crop operations. Cattle can make efficient use of feed resources that have little alternative use, such as crop residues, marginal cropland, untillable land, or rangeland that cannot produce crops other than grass.

     For people who own land but work full-time off the farm, a beef enterprise can be the least labor-intensive way to utilize their land. A cattle enterprise can use family or surplus labor. Calving, weaning, vaccinations, castration, and weighing can be planned for times when labor is available.

     Consider your resources, the land available, and your level of interest before deciding to engage in the cattle business. Identify why you want to raise cattle and set goals to achieve the most constant economic return or personal satisfaction. Your goals must be clearly defined, firmly fixed, achievable, and have a realistic time frame. Otherwise, your operation will lack meaning, objective, and focus.

     Raising a small beef cattle herd can be a very rewarding experience. Have you dreamed of living in the country but never figured out a least labor intensive enterprise to supplement your off farm income. One big advantage that most individuals discover is that such an enterprise is a great help towards many tax savings. However you should check with your personal tax advisor to determine your best advantages.

     Listed below are a few different cattle related enterprises to consider. It is always best to do a thorough study to determine the most appropriate enterprise for your situation. And keep in mind that the best situation may be to use a combination of more than one enterprise when possible. Resource considerations may play a big part in your decision. More on resource considerations.....

Registered or Seedstock Cow calf enterprise: 
     Keeping a few high quality registered mother cows and raising calves from them. You would also need a good herd bull or breed your cows by artificial insemination. More record keeping and added value is needed in this kind of an operation but with a higher monetary return. Most everything needs to be recorded for performance records; the calves need to be weighed at birth and weaned and weighed at about 6 months of age. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.

Commercial Cow calf enterprise: 
     Keeping a few mother cows and raising calves from them. The calves normally would be weaned at about 6 months of age and weigh approximately 500 pounds. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.

Bottle calf beef enterprise:
     This is a labor intensived enterprise comprised of purchasing new born calves, usually a dairy breed and raising them until they weigh 300 to 500 pounds. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu. 

Feeder or stocker calf enterprise:
     Purchasing calves that weigh between 400 and 500 pounds and feeding them until they weigh from 700 to 900 pounds. Usually placed on pasture or on diets high in forage. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.

Market beef enterprise:
     Purchasing 700 to 900 pound calves and feeding them to market weight of 1100 to 1200 pounds. This can be very rewarding if you are close to a metropolitian population and sell direct to the consumer. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.

Purchasing Considerations:
     In most situations frame and conformation are more important than breed in relation to cattle performance. However, there are many things to consider. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu. 

     Those interested in growing and raising beef cattle on their acreage can find it very rewarding. However it is recommended that one should first become knowledgeable and informed about the enterprise so that you do not become involved in an unmanageable and costly situation. Consult with feed company personnel, Extension staff, local veterinarians and local beef producers. Raising beef cattle can improve quality of life and provide great satisfaction and responsibility for families.

     Success of your beef cattle enterprise depends on adapting a strategy that fits your needs. After generating some ideas about what kind of operation you would like to have, contact your Extension agent and work out a detailed plan.

     This website gives an overview of the basics for developing and managing a small beef herd. The Extension Service, veterinarians, and experienced beef producers can be resources to help you develop your enterprise. Careful planning, quality cattle in good health, and good management will put you on the road to success.



Horse and Rider


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