Beef Cattle Ranching
Beef Cattle Ranching refers to the practice of rearing beef cattle for human beef
consumption. Ranching involves a huge and well maintained ranch and a healthy cattle herd. Everything related to
the healthy living of the beef cattle is the job and responsibility of the herd owner. He has to take care of
feeding and nutrition, breeding, vaccination, fly control and sanitation of the herd. For ranching the herd owner
must select a good piece of land for use as a farm, suitable to the needs of the cattle. Selection of cattle herd
is also a tough job. Animals must be healthy, free from any diseases, infections, insects and parasites.
The most important beef cattle ranching task is
the nutrition of animals. Beef cattle animals have different nutrition requirements at different stages in life.
For example growing calves and pregnant cows need more and special feed than older cattle. There are many computer
software programs available today that ranch owners can use to calculate nutritional needs of different animals and
provide feeds suitable to individual requirements. This software can help reduce costs of feed programs and balance
nutritional needs of animals. Water and feed for beef cattle consumption must also be stored well to reduce the
nutrient loss and prevent any contamination. Improper storage causes loss of the nutrients to the environment.
Contamination of feed, water and pastures by pesticides and bacteria can lead to many diseases. It is also very
important to maintain records of everything fed and used on animals.
Vaccination of calves and regular checkup of animals by a qualified veterinarian is
also very important in beef cattle ranching. All animals must be vaccinated every spring and fall. Any animal
showing any signs of infection must be isolated from the herd to prevent the spread of infection. Prevention costs
much less than cure.
Beef cattle ranching needs owners to decide between natural breeding or artificial
insemination for crop production. Artificial insemination uses semen from high quality bulls, which is transferred
to cows’ vagina by other than natural means. Bulls contribute their genes to the herd for many years and ultimately
affect the quality of beef. Bulls must appear healthy and fit physically, without any structural defects. Ranch
owners can check the fertility of the bull by testing his semen, measuring scrotal and physically examining the
reproductive tract for any signs of diseases like hernia. Beef cattle ranching needs honest dedication and
devotion. It needs experience and effort.