Small Beef Cattle Farm



Facilities and Equipment

      Caring for animals on a small beef cattle farm does not require elaborate or expensive housing or facilities and equipment. Under most weather conditions, beef cattle do very well outside.

     In wetter areas cows need a mud free area with protection from wind and rain. One method is to allow animals to have access to an open air pole shelter. In an enclosed building, proper ventilation is important to maintain good health.

          Design your facilities to make your job easy and safe and to minimize your expenditure of time and labor. An effective working facility consists of a corral with a narrow alley, a head catch, and a squeeze chute.

     The chute is needed for vaccinations, deworming, etc. The head catch is needed if you must aid a cow with calving. The corral and narrow alley help confine animals that need to be handled and driven into the chute or head catch.

     Well-designed handling facilities help to minimize animal confusion and stress. Poorly designed facilities increase stress on the animals and may cause poor performance, which can affect meat quality. Use of electric prods is not recommended because they cause animals unnecessary pain and stress.

     It is important to maintain the quality of feed. Store hay, straw, or silage and grains in a dry building free from rodents. Most all types of storage forages will lose nutritional value when exposed to direct sunlight. Hay put up wet or tto green loses feed value and palatability and presents a fire safety hazard due to combustion. Rodents can damage feed and spread disease.

     Cattle feeders reduce waste and prevent the spread of many internal parasites and other cattle diseases. You can buy many kinds of manufactured feeders. Or, you can build them out of materials on hand.

     An adequate, year round supply of clean, fresh water is basic to any successful cattle enterprise. Many types of water troughs are available from local feed or farm supply stores. You can recycle old barrels and bathtubs to make functional troughs; be sure to clean them thoroughly prior to use.

     Pens, feedlots, and corrals should be located at a convenient distance from feed storage facilities. These areas should be well drained, with drainage moving away from feed storage, working facilities, and roads. It is important to make these areas accessible to tractors for easy feeding and cleaning.

     Proper transportation is a must for your cattle. A one ton or 3/4 ton truck and trailer are convenient for any beef operation. A truck also is useful for transporting and dispersing hay.

     One small to medium horsepower tractor, rotary pasture mower and hay moving equipment adds convenience to any beef cattle operation. It has been proven time and again that most failed beef cattle enterprixes is due to over investment in heavy iron so one needs to be praction caution in this area.

Living the good farm life.



Horse and Rider


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