All You Need To Know Before Starting A Cattle Farm

From beef farming to dairy farming to selling calves, it is clear that the diverse nature of cattle farming offers farmers with a lot of opportunities.

To start a cattle farm, you need to:

  1. Build Your Farm
  2. Design Your Farm
  3. Manage Your Farm

PART 1: BUILD YOUR FARM

  • Select cattle breeds to raise

As a farmer, you are already aware that there are over 100 cattle breeds available. To increase your chances of succeeding, you should choose breeds which are in line with your goals, not just those you like or are willing to work with.

If you would like to do beef production, it is advisable that you start with docile breeds such as Herefords, Shorthorns and Galloways, among others. While other breeds are more popular, they might prove to be difficult for beginners.

For those looking to invest in dairy production, breeds such as Jersey, Brown Swiss and Ayshire are some of the most common ones. The Jersey breed turns out to be the most profitable as it can be used for both beef and dairy, as well as, for breeding cattle.

  • Purchase Healthy Cows to Stock Your Farm

We understand the excitement and willpower that comes in starting a project. However, don’t use this as your motivation to go and buy a herd of cattle just because you can or your land can handle.

Just seek a few quality cows with great conformation. Also consider the cow’s overall health, age and temperament. Some of the options you might want to consider would be:

a) Getting heifers if you are willing to be patient for 2 or more years to produce calves for sale.

b) If you can, buy a bred cow with their previous calf to get a return on your investment immediately.

c) There is no need to get a bull unless you are not comfortable in using artificial insemination. The best time to get a bull would be when you have increased the number of cows to about 10.

  • Build a Barn and other Facilities¬†

It goes without saying that having a good barn for your cows goes a long in maintaining your cow’s health. For calves, you need to have a separate calf barn and calving facility.

  • Install Water Sources

To keep your pastures green and cows hydrated, you need a continuous supply of clean water. For pasture, you can install irrigation systems while you can build water troughs for the cows. Having ponds and water reservoirs ready also helps.

  • Plant Grass and Alfalfa as Food Source

While hay makes majority of the cow’s feed, foods such as grains and corn provide more protein. The best way to do this would be making hay by seeding a pasture with grass and alfalfa and harvest it with a hay baler.

  • Set up Fences

Get a professional to build a good and effective fences or barriers.

Aaand we are done with the the first phase of cattle farming!!

Now on to Designing your Farm

 

PART 2: DESIGN YOUR FARM

  • Start with a small farm

Remember when we said you should start with just a few cows on your farm? This is just an emphasis on that.

Just 2 to 5 cows would be enough for a start. The starting period should be about learning your way through cattle farming and ensuring the ones you have are healthy.

  • Start with Beef Farming

If possible, you should start with beef farming due to their low maintenance and flexibility. Moreover, the overhead cost is lower than that of dairy farming.

That being said, beef farming faces a lot of competition, so ensure you take care of your cattle to make them more muscular and strong.

  • Start Dairy Farming For a more Intensive but Constant Product

If you decide to do dairy farming, you need to know that dairy farmers should be very diligent in ensuring the cows produce as much milk as possible.

Dairy cows require a specific diet filled with nutrients and that makes them more expensive to raise. The cows work best on a time schedule as they need to be fed and milked at the same time every day.

  • Pasture Space

Each cow needs to have about 1 and a half to 2 acres of pasture space per cow. This is done to provide enough roughage for an entire year. If you leave too many cows in a pasture, they eat all of the grass. However, if you are careful enough, you can put multiple cows on a single pasture.

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