Those interested in growing and raising beef cattle on their acreage can find this very rewarding. Be informed, however, so that you do not become involved in an enterprise that you have little knowledge of or that is not economical.
Hence, before you roll up your sleeves and run out and by a whole passel of cattle, there are a few things you should consider first.
One of the first things to consider is if the location is compatible with the community. Is the property zoned for large animal space? How many animals can you have? How will neighbors react to the project?
2) The Human Resource
You and your family may gain a lot of satisfaction from raising a few cattle. Children can benefit from the added responsibility and families can be strengthened as they work together. However, the project will require a commitment of time. Even when cattle are on pasture they need to be observed daily to make sure that they have adequate feed and water and to assure that they are healthy
Yep, you read that right. You can’t raise beef cows in a barn – they need room to graze. To be exact, a cow needs about two acres of good pasture. In some areas, such as out west where the pasture is really more like dessert, a cow will need as much as 40 acres. So the first thing you should consider is how many cows you can have based on the amount of land you have. If you get too many cows on your land, you’ll have to buy hay for them even during the summertime.
4) Health Management
Cattle are susceptible to a variety of diseases. Good planning and management, along with use of common vaccines and pharmaceuticals will usually enable your cattle to avoid most disease problems. Find a local veterinarian who includes cattle in their practice and consult with that practitioner about a herd health program, based on your type of enterprise, prior to your obtaining any cattle.
As with any purchase it is important that you get value for your money. If you are uncertain about how to purchase a beef animal then it would be best to deal with someone who is ethical and understands this side of the business. This could include a family member, friend, neighbor, local farmer or County Agent. The idea is to not go into a purchase with little or no information or background.
Cattle can be purchased directly from beef producers with the price based on local market conditions. The local market is established primarily in commodity markets many miles away from where you live. These are then modified for each specific region of the country based on transportation costs to markets and local conditions. These local conditions could be such variables as abundance of feedstuffs, moisture conditions and supply and demand. Markets will change through the seasons and from year to year.