You can grow Angus cattle in your farm or in a small area in your backyard if it is suitable for your house or place where you live. Black Angus cattle can be grown in a variety of different conditions ranging from ranches where they can graze on pastures and take care of themselves to farms and feedlots where they are kept and fed in stalls and cattle barns. Everyone has a slightly different way of raising beef cattle and it can vary slightly from one another, but it does not make any difference how you raise them if you follow the basics of cattle raising. The required steps are given below.
1. Buy and start your Angus cattle herd
The first thing you need to do is buy some cows for your herd. Buying your first calf can be a very important step in your Angus cattle farm because your first calf could become the foundation of your farm, and therefore needs careful planning. Seek help from experienced farmers and also from family members who have experience in cattle farming. There are also beef extension educators and agriculture teachers able to give you advice on purchasing your first cattle herd. You may also visit sites like Ranch World Ads to find classified ads, where you will find pictures, videos, prices, and other details of the cattle you want to purchase.
2. Carry on with your breading and weaning season
Once you have bought your cattle or bought cow, you might want to go with the nature and let it have calves naturally. If you wish to time it according to market and time it accordingly with other markets, for example selling bulls or heifers in time for the spring market or when they are a year old. Below are a few points to remember.
- Take weather into consideration, have calving season when you can manage calving and cows at the same time.
- Managing and ensuring maximum survival of calves is the most important factor in the early stages. Having adequate shelter is critical for calving and to ensure the maximum survival of the calves. Having calving season in the spring has the risk of April snowstorms, especially if you live near the Rockies. Know when your cow is ready to give birth and be prepared with necessary equipments.
- Breading season should start few months after the calving season. Choose a good Angus bull for breading your cows naturally.
- Weaning should take place when the calves are 6 to 8 months old. They need to be preconditioned to minimize stress. Sell your calves when the market price is high in spring.
3. Health management
Arrange annual vaccination programs, regular medical checkups, and health measures for sick cows. Most common vaccination for your herd is 9-way or 8-way Clostridium vaccine, and vaccines for BRD, BRSV, Lepto, PI3, and IBR. Some areas may require vaccination from Anthrax as well. if you are farming in an area with a history of Anthrax outbreaks, seriously consider Anthrax vaccination. Keep the sick cattle away from the healthy ones especially if they are pregnant and during calving seasons. Use vaccination at least three weeks before calves are due.
4. Feeding management
Feeding is important for calves as you cannot have herd of cattle, cows and calves if you do not have food ready for them. You could usually get hay for them from the time of spring to fall. Some fodder flakes are also useful which you can buy easily from local stores or grow through your own system. You should have enough facilities or land to feed all your animals. it is also important to know what your animals will intake on an average daily so that you have enough to feed them. When the cows are lactating, they need 50% more feed than usual, and also need more calcium and other nutrients in their diet. During winter, they also need more food to keep them warm and increase body fat.
5. Manage your pastures
Don’t let your pastures be overgrazed. According to your location, you need to know when the best time for your cattle to graze on pastures is and when is the best time for them to switch pastures. Rotate your cows form pastures so that they get variety and the pastures get rest. You also need to know you’re stocking rates to determine how many cows can graze per acre of land.
In this article, we’ve tried to give you some tips on buying and raising your own cattle herd either at your ranch or farm, or in your backyard, if you have a suitable place. Your cows can be raised and bred naturally with pastures and food supplements. They also need special care during harsh weather, or when pregnant. Regular inspection, vaccination, and other care may be needed to ensure maximum survival rate of the cows and calves.
Source: Sustainable Livestock Nutrition