Three Essential Tips for Future Beef Producers
So you’re looking at a handful of ranches for sale where you can start your beef production business. Before you begin your cattle-raising journey, know that it’s never too early to begin making management decisions that will affect the productivity and profitability of your herd. Here are tips and guidelines to consider:
Deworm and vaccinate
Cows should be treated for internal and external parasites that they may have picked up during summer and fall grazing seasons because these can increase feed requirements and risk of disease during winter. Ideally, cows should be dewormed and vaccinated at weaning. Consult your veterinarian to determine what treatments your cows need.
Have feed analyzed
It is impossible to ensure that nutritional requirements are met if you don’t have your feeds analyzed for nutritional content. Have them analyzed for dry matter, crude protein, fiber, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. You may also need to have fall grazing materials analyzed if this has not been done before. This includes stockpiled grass, swath grazing, crop residues, straws, etc.
Develop effective feeding programs
New beef cow-calf producers have a tendency to overfeed their animals between weaning and calving and underfeed them afterward. This can be very costly, not to mention extremely wasteful. Consult a feed supplier or government extension agent who can assist you in developing appropriate diet programs for each beef production stage.