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Beef Cattle

April 29, 2010

Greetings, dear reader. Our neighbors will be going out of town for a few days, and they asked me to take care of their beef cattle while they are gone. This gave my wife and I the opportunity to capture a few pictures.

Cattle are raised either for beef or for milk as in Dairy Products. Their cattle have had calves, so the cows are busy making milk to feed the offspring.

Cattle Barn

This barn is where some of the cattle stay, especially during inclement weather.

The animal on the right is a bull. He is the *Daddy* of all the calves.  He is kept separate from the other cattle, except when it is breeding time.

Bull at feed trough

Here is the bull eating his special feed. He has no horns like the rodeo bulls, but he does have a ring in his nose.  That ring is not for decoration, it is a tool to encourage the bull to polite behavior, if necessary.

"Fat Cattle"

Here, the fat cattle are eating their special feed, which has a high corn content.  This is a supplement to the hay and it is intended to help them gain weight. They will reach market weight sometime this summer.

These girls here are Momma Cows. Their diet is strictly hay, shown in the foreground. They must produce milk for their calves.And there is one of the calves!  He is about three weeks old.  What a cutie!

Here is another calf shown with two cows.  It has a lot of growing to do.  These animals generate a lot of waste material. This can create problems if not managed properly. Responsible farmers must be certain not to allow manure piles to be located too close to a stream where runoff could negatively impact the aquatic life therein.  Corn, beans, hay and wheat are grown on this farm and the manure is used as fertilizer on the fields. A skid loader is used to scrape the manure up and load it onto a spreader wagon.

Manure Spreader

This trailer is pulled behind a tractor, and the manure is dispersed onto a field in an organized fashion. A power-take-off (PTO) on the tractor powers the chain under the trailer and moves the manure to the rear.  The manure breaks down and is assimilated into the soil, providing nutrients to the plants that will grow there.

So you can see that the corn, beans, hay and wheat harvested from the field are fed to the cattle. The cattle produce young cattle, beef and manure.  The manure goes back to the fields to produce more grain and grass forming a circle of life.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Thomas Bell permalink
    May 4, 2010 5:53 am

    Great blog, saw it on Gary North!

    • Milton permalink*
      May 4, 2010 10:35 am

      Thanks, Thomas. Gary North is one of my favorite writers. Glad that you stopped by!

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