September 13th, 2021 | Updated on June 25th, 2022
There’s nothing as intensive in farmwork or ranching as raising cattle. Not only are these massive animals that need a lot of attention and work to thrive, but most ranchers also own dozens of these animals at any given time, so it’s important to be able to keep up to date with them.
These are the top tips for managing your cattle herds and ensuring they’re healthy and great investments.
Make Animals Easily Identifiable
The most important thing you can do is ensure that it’s easy to identify each of your animals. An easy way to do this is through ear tags. Although branding can lead an animal back to your ranch if anything happens, it doesn’t help you keep organized. Good ear tags will allow you to categorize your animals by what year they were born, what sex they are, and whether or not they’re still considered calves. Many also include numbers on them so that you can keep track of individual animals.
Could you keep Track of Their Health?
The health of your animals will make or break your business. If your animals are malnourished or have heartworms, these are bad for the animal and bad for your business. A modern beef cattle management software system will help you keep track of your animal’s health and symptoms without having to worry about memorizing every detail of every animal. It can require a learning curve to get used to, but you’ll be able to run your ranch much more smoothly when you do.
Rotate Your Feeding Fields
A big mistake some ranchers make is opening up their feeding lots year-round for animals to graze on their whole property whenever they want. Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of issues. For one, it means that cows can completely clear out a field and then have to eat the grass bare because it’s all that’s available.
Another is that the soil may not be able to absorb their droppings fast enough, which means they could get ill from the grass they’re eating. Rotate your fields so that the grass has a chance to grow back, absorb the nutrients they leave behind and recover before the cattle come back.
Ensure They’re Well Cared For
When you’re hiring ranch or farmhands, hire the best of the best. Find people who show a good interest in working with farm animals. Ensure that they can hold their while also teaching them to be respectful and kind to the animals because it’s better for the quality and health of the animals.
Spend Time With Your Animals
You don’t have to sit in the field with your cattle every day, but you should spend time with them. Spending time with your animals will allow you to notice any skin or health changes when one is suddenly pregnant and whenever another is ill. Spending time around them makes these changes obvious and allows you to catch them as early as possible.
Cattle are fantastic livestock! With the right drive and work, you can be a pro in their care in no time.