Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production


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In the final stages of labour, a lubricant is often required to assist the calf out of the birth canal. The afterbirth will follow, sometimes two or three hours after the calf is born.

Once the calf is born, the cow will lick it dry. The umbilical cord must be dipped in a disinfectant. You may assist the calf to suckle if it is having difficulty. At least three or four feeds are essential during the first 24 hours. Check your cattle regularly for any signs of poor condition. Preventing illnesses is always better than treating them. There are certain laws that apply to keeping cattle. They are put in place to protect your herd, and other herds, from the spread of diseases. All cattle must be ear tagged within 20 days of being born and have their own passport, issued by the BCMS.

A medication log must be kept to record each individual animals vaccinations and other medicines. You are also required to keep a herd record, where you record all births, movements and deaths of your cattle. The herd record must be kept for ten years from the date in which the last entry was made. When moving your cattle, the BCMS must be informed within 3 days. If bringing cattle to your smallholding, then no other livestock must be moved for six days. If you sell beef to the public, you are required to have your premises inspected by the local Environmental Health department.

There are testing programmes that you may have to follow to regularly test your herd for Bovine Tuberculosis TB , particularly before you plan to move them. Cattle are susceptible to certain diseases. Starting at: Excl. This websites use cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Accept More information. Search: Search. Choosing your Cattle Modern breeds of cow have been selectively bred to produce large amounts of milk or meat. Cattle breeds to consider for your smallholding: Ayrshire — a breed that is good for dairy produce.

The milk contains a high percentage of butterfat, making a rich, tasty milk. This breed has a mild temperament.


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They do not require much extra feeding except for some hay in the winter months. The cows make good mothers. Brown Swiss — a light coloured cow, suited for both dairy and meat produce. A hardy breed. Friesian — a breed that is well known for being a good milk producer. They are black and white or, less commonly, white and red. Gloucester — a rare breed that is good for both meat and dairy. Hereford — this breed has a good temperament and is easy to handle.

They are ideal for beef production.

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Holstein — prolific milk producers. They are black and white or white and red in colouring. They may not be as resistant to diseases as other breeds. Kerry — this breed is black in colour and is a good producer of milk and meat. They are a medium sized cow that is very hardy. It is a long lived breed. Lincoln Red — ideal for beef and milk production, this breed has a red colouring.

Shetland — an ideal breed for both milk and meat. They are easy to handle, docile and small in size. Jersey — ideal for smallholdings, this is a small cow that produces a rich milk. They are less susceptible to problems such as lameness, due to their hard hooves. Welsh Black — a good breed for beef. They are hardy animals that enjoy foraging.

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Feed and Nutrition Cows need pasture to graze. Cattle need access to plenty of fresh drinking water at all times. Recommended Equipment Cattle are heavy and strong, so any handling equipment must be up to the job. Breeding A heifer is the name used for a cow that has not calved before. Caution is advised when handing protective mothers and their calves. Common Diseases, Illnesses and their Symptoms Check your cattle regularly for any signs of poor condition. Diarrhoea, weight loss and decrease in condition are symptoms of worms. Lugworm causes coughing. Treatment for these parasites are through worming treatments and keeping a clean pasture for grazing.

Ticks — ticks jump onto animals as they graze.

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They can carry various diseases so it is important to remove them. Mastitis — an inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue caused by bacteria. It is often transmitted through contaminated equipment.

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Symptoms include a change in the colour of the tissue, heat, swelling and pain. Cleanliness is the best prevention.


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  7. Makes sure all milking equipment is clean and avoid spreading it further by washing your hands. Seek the help of a vet immediately, as antibiotics are required. Lameness — can be caused by a variety of conditions. A non-infectious foot condition, such as laminitis, shows symptoms of heat in the foot and the animal being uncomfortable when walking or standing. Prevent by good management and trimming of feet. Other types of lameness, such as Foot Rot, are infectious and will need to be treated with medication prescribed by a vet.


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    Serious conditions: Leptospirosis — this infection is spread by the infected urine contaminating the pasture or drinking water. Symptoms include loss of condition, poor fertility and a drop in milk production. It can also cause flu like symptoms in humans. Prevent with vaccination. This condition is a bacterial infection that produces diarrhoea, loss of weight and death.

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    There is no treatment for this condition. BVD — this condition may cause foetal abnormalities and fertility problems. It is spread by infected calves, nasal discharge or from the semen of infected bulls. Prevent this through vaccination and practicing good bio security. The bacteria can also be spread though other body fluids and can also be ingested from contaminated feed troughs or water. Feeds containing additives such as antibiotics may result in allergic dermatitis. Light-complexioned farmers in developing areas of the world are at particular risk for chronic sun-induced skin problems, including wrinkling, actinic keratoses scaly non-cancerous lesions and skin cancer.

    The two most common types of skin cancer are squamous and basal cell carcinomas. Epidemiological work in Canada indicates that farmers are at higher risk for squamous cell carcinoma than non-farmers Hogan and Lane Squamous cell carcinomas often arise from actinic keratoses. Approximately 2 out of squamous cell carcinomas metastasize, and they are most common on the lips. Basal cell carcinomas are more common and occur on the face and ears. While locally destructive, basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize. Ringworm infections are superficial skin infections that appear as red scaling lesions that result from contact with infected livestock, particularly dairy cattle.

    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production
    Breeding and Rearing of Cattle - Milk and Beef Production

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