If you own a farm and want to select the best beef cattle breed for your farm, it is better to do some research beforehand. However, you need to know that you cannot look for the best breed because there isn’t one.
Every breed has unique qualities in its own ways. Though some breeds are more popular than others, you can surely go for them, but that does not make the other breeds insignificant.
Every breed has different qualities that you will only understand once you study all beef cattle breeds. In this post, we will share some details with you so you can make a well-informed decision and select the breed that suits your requirements.
Beef cattle are reared for the production of meat, and there are multiple options to choose from. However, in this post, we will discuss the three best beef cattle breeds for small farms. These include Dexter, Miniature Herefords, Belted Galloway.
Selecting A Beef Cattle Breed for Your Farm – How to Choose a Cattle Breed?
Listed below are some things that you need to consider when selecting a beef cattle breed for your farm:
- You must look for a breed that needs less pasture space for grazing
- The breed should have minimal requirements when it comes to feeding and veterinary care
- It should produce a low quantity of manure
- Should be an ideal breed for the production of meat and milk
- It should have the best ability to forge when there is a food crisis or shortage of food
Best Beef Cattle Breeds – All You Need to Know
With the help of the requirements mentioned above, here are some of the best beef cattle breeds that you can choose for your farm and enjoy several benefits.
Belties – Belted Galloway
This beef cattle breed is the oldest ever existed in this world, and it offers a bunch of benefits to farm owners.
The first good thing about this breed is that it is a nature hornless breed, so you don’t have to do a lot when it comes to de-honing. Horned cattle are rather dangerous for people when they are approached.
The next good thing is that they offer high feed conversion rates. Some studies show this breed requires little amount of feed to gain a kilogram.
Galloways are commonly known for their meat quality. Its meat is well-marbled and has delicious flavors. Galloways’ meat is tender and moist, which is good for health and easy to cook.
In addition to that, this breed has a double coat which helps to gives full protection to its carcasses, and as a result, it has low saturated content of fat.
Beef cows that have only an inch thicker hair coat than usual ones require only about 20 to 25 percent less digestible feed intake in order to maintain their weight in winters. When the hair coat is thicker, cows need less feed. Therefore, less cost is required to maintain your beef cattle’s health. Belties are docile, and they eat several kinds of flora which includes the less digestible ones and any other breeds.
Belted Galloways are widely popular for their high rates of fertility and excellent mothering abilities. They not only resist certain types of diseases but also live longer than other beef cattle breeds. All of these things make them the top choice of most farm owners, especially those who own small farms.
This beef cattle breed is purely British and is also widely popular across the globe for its qualities. Most people keep miniature Herefords as pets for their kids and to perform in different pet shows.
People love these beef cattle breed because of the following reasons:
For starters, this breed of beef cattle requires a rather simple diet, so you don’t have to be very picky when it comes to feeding them. Their feed conversion rates are also high, and thus they need less food for weight maintenance and meat production.
Secondly, if you have a small farm, this breed is one of the best options as they can live in small spaces as well as produce less manure.
Miniature Herefords are also known for their ability to survive in changing environments. As they can adapt to different environmental conditions easily.
Their muscle length is shorter, which makes their meat tender. As compared to a standard cow that weighs about 2000 pounds, its weight can only go up to 700 to 1000 pounds. It explains the fact why they do not need to require to develop their muscle much.
Moreover, they are capable of producing 1.5 square rib-eye for every hundred pounds of their weight.
These are dual-purpose cows and can be kept for both meat and milk production. Their qualities include their ability to live longer, i.e., for about 17 to 18 years, their ability to adapt to various environmental conditions, maternal instincts, and so much more.
On average, Dexters cow can produce ten liters of milk on a daily basis, and at maximum, they produce twenty liters. Their milk is best for producing cheese.
They are the best cows when it comes to meat production, feed conversion rates, as well as meat to bone ratio. If they eat grass, their meat will become extra lean, tender, and have a nice texture.
Tips to Choose a Beed Cattle Breed for Your Farm
When choosing calves, there are various factors that you must consider:
- They must be at least four days old because the older the calve is, the better it will be.
- Choosing a calve of more than forty kilograms is the best choice
- Calves must be energetic, happy, and strong. If you fail to ensure if they are healthy, other cattle can catch diseases from them
You can analyze their body parts in order to ensure they are healthy:
- Their eyes should be alert and dark and not sunken and dark
- Their ears must not be drooping and must be alert
- Rear ends must appear clean, and they should not have diarrhea
- They should not have swollen knees, and their navels must be clean and not infected
If everything appears fine to you, you can continue with your purchase.
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