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Posted in Cattle 29 Aug at pm. Posted in Cattle 28 Aug at am. I'm a smallholder in the east of Scotland and started this website to help other people who are interested in smallholding to find their way, and to share my experiences. Comments ken mwenda Friday 19 June, at pm am very interested in cattle keeping but l have small education about it, how can you help me? Friday 19 June, at pm how can l learn more about cattle? Leave empty. Email address. Website optional.

Email me when new comments are added to this page. Popular Cattle guides Cattle Breeds There are 12 British rare and traditional breeds of cattle on the RBST wathclist Transporting and handling cattle About transporting cattle, cattle handling systems, and halter training cattle. Buying Cattle I would advise you to seek expert advice before buying cattle, either from a breed society or from an experienced cattle.

DD7 7RS. If cattle will not move freely through your yards, have a serious look at the yard design before reaching for the electric prodder! Natural animal behaviour should be taken into account in the positioning of yards; for example, cattle prefer to run uphill and towards the light. Cattle may work well in the morning but not in the afternoon because of the change in shadow distribution. The timing of husbandry operations may need to be planned accordingly. Including these considerations at the planning stage will make handling easier, and improve stock and operator welfare.

In the past, trees have been seen as occupying space and taking up water and nutrients that would otherwise grow more grass to feed more cattle. This attitude has left us with a legacy of rising watertables leading to salinisation of large tracts of land, and increased levels of soil erosion.

Practical Cattle Farming : Kat Bazeley (author), : : Blackwell's

The shade and shelter provided by trees and shrubs often more than compensates for the loss of available area for growing grass. In general, the smaller the animal, the greater the increase in requirement. Shelter can reduce this requirement for extra feed by providing a warmer microclimate downwind of the shelter.

It also improves the survival rate and welfare of newborn animals during adverse weather conditions. CSIRO research has shown that during periods of cold stress , shelter increases both temperature and humidity, with the largest increase at a distance of about five windbreak heights from the windbreak, but this extends to a distance of about twelve windbreak heights downwind. That is, a much larger area benefits from the protection than is adversely affected by competition for water and nutrients in the root zone of the windbreak trees.

At the other extreme, cattle in hot climates are likely to have a lower water requirement if they are provided with shade. Provision of shade may maintain soil moisture and extend the period of grazing available from more productive species of pasture plants that have been planted where their rainfall requirements are barely met. Clovers survive for longer in the shade, where they are protected from heat and moisture stress.

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Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any Permit before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any Permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the Permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this publication. It is the responsibility of everyone who uses chemicals to ensure that chemical residues do not remain.

While zero contamination of produce at all times is an unrealistic expectation, the public often does not distinguish between acceptable residue levels, which are well below those that pose any threat to human health, and unacceptable levels, which are a real concern. To a growing number of consumers, the presence of any chemical whatsoever is perceived as unacceptable, if not unsafe. Whether justified or not, these concerns must be taken seriously, as they can profoundly influence markets.

Thus there are two issues involved in the control of residues: safety and quality assurance.


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When applying any chemicals or other treatments to animals, they should be weighed to ensure that the correct dose is administered. Good records must be kept to show which animals are treated and when they are treated, so that withholding periods WHPs can be observed.

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If cattle are to go for export, then the export slaughter interval ESI must also be observed. Country that is to be used for grazing cattle should be checked for its previous uses. If persistent chemicals such as organochlorines are suspected to have been used, then soil samples should be sent for analysis.

The ground around old dip sites or similar areas should also be sampled or should be fenced off from livestock. During drought , the risk of unacceptable residues increases. Reasons for this include increased ingestion of contaminated soil when grazing close to the ground, and feeding of unusual feeds, especially if these are not normally fed to stock e.

Any chemical contaminant in feed, if present in sufficient concentration, can cause unacceptable residues in livestock products. If in doubt, the feed should be either tested or not purchased. For further information on residue risks in drought, see the Primefact Drought increases residue risks.

The time taken to clear residues from animal tissues varies greatly, depending on factors such as:. If it is suspected that animals may have been exposed to chemicals, it is preferable to have biopsy samples taken by a veterinarian and tested for residues, rather than risk having the animal s condemned at slaughter and placing market access at risk. Various programs are in place to minimise the risk of residues in meat products. These include:. While WHPs are designed to avoid unintentional exposure of humans to chemicals, there may be other victims not afforded this protection!

There is growing awareness that chemicals we use to control lice and worms in cattle can affect dung beetles and other insects. Myriad tiny animals contribute to the maintenance of soil fertility and structure.

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If their numbers are significantly reduced, then soil quality, pasture and therefore animal production are all likely to suffer. Recycling and burying of the nutrients in dung by dung beetles may significantly reduce fly problems in sheep and cattle enterprises, and distributes this natural fertiliser more completely through the soil.

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There is growing evidence that the use of some antibiotics in animals can lead to the development of resistant strains of the bacteria that can affect humans. The fact that veterinarians are required by law to prescribe S4 drugs only for specific conditions is an attempt to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics, and so reduce the risk of resistance developing. Also of importance is the more immediate threat of the development of resistant animal pathogens. If at all possible, animals should be accurately weighed before they are treated with antibiotics.

If only an estimate is made of the weight of an animal, and the estimate is inaccurate, then underdosing or overdosing will occur. Underdosing or not completing the full course of antibiotics may lead to the survival of a few of the most resistant individuals. These will then multiply, and the normal population will become more resistant to the antibiotic used.

Many bacteria have the ability to swap genes, thereby conferring resistance to antibiotics with other bacteria. Overdosing may lead to toxicity problems, especially in young animals. The full course of antibiotics must be completed , even if the animal appears to have already recovered. The use of low doses of selective antibiotics e.

On the other hand, their use leads to greater rumen efficiency, less methane production and faster growth rates, which is environmentally friendly. Producers must ensure that any antibiotics used for their livestock are absolutely necessary and are given at the correct dose rate, and that WHPs and ESIs are observed. Property management planning involves planning the efficient, integrated use of all resources, including human and financial resources as well as the physical resources.

It involves the consideration and integration of the many factors that are discussed below.

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Property management planning is an ongoing process, and it assists producers to improve their profitability and achieve more sustainable natural resource use. Producers and their families should identify their personal and business objectives and then develop plans to achieve those objectives. Monitoring is an important part of this planning process. This Agfact focuses on the responsible use of physical resources. Drawing up a physical farm plan will help with forward planning and clarifying priorities, so that the more important changes are made first.

It may be necessary to modify the established layouts of some properties so that environmental factors and animal behaviour can be taken into account, now that these are better understood. The farm should also be looked at in the context of the surrounding country , and possibly on a total catchment basis. Sometimes, changes to fencing or the position of contour banks, or changes to other aspects of the property, are better planned in conjunction with neighbours. This helps to ensure that what is done on one farm does not adversely affect adjacent property or those further down the catchment.

The enterprise mix chosen must be matched to the local environment. It may be more cost-effective to change your breed of cattle or to cross breed to a type that can effectively use the forage that your land can economically produce, rather than trying to produce feed to support a particular breed of cattle.

Practical Cattle Farming

Some breeds do better than others in tougher environments. For example, larger framed European breeds are harder to support on marginal country or where rainfall is unreliable. On the other hand, it is important to ensure that the cattle—pasture interaction is sustainable. For example, some Bos indicus cattle might overgraze some species of desert plants that Bos taurus cattle would graze only sparingly.