Successfully raise grass-fed cattle and enjoy the benefits of great-tasting beef and a financially stable enterprise. In this comprehensive guide, Julius Ruechel covers every aspect of raising healthy and thriving grass-fed cattle, offering advice on herd selection, pasture management, medical care, necessary equipment, winter grazing, slaughtering procedures, and more. With tips on creating a viable business plan and identifying niche markets for your beef, Ruechel provides everything you need to know to develop a profitable and environmentally sustainable grass-fed cattle operation.
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About the Author
Julius Ruechel spent three years converting his family’s beef cattle ranch in British Columbia into a certified organic farm with grass-fed cattle and organic field crops. He then established his own grass-fed beef farm in Canada’s Yukon Territory. He is the author of Grass-Fed Cattle and currently lives in British Columbia.
Table of Contents
Part ONE: The Fundamentals of Grass-Based Beef The Great Herds and Their Grasslands The Ticking of Geologic Time • The Great Herds • Lessons from the HerdGenetics and Breeding: Selecting the Right Animals for Your Herd The Pitfalls of Single-Trait Selection • Environment and Climate • Characteristics of the Ideal Breeding Animal • Culling Animals: Training Your Predatory Eye • Breeding for Your Target Market The Cattle Year on GrassThe Calving Season and Predator Exposure • The Calf: Birth to Sexual Development • The Heifer Calf: Sexual Development to Calving • Photoperiod: Sunlight and Fertility • The Bull Calf: Sexual Development to Breeding • Cattle Processing: The Human Role in the Cattle Year • Marketing Grass-Fed Cattle • Moving the Calving SeasonGrass and GrazingThe Rumen: The Forge that Turns Grass into Beef • Root Reserves and the Ideal Grazing Interval • A Recipe for Healthy Soil • Grass Varieties • Rejuvenating Old Pastures Part TWO: Infrastructure and ManagementElectric Fences and Rotational GrazingFactors to Consider • Energizers • Permanent Wires • Posts and Braces • Insulators • Permanent Gates • Portable Electric Fencing • Training Cattle to Respect Electric Fences • Understanding the Goals of Pasture Rotation • Pasture Rotation: Herd Migration in Your Own Backyard • Training the Herd for Pasture Moves • Managing the Calving Season on PastureLivestock WaterHow Much Water Do Cattle Need to Drink? • Peak Water Supply • Water Quality • Direct Access to Open Water • Pumping Water • Water Storage • Piping Water • Cattle Behavior at the Water Trough •
What People are Saying About This
“For people starting out in raising grass-fed beef, this book is essential. For the experienced grass farmer, this book is an important addition to the library.” – Temple, Grandin, designer of humane livestock facilities; author of Animals in Translation
“This book walks the reader through every phase of grass-fed beef production, often detailing aspects found wanting in textbooks on the subject. Its lessons are international and conquer the environmental differences under which grass is grown and fed. Outstanding!” – Charles Walters, Executive Editor of Acres, USA
“An excellent how-to book for grass-based natural cattle production…one you will want to read and re-read many times.” – from the foreword by Allan Nation, Editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer