Whether a farmer is raising one cow or a herd, Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle is the most reliable reference for ensuring a successful, healthy cattle operation. In this fully updated, full-color fourth edition, long-time cattle rancher and author Heather Smith Thomas explains every aspect of bovine behavior and provides expert guidance on breed selection, calving, feeding, housing, pasture, and health care. Along with in-depth information on raising grass-fed animals, there is also advice on creating a viable business plan and identifying niche markets for selling beef.
About the Author
Heather Smith Thomas has written extensively on animal health care, authoring thousands of articles and 24 books on the subject. Her books include Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle, Essential Guide to Calving, Getting Started with Beef & Dairy Cattle, The Cattle Health Handbook, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses, Storey’s Guide to Training Horses, and Stable Smarts. She raises cattle and horses on her family ranch in Salmon, Idaho.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Baxter Black, DVMChapter 1 Breeds and Genetics: An Overview Choosing Beef Cattle - Breeds and Types of Beef Cattle - Which Type Is Best? - Inheritance of Traits - Crossbreeding and Hybrid Vigor - Selecting for Certain CharacteristicsChapter 2: Handling and Behavior of Beef Cattle Basic Cow Psychology - Grazing Behavior - Training Cattle - Moving Cattle - Avoiding InjuryChapter 3: Issues in Buying and Selling Buying a Weaned Calf to Raise for Beef - Buying Calves at Auction - Buying from a Farmer - Buying a Heifer - What Makes a Good Beef Cow? - Buying Pregnant Heifers or Cows - Buying Open Yearlings - Marketing Cattle - Dealing with Shrink - Getting Cattle Ready for MarketChapter 4: General Guidelines for Raising Beef Cattle Understanding Your Calf's Behavior - Care for the Weaned Calf - Winter Care of the New Calf - Summer Care of the Yearling - The End Product: Beef - Feeds and FinishingChapter 5: Pasture, Fencing, and Facilities Pastures: Sizes and Types - Water - Pasture Fencing - Pens and Facilities - Working in Corrals - Feeding Facilities - Equipment and SuppliesChapter 6: Feeding Cattle Basic Nutrition - Digestion - Feeding Forages (Roughages) - Nutritional Needs Vary - Winter FeedingChapter 7: Keeping Cattle Healthy Know What a Healthy Animal Looks Like - Vaccinations - Bovine Respiratory Disease - Clostridial Diseases - Rabies - Coccidiosis - Eye Problems - Foot Rot - Lump Jaw - Bony Lump Jaw - Mastitis in Beef Cows - Hardware Disease - Urinary Calculi (Bladder Stones) - Bloat - Acidosis and Laminitis - Poisoning: Toxic Plants - Emphysema - Nitrate Poisoning - Internal Parasites - External Parasites - Skin Problems - Porcupine Quills - Snakebite - Strangulated Teat from Hairy UdderChapter 8: Growing and Breeding Heifers Feeding Weaned Heifers - Age at Puberty - When to Breed - Nutrition for the Pregnant Yearling - Basics of Reproduction in Cattle - Choosing the Bull and Getting the Heifer BredChapter 9: Care of the Pregnant Cow Nutrition - Disease Prevention - Problems of PregnancyChapter 10: Calving Create a Safe Environment for Calving - Calving Facilities - Cold-Weather Calving - Handling Cows at Calving Time - Signs of Approaching Parturition - Minimizing Calving Problems: Getting the Calves Born Alive - First Things First: Get the Calf BreathingChapter 11: Care of the Newborn Calf First Breath - Care of the Umbilical Cord - Helping a Calf to Nurse - Importance of Colostrum - Helping in Different SituationsChapter 12: Calf Health Calfhood Immunity: The Role of Antibodies - Castration - Dehorning - Detecting Illness in Young Calves - Managing Scours - Treating Diarrhea and Gut Infections in Calves - Pneumonia in Young Calves - Diphtheria in Calves - Navel Infections and Joint Ill - Catching Calves for Doctoring - Using an Esophageal Feeder - Giving Oral Medications - Broken Bones - Birth Defects in Young CalvesChapter 13: Weaning the Calves The Importance of When You Wean - Stress of Weaning - Vaccinations - DehorningChapter 14: Rebreeding Feeding the Cow after Calving - Cow Fertility - Use of Bulls - Reproductive Behavior of Cows and Bulls - Breeding Ability of Bulls - Artificial Insemination Glossary Resources Metric Conversion Charts Index