Livestock farming is one of the main food sources in the world. Australia is a top producer of meat, particularly beef. Raising farm animals for consumption is challenging, yet it can be manageable because of the people and the tools to make it easy. The country produces safe and high-quality beef throughout the world through standardized livestock farming practices. There are 43,763 farms that produce beef cattle alone, with a national herd of 26.6 million head. The beef industry contributes to a total of 17% of Australian farm exports.
Raising livestock, especially cattle, requires a lot of things and is a risky undertaking for a lot of people. But, a full-time bovine occupation is rewarding as long as requirements are met. For starters, investing in a good farm infrastructure like cattle stockyards and properly fenced paddocks is important. Determine how much land is going to be needed for raising a herd, and which breed is good. Here are a few pointers for starting out small:
Setting a goal and motivation for investing cattle will help determine the breed, age, gender and number of animals is needed for a herd. If you have a small pasture that needs to be controlled while providing meat for the family, then a small herd of easily maintained beef-producing breed is good such as poll (hornless) Hereford or Angus. But, if you are interested in providing for a niche market, then breeds like Dexter or Belted Galloway is ideal.
Choosing a breed
If controlling a pasture and enjoying home-grown meat is needed, then a purebred or crossbred beef breed can be a good choice. Different cattle breeds can be sourced from a local cattle sales center or beef producers. Choosing between polled or horned beef should also be considered. Inexperienced farmers should start with a polled breed because they are easier and safer to handle.
Knowledge and skills
Attending different agricultural field days and workshops is a great way to have an understanding of raising livestock. Learning about feeding, breed, health, and the general well-being of cattle is a lot of hard work, but resources from different farmers and seminars are a good start.
A secure fencing is crucial to properly herd and contain cattle. There should be enough space for them to move freely. Stockyards with a loading ramp is a requirement, as it will be used when transporting the cattle in and out of your property. Stockyards is also helpful for handling livestock for marking and vaccination.
Knowing the breed and sex of the livestock you need in your property should help determine the number or amount of feed that is needed. The size and sex of the cattle are also essential in knowing the feeding requirements.
You should also consider the grazing capabilities of the property in addition to the feeding requirements. As some cows may be needed for breeding may need more food than the others. It is also important to know the pasture’s health in which the cattle grazes. A pasture’s growth varies depending on the seasonal conditions and soil type. This is important because livestock who has a healthy diet and healthy environment produces the best tasting meat.
Movement and identification
Livestock owners and their stock should always be registered and properly identified in accordance with the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013. This gives a livestock owner a certificate that shows a Property Identification Code (PIC) and registered identifiers, which can be a brand or an earmark. Cattles should be earmarked or branded and have a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) electronic device. Each livestock should be marked so that they can be easily tracked and traced for health and security purposes.
These are just a few of the important things if you want to start a livestock business. Remember to research well and gather necessary information regarding livestock farming because it is a serious business with fulfilling results.