How to start Cattle Farming, Breeds and Feeds.
Cattle farming is a lucrative farming. We hope you will learn a lot in this article and start your cattle farming in a profitable way.
What is Cattle Farming:
Cattle farming also known as cattle rearing is a branch of animal husbandry that deals with the keeping and management of cattle i.e., bulls, cows, calves in large fenced pastures.
Cattle are large, domesticated farm animals which are reared for their meat, milk, hides and skin. They also provide power on the farm by the land ploughing and tillage operations they perform on the farm. Their dung is also commonly used as fertilizer.
They are a predominant member of the Bovidae family. As herbivores, cattle feed on grasses, leaves, legumes and roughages.
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Cow: Adult female cattle
Bull: Adult male cattle
Calf: A young cattle
Beef: The meat of a cattle
Why cattle Farming?
To meet the ever-growing demand for meat in the country.
To meet the fast-growing demand for milk and its products.
They serve as source of manpower on the farm for land ploughing and tillage operations.
They have huge demand and offer high prices in the local and international market.
Their dungs serve as fertilizers.
Breeds of cattle that can be reared.
Red Bororo or Mbororo: This breed of cattle is very much valued by the Fulani tribe of Nigeria. This breed is mainly reared for its meat. It is not a steady milk producer. They are characterized by their typical reddish coat colour and its possession of long horns. This breed is commonly found in the southeastern parts of Nigeria. This particular breed is able to survive low and high rainfalls. They can also walk long distances in herds.
White Fulani: This breed is recognized by its distinct wide set of horns and its white skin coat colour. The breed is of a West African origin. They are mainly reared for their meat but they are also excellent milk producers. These cows can produce milk for about 230 days in a year. This is why they are among the most popular cow breeds for milk. Another value of this breed is that they are more sun and heat resistant than other breeds. They possess long, durable legs that allow them cover long distances. They have a long lifespan and quickly adapt to harsh climatic and weather conditions.
The N’dama: These cattle breeds originated from Guinea. They are commonly found all across Africa. They are smaller in size when compared to other breeds, but they are excellent meat producers. Their meat is relatively low in fat and has a better taste. They are poor milk producers, often producing little of about 2-3 liters a day. They are recognized by their lyre-shaped horns and a light sandy colour of short, thin hair.
Muturu: Muturu bulls are about 100cm tall while the Muturu cows are about 88cm. The forest ones usually have a black coat while the savannah ones develop black and white coloration. These cows are poor milk producers and are bred mainly for their beef and for their farm power. They are milked rarely because of their poor milk yield even during the highest milking season. But what they lack in milk production, they make up for in calf production as they propagate quickly and breed more calves than their counterpart breeds.
Sokoto Gudali: This cow breed is one of the most numerous within the country. It comes in different colours though the most common are black and white. They are quite huge. They serve a dial purpose as they are able to produce both milk and meat. These cows are more than likely not to produce much calves. They are prone to giving birth to one calf and remaining infertile for a long time. However, these cattle are better suited as beasts of burden because, their slow nature makes them the perfect breeds for carrying out ploughing and land tillage operations.
Other breeds of cattle that can be reared mainly for milk production include: Boran, Barman, Jerseys, Friesians, Guernsey etc.
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What do cattle feed on.
Cattle needs to consume about 18-20kg of feed daily. As herbivores, their feed comprises of grasses, roughages, wheat bran and concentrates. For all livestock management, we know that water is pretty important, so a borehole, a well or any other alternative source of water supply should be located near the cattle pens or ranch.
What is cattle fattening?
This is the process of providing special diet, feeds, supplements to some selected cattle especially bulls under an intensive care system. Cattle fattening is better suited for meat production rather than milk.
Where to rear the cattle.
Cattle can be kept confined in large fenced pastures, ranches or pens. When one is about to construct a pen, or a ranch, one has to bear in mind the size or number of cattle one intends to rear so as to prevent overcrowding.
Safety measures one needs to bear in mind when one intends to start a cattle farming business.
Pens and ranches should be constructed with proper ventilation.
Sheds, pens and ranches with mud floor should be applied with lime powder regularly to reduce the spread of diseases.
Clean, good drinking water should be available for the cattle.
The floors of the shed and pens should be firm and able to hold water.
Sheds, pens and ranches should be constructed in a way it is easy to clean.
A veterinary doctor should be employed.
The fences should be constructed in a way the cattle won’t be able to escape.
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