Here’s 5 tips on caring for your beef cattle. These tips keep my cattle healthy and happy on the homestead.
1 – Feed or pasture them according to the seasons. Beef cows should be let to graze out on pasture during the times when pasture is available. If pasture is no longer available make sure they have constant access to hay, clean water and minerals.
2- Add Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon essential oil to clean drinking water.
– 1 c ACV to 20 gal of water according to The Vinegar Guys.
– 2-4 drops of citrus essential oils (Go here for quality oils at wholesale prices) to a 100 gallon tank. Lemon is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off free radicals. Taken internally, lemon provides cleansing and digestive benefits.
According to the Journal of Dairy Science acetic acid contributed significantly to animal performance. The intake of ethanol and acetic acid did not negatively affect the composition and sensory quality of milk. Go here to read the study.
3- Oregano oil in feed. I occasionally add 1 drop oregano oil to 5 lb of feed such as alfalfa pellets or oats. According to the Animal Desk Reference (can be purchased on amazon) using oregano in feed and citrus oils in water will help to maintain the health of your cattle. Go here to get essential oils at wholesale prices.
4- Let chickens free range on your pasture. Free range chickens spread manure around and keep pasture productive by tearing apart the cow manure left behind days prior so that it may be more easily taken below ground by dung beetles and absorbed during rains before all that precious nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere. The reason they spread the cow’s manure is to access and eat all the fly and bug larvae growing inside. These larvae are a protein-rich food for the chickens. Through their consumption fly population cycles are broken and the cattle are not bothered by them. Further, cattle parasites are destroyed along with the dung patty, with no harm to the chicken, and the pasture is essentially sanitized.
5- Check your cows regularly for signs of illness or injury. Beef cows are a bit more tougher and less reliant on humans than dairy cows are, so less checking can be done with these girls. Many people who raise beef cattle don’t check on them daily or more than once a day, unless they’re rotational grazing them; they often only check them once a week or every two weeks to give then fresh mineral or switch pastures.
**Disclaimer: this post is not intended to treat or diagnose cattle illness. See your vet for advice/treatment for your cattle.
**Resources: Animal Desk Reference and http://www.vinegarguys.com