Q: How much land does it take to raise one cow?
A: Cattle are a herd animal and by nature they graze by moving from one area to another looking for the freshest grass. The amount of land needed to raise cattle changes depending on where you are in the country and the quality of pastures. For example, in Oklahoma it takes about 25 acres per animal.
Q: What happens to cattle when the pasture grasses freeze and turn brown?
A: We add a supplemental “cake” that includes protein, vitamins, minerals and energy when grasses are dormant and lower in nutritional value. When it snows and blows and all the grass is covered, we feed hay. This has a two-fold purpose when snow is on the ground. Hay makes good bedding, they eat most of it and sleep on the rest.
Q: What is DDG?
A: DDG stands for dried distiller’s grain. DDG is offered to cattle as a feed supplement that offers a moderately high level of protein that is beneficial, especially for cattle on high forage diets.
Q: How much do big, round bales of hay weigh?
A: One large round bale of hay can weigh between 700 to 1,200 pounds.
Q: How do you maintain good pasture? What about erosion control?
A: Solid management of pastures is not only crucial for the current cattle herd, it is vital to protect the land for future generations. Cattle are rotated to different pastures to prevent overgrazing that may lead to erosion. Farmers and ranchers closely monitor pastureland, the amount of grasses change every year and are dependent on Mother Nature’s gift of rain and sunshine.
Q: What is the Code of the West?
A: It is very simple. You always take care of your land and improve it for the next generation.
Q: How far do cattle typically travel between the different types of operations – cow/calf farms to stockers to feedyards?
A: The majority of cattle spent their entire life in a fairly small area of the country.
Q: Do farmers and ranchers get paid more for producing better quality beef?
A: Yes, farmers and ranchers receive a bonus for producing premium quality beef like Black Canyon Premium Reserve.
Q: Has technology impacted the cattle business?
A: Of course, as with any industry, technology has improved the beef business. Farmers and ranchers use many old techniques passed down from past generations along with new technology.
For example, watering cattle can include – current technology like solar mills, and wind mills that have been in use for over 100 years.
GPS is used to drive tractors, manage farmland for example, being able to precisely plant seeds on fertilizer that was spread on the field a month earlier.
DNA testing provides feedback quickly, no longer does a producer have to wait two years for feedback from the beef packer. This allows better herd management.
Electronic Ear Tags – enable each individual calf to be tracked, and helps to make breeding decisions that increase the quality of beef.
Q: What is low stress handling?
A: We work cattle very quietly, with no screaming or hollering, making the environment less stressful for cattle and cowboys. Low stressed animals gain faster and breed back better.
Q: Are vaccinations important to cattle?
A: Vaccination programs are important to all cattle production systems and are critical to managing herd health and preventing disease. The vaccination program may differ depending on what area of the country cattle are raised, but prevention is always cheaper and easier than treatment.