Most Cows Don't Live in Herds

Today very few cattle live in a complete herd as they would in their natural environment. In fact, there are very few wild herds in the world anywhere today. Cattle today are domesticated. In commercial farming situations, very few cows get to live in a natural herd. Cattle are usually separated into different groups at a very young age and decisions are made about their future by people. Usually, these decisions do not involve growing up in the herd.

Dairy Cattle

cows grazingDairies are usually made up of lactating cows (cows producing milk for their calves). As a rule, all bull calves (males) are sold off at a week old or less. Some heifer calves (females) are kept to become milking cows when they are older.

Dairy cows are usually become pregnant by means of Artificial Insemination (AI). So, many dairies do not even have one bull.

Dairy cows never get to keep their calves. The cows and the calves are separated very soon after the cow gives birth to the calf. The cow is put straight back with the others to be milked and the calf is 

Beef Cattle

beef cattleBeef operations are usually made up of breeding cows, steers and working bulls. The cows and calves are generally separated when the calves are weaned at around six months old. The cows are then put out to pasture with a working bull.

Only the best heifer calves are kept to breed with later. The bull calves are castrated and become steers. The steers and the other heifers are usually sent to the sale yards to be sold for beef.

At the sale yard, buyers for butcher shops and supermarket chains bid on the cattle. The highest bidder buys the cattle pen by pen. When all the cattle are sold, they are trucked off to abattoirs in all directions.

Once slaughtered and butchered into all the different cuts the meat finds it way into butcher shop windows and the refrigerated display shelves in the supermarkets.  

Cows Living in Natural Herds

c lgrene On small farms and in situations where it is possible, cows live in complete herds. A herd that is made up of a number of cows, their calves and bulls. Depending on the size of the herd there may be one or more bulls.

c lgrene Having a complete cow herd in your paddock is an absolute joy to experience. It is also a wonderful opportunity to learn about cows. Cows are really very, very clever when left to their own devices.

In-the-creek 2

Everybody knows cows love to swim in the dam. Our cows do that's for sure.

How Herds Work

Herds are like groups of people in many ways read more...

 

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