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Breeds of Beef Cattle

cattle breeds livestock Cattle are considered to have been one of the first animals domesticated by man for agricultural purposes.  They were tamed to provide milk, meat and hides and for draft purposes.  The exact time and place this happened is hidden in the mists of antiquity, but it is thought they were probably first domesticated in Europe and Asia about 8500 years ago.

Domesticated cattle are in the family  Bovidae which includes ruminates with paired, hollow, unbranched horns that do not shed and an even number of toes.  They belong to the genus Bos and the subgenera Taurine which includes the two species tarus and indicus

Cattle are ruminants (as are sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes), which gives them a unique digestive system that allows the digestion of otherwise unuseable foods by regurgitating and rechewing them as cud. They thrive on grasses and other low quality plants built predominantly of cellulose. Cattle have one stomach that has four compartments. They are named the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The rumen is the largest compartment and is like a fermentation tank, providing the anaerobic environment, constant temperature and pH, and constant mixing that allows microbes to break down the cellulolse. The reticulum, known as the "Honeycomb", is is the smallest compartment. The omasum's main function is to absorb water and nutrients and is known as the "Many Plies." The abomasum is most like the human stomach; this is why it is known as the "True Stomach."

All breeds of British and European cattle like Angus, Hereford, Charolais and Simmental belong to the tarus species.  The humped cattle of the tropical countries like Brahman and Africander belong to the indicus species.  Many contemporary breeds are the result of crossing two or more of the older breeds.  Most of the new breeds originating in the United States were developed in the Southern states where the standard breeds lacked resistance to heat and insects and did not thrive on the native grasses.  Other Bovidae that are so closely related to true cattle that they can interbreed include the bison, buffalo, and yak.

Purebred cattle breeds have been selectively bred over a long period of time to possess a distinctive identity in color, size, conformation, and function and have the prepotency to pass these traits to their progeny.

The world cattle population is estimated to be about 1.3 billion head, with about 30 percent in Asia, 20 percent in South America, 15 percent in Africa, 14 percent in North and Central America, and 10 percent in Europe.  The 10 states in the US with the  largest cattle populations  are Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, and Florida.

Click on the breed you would like to know more about in the Index on the left.

These are some of the current topics being discussed on's Breeds Board. Why don't you join in?

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cattle angus

These are a few of the topics being discussed on the Q&A Boards.
Just click on the topic to read it.   Why not join the discussion?
CattleToday's Q & A Boards are a Cattle Forum for swapping information and asking and answering questions about breed, health problems, beginners questions and jokes about cattle and horses.

He got stomped on
by Hook (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:00:41 GMT)
Deadeye got stomped on today.

Probably the last year he dresses up for Halloween. They grow up quick

Premature labour: 258 days
by wbvs58 (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:00:34 GMT)
I think you might have jumped the gun a bit and if left alone things would have happened by themselves with the milk and all.
It is hard to know what to do in situations like this and taking the calf was probably the safest option. I find that you will get the occaisional heifer or cow for that matter that shows signs a bit different, may strain for a bit as they are feeling uncomfortable with the calf and it can be very stressfull just watching and waiting. No one, even the most experienced cattle vet can accurately say when it is the appropriate time to intervene and by taking it everyone can get some sleep.
Sounds like the calf will get going and hopefully the heifer will eventually come on with her milk. All the best with them.

205 days
by Nesikep (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:54:26 GMT)
He's starting to get the neck hump now, and he's been sniffing butts for months. A real suck for attention too. I saw him next to Sofa, my long yearling heifer, and he isn't THAT much smaller than her. I'll see what I do with him next spring, if someone waves cash in my face I may take it, but I'm at the point where I have to manage my grazing a little differently, and if I can split off a bunch of the heifers and young cows it would make it much easier for me, and I need a second bull to do it, I'm pretty confident he's heifer-safe so he'd go with them, I'm a little less confident with the Limo bull on them, but I'll see next year.

If you could start over again
by cow pollinater (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:53:13 GMT)
I would go crossbred for sure. If it were me in your shoes I would start with proven cows and then breed either balancer or simangus with hereford in a two way cross. That way you have maximum heterosis from three popular breeds and you're consistently producing calves that are a high percentage english and bulls from both breeds are easy to come by. Look for homozygous black bulls on the simangus/balancer side to keep the calves high percentage black. I feel that that is about as close as you can get for a quiet, trouble free, fertile cow herd that produces a very desireable market calf.
To keep input costs low, have a defined calving season that targets about a month before your grass gets strong. That way you're only feeding hay to dry cows instead of trying to keep wet cows with calves in condition with hay.

Hey M5farms
by Deepsouth (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:46:23 GMT)

Trick or Treat!!!

Solar Farms
by cow pollinater (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:32:59 GMT)
Stocker Steve wrote:Solar energy costs are coming down fast, but some fossil fuel costs are also going down.
We are not in an ideal locations to produce it - - so the breakeven point here is not attractive w/o subsidies.
It would be great on a tropical island w/o infrastructure.
Here it's almost a no-brainer unless you live in a high efficiency home in town. I have a system going in next spring that will grid tie and provide enough power for all of my wells and the house and the payment, if I finance it at 6% for fifteen years will still be $400 less than my current power bill AND there's a tax credit.

Update on my bull (pics)
by tistis (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:31:40 GMT)
nice calf

world series
by MudHog (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:19:44 GMT)
3waycross wrote:cross_7 wrote:They were the best AL MLB team in 2014
They did it with a less the average payroll, with a group of guys they played hard and wanted to win
They went the distance with the champ and lost by a single run and the tieing run on 3B
KC Royals and their fans should be proud

They should have sent him glory!

With a batter who was chasing the high balls, I was surely expecting they send him home. Especially with the slow delivery (wide wind up) that Madison has.

SLICK !!!!!!
by branguscowgirl (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:17:05 GMT)
To you!!
Hope you have a good one!

Keeping Ralgro implanted heifers?
by bird dog (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:50:00 GMT)
I implant mine at about 2 months. 2 1/2 years ago I kept 7 heifers out of this program. Six of these blood tested pregnant and calved out. One failed the blood test even though I had seen the bull on her. I sold her at the sale barn but had the barn vet check her and he said by feeling her ovaries, she was not cycling.

I usually keep a few each year and this was the first one that would not breed. I kept back five more this year with the same procedure as I am confident with the labels directions.

Ear corn moisture
by Banjo (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:48:55 GMT)
You might want to crack open the door of the wagon...2 or 3 inches or so to get some air updrafting thru it.

American Royal
by Nesikep (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:27:57 GMT)
I hope so for you too!, but most importantly, that you have fun

What's it worth?
by jltrent (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:10:01 GMT)
bigbull338 wrote:2x on the $300 to $400.+1 as that looks like a good one as I believe it has the auto catch on it. I wouldn't want one with it.

by Gabriel (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:06:03 GMT)
Thought I'd stop in and say howdy. Been farming/ranching on a small scale for the past 12 years and full time for 3, albeit still on a small scale. Just moved from TN back to central TX.

Service. Good service.
by larryshoat (Posted Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:03:59 GMT)
Glad the whole thing is going well!! Take it easy!!


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