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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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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.

Why the objection to contracts?
by Nesikep (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 03:26:50 GMT)
I like written contracts on anything of significant value.. if I've known people a long time I can do a handshake deal on the minor stuff and be fine with it.

Grazing leases, bull leases etc all need to be in writing... For some equipment (an emergency baler loan for example) may not need a written agreement, but I do like to spell out the expectations on both sides.. like I will cover anything related to damage, but we share cost (I can do labor) on things related to wear (round baler bearings are a great example).

Thankfully I'm not in a position I need to lend out or borrow anything.

With one of my friends we just have rolling accounts of who owes who which parts for our trucks.. if anyone ever needs something and the other has it, they're free to just come and pick it up, we know the favor will be returned.

Risk vs Reward, does calf size really matter?
by Nesikep (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 03:00:53 GMT)
Here I go opening my big mouth... but I have never had a malpresentation of just one leg back, or both front legs.. I did have one head back (25 years ago), and 2 breech births.. one was a twin about 3 years ago, the other was a single 4 years ago.. I've had a number of them hind legs first but correct, they're more likely to need some help as the hind legs don't seem to stimulate the contractions like the head does.
I've been trying to see if there is some heredity or repeatability in malpresentations, and there seems to be a little of both, though I'm not a statistician.. I have many (nearly all) cows that have had only had normal, forward presentations, but also have a couple that have had more than 1 calf hind legs first, and perhaps a sister/daughter that did it too. Not all my births are observed, so there might be a whole bunch that I haven't seen, and who can tell after the fact?

Calf Personalities
by Nesikep (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:46:30 GMT)
A lot of the color came from a Saler I'd screw it up if I use a Char or something black!

Australian Talk.
by Suzie Q (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:43:58 GMT)
We managed to do hay during that heat wave.

Happy Easter to everyone.

They are lookin at a wet Easter around Brisbane.

New vaccines im using this year
by wacocowboy (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:32:07 GMT)
I figure Sky would have a rabies vac in there.

Pure bred vs cross bred
by wacocowboy (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:25:34 GMT)
Sniper338 wrote:That answers my question... i dont care to have regestered cattle anyway. Thats forbthe birds in my case. Looking around though it didnt seem like there was any price difference in pure bred vs a cross... so if that was the case id want pure bred just to hone in on the kind of calves i wanna get out of em...

If you are breeding just to take your calves to the sale barn then go with crossbred cows like F1 tigers or Brangus then use a purebred bull like Char or Hereford. I breed registered Beefmaster I use to run crossbreds trust me there is a huge difference in price. I can buy good young Brangus cows for $2300 each at a sale I was at a few weeks back good registered bred Beefmaster heifers sold for as high as $6100.

900 lb bull
by wacocowboy (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:54:07 GMT)
I have seen plenty of young bulls cover cows heck seen one yearling cover almost 30 cows but it is not something I would do. I get that you need to get your cows covered and you don't want to rush out and spend a lot of money on a good bull. If it was me I would have bought the best looking old bull at the sale barn had the barn test him if he was good take him home. Bulls usually don't get old producing trash, and usually when people sell their bull there is still some goody left in them.

Frozen Hose
by bball (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:51:36 GMT)
This darn post forced me to go buy one. I confess, im impressed thus far. Thanks to all

She's yankin' my chain.
by bball (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:33:36 GMT)
retro wrote:If she's nice Like you say I would watch and see if she learns to be a mother, If not Load & Go. I've said this before Heifers are like a teenage mothers. some just know what to do others need to be taught, and some just what to leave their baby in a pile and go on the merry way. I've wore out a headgate and 2x4 on MOTHERHOOD Class 101 before, I got no time for that BS anymore. if they can't do their job from the get go. They're on the trailer and OFF LIKE A PROM DRESS

X2. It always comes down to the amount of time and patience you personally have. It can be very rewarding and/or super frustrating. As i age, i just dont seem to have the time for it; my patience is better though The reason i agree with prom dress analogy is (possibly erroneous thinking here) sure, shes is a dandy heifer/cow who will likely throw more dandy looking cows that will potentially have the same flaw in maternal ability. I just dont want the temptation of seeing a dandy heifer, keep her, and have to repeat the learning cycle with her offspring. Thats just me. The juice isnt worth the squeeze for me at this point...I have enough to do already.

What are you eating today?
by wacocowboy (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:26:15 GMT)
Deepsouth wrote:Boudin balls. From Lafayette, La.

I love Cajun food

Craigslist prize bulls
by wacocowboy (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:24:19 GMT)
Muddy wrote:Black limousin x charolais bull? Didn't you meant white?

That brangus bull looks like a great horned ringfeeder.

I expected the Black Lim x Char bull to be smokey

That "Brangus" Bull looks like a fighting bull

First twins
by bball (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:17:56 GMT)
inyati13 wrote:Lucky_P wrote:Ron,
You probably need to - and I'd recommend most folks do so,too - get some colostrum REPLACER and have it on hand for situations where you just can't get the cow in to milk her...or whatever.
The colostrum SUPPLEMENTS are 'not much punkin'...better than nothing, but typically you're not able to get enough immunoglobulins into circulation with them to give full protection.
Best colostrum REPLACERS will have 150 gm(or more) immunoglobulins per bag. most of the supplements run in the 50-60 gm range. Unfortunately, most farms stores, tsc, etc. only carry supplements'; you'd have mail order a good replacer, and likely won't find a good one for less than about $35/bag - but they're usually good for 18 months or so after manufacture date. I keep mine in the freezer - probably extends 'shelf life' substantially.

Good overview here: ... das-11-180

Thanks Lucky. Kris is getting me some real frozen colostrum to take home with me.

Lucky: Is it likely that colostrum from a dairy in Missouri could introduce pathogens into my herd?

You can transfer Johne's and salmonella via colostrum. It is not recommended to provide colostrum from another farm to your own. Ideally, mothers colostrum, then from another cow in your herd, then colostrum replacer if necessary. I always try to save some and keep in freezer if i have a cow with plenty. Read somewhere it keeps for a year in freezer. Saved us on more than one occasion

How does one person represent so many cattle for sale?
by Ojp6 (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:05:28 GMT)
Brokering cows is mainly about your ability to market cows and develop relationships with customers because a successful broker moves cattle as fast as possible. I have traded on cattle and brokered cattle both at different points in my life. Brokering is significantly less stressful because none of your own money is at risk but trading has the potential to make a great deal more money. Whether you put together the cattle yourself and sell them to a customer or find a producer and broker a sale its all about keeping your customer happy.

by Commercialfarmer (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 00:54:42 GMT)
melking wrote:CF, You are dead to the tribe. From this point on you can only type backwards, you have to paint one half of you white and the other half black. You will need to drive everywhere in reverse and always walk backward until you reach the point in your history where you strayed from the path. Then you will get a do over.

Guess I'll just have to take my licks being a happy individual and all that entails. I just don't feel the need to hold some other man's hand or seek his approval.

At what weight do you sell your calves?
by Aaron (Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 00:50:48 GMT)
Lots of buyers for the 400 to 525 weight calves here. Outside of that range, the number of buyers narrows drastically. Those are the weights that make the most money (and stay alive) for the next guy/backgrounder.

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