The amount of care and protection required by cattle vary from one location to another. It is always important to prepare and implement a comprehensive cattle handling plan based on the weather and climatic conditions of your area. In addition to meeting their dietary and health needs, you also need to keep their living environment clean and comfortable. Also, you must concentrate on some simple points to take adequate care of your cattle.
Dietary Needs: As the stomachs of your cattle have four chambers, it becomes essential to provide them with adequate diet and nutrition. Normally, their dietary needs can be met by providing adequate hay and pasture. Also, you can consider feeding them grain as grain is high in energy.However, you must decide the amount of feed required to keep your cattle healthy based on the animal’s weight. It is recommended that you must feed about 2% of the animal's body weight in dry matter on a daily basis. The hay, pasture or grains also need to be complimented with mineral and salt block, and kept dry using some type of cover.
Sufficient Fresh Water: Each farm animals needs adequate amount of your fresh water on a daily basis. Sp you must ensure sufficient fresh water supply to keep the cattle healthy. On an average 20 gallons of fresh water is required for a mature cow, bull or steer. However, you must concentrate on supplying the water manually and avoid installing automatic water systems.
Maintaining the Pasture: As a large portion of the dietary needs of your cattle will be met through pasture, you have to ensure that the pastures are both plentiful and good quality. If the pasture is of poor quality or insufficient, you must provide each animal with hay weighing 2% of its body weight. However, you must check the fields thoroughly and remove all those plants that can be harmful or poisonous for the animals. If you are finding it difficult to identify the poisonous plants, you can get a complete listing of these plants from your local agriculture office.
Shelter: Along with sufficient diet and fresh water, the cattle must be provided with healthy and comfortable living environment. A run-in-shade or 3-sided shelter can be built on the fields for each animal. The shelters will make it easier for the cattle to get out of the inclement weather whenever they want. But you must check the shelters regularly, and ensure that these are properly ventilated and waterproof. You can even use cattle corrals to keep the shelters safe and comfortable. However, you need to avoid installing barbed wire fencing as the wires can be dangerous for your animals.
Healthcare: In comparison to other farm animals, cattle can be halter trained and handled more easily. You can simply brush the animals on a daily basis to get them used to being touched. The brushing will further make it easier for others to handle them in future. However, you must ensure that the animals are up to date on all vaccinations required in your area. It is also important to consult a veterinarian on matters related to your animals’ health.