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Dairy Cows (Summary)

•The United States has an estimated 9 million cows in around 75,000 dairy herds, with an average herd size of 120 cows

•The top breed of dairy cow is Holstein, taking up 93% of the dairy cow population, have an annual production rate of 10,257 kilograms (22,613 pounds) of milk per cow that contains 3.9% butter fat and 3.2% protein

•A dry cow refers to a dairy cow that is in a stage of their lactation cycle where milk production ceases prior to calving. This part of their lactation cycle is referred to as the cows dry period and typically last between 40 and 65 days.

•Intensive Management: focus towards maximum production per cow. This involves formulating their diet to provide ideal nutrition and housing the cows in a confinement system such as free stall or tie stall

•Extensive Management: cattle are mainly outside on pasture for most of their lives. These cattle are generally lower in milk production.

•To maintain lactation a dairy cow must be bred and produce calves. Depending on market conditions, the cow may be bred with a "dairy bull" or a "beef bull.”

•🐂A bull calf with high genetic potential may be reared for breeding purposes. It may be kept by a dairy farm as a herd bull, to provide natural breeding for the herd of cows. A bull may service up to 50 or 60 cows during a breeding season. Any more and the sperm count declines, leading to cows "returning to service" (needing to be bred again).

•For MAXIMUM productivity:

-increase eating, rumination, and lying down -decrease stress, disease, and discomfort

-The productivity of dairy cattle is most efficient when the cattle have a full rumen

•Cows should lie down for at least five to six hours after every meal to ruminate well. When the lactating dairy cow lies down, blood flow is increased to the mammary gland which in return results in a higher milk yield. ❗️When they stand too long, cows become stressed, lose weight, get sore feet, and produce less milk.

•Housing Systems for Dairy Production

-Free style housing is where the cow is free to walk around and interact with its environment and other members of the herd.

-Tie stall housing is when the cow is chained to a stantion stall with the milking units and feed coming to them

•About 17% of dairy cows in the United States are injected with artificial growth hormone. The use of these hormones increases milk production by 11%–25%

•Forages (anything grown in the field such as hay, straw, corn silage, or grass silage,) are the most common type of feed used. The base of most lactating dairy cattle diets is high quality forage

•there are 7 major dairy breeds in the United States. These are: Holstein, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Ayrshire, Jersey, Red and White, and Milking Shorthorn

Beef Cows (Summary)

•3 Stages of Beef Production

1: COW-CALF OPERATIONS a permanent herd is kept to produce young beef cattle for sale

2: BACKGROUNDING Background feeding relies more heavily on forage and grain to increase a calves weight by several hundred pounds and to build up immunity to diseases before it enters a feedlot

3: FEEDLOT The basic principle of the feedlot is to increase the amount of fat gained by each animal as quickly as possible; animals are kept in confined quarters rather than free range over grassland, they will gain weight more quickly and efficiently with the added benefit of economies of scale.

•Backgrounded calves and feedlot animals tend to have different diets that contain more grain than the pasture type. Grain is more expensive than pasture but the animals grow faster with the higher protein levels

•While the principal use of beef cattle is meat production, other uses include leather, and beef by-products used in shampoo, candy, cosmetics, etc.

Dairy Vs Beef



•Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in a agriculture setting To provide labor and produce commodities

•Cattle are commonly raised as livestock for meat (beef or veal) for milk and for hides which are used to make leather. They are used as riding animals and draft animals

Cow is in general use as a singular for the collective cattle

•Oxen are cattle trained as Draft animals - which provide transportation or aid physical labor (also called draught animals). Often they are adult, castrated males. Usually, an Ox is over four years old due to the need for training and to allow it to grow to full size. Oxen are used for plowing, transport, hauling cargo, etc.

Ruminants are large hoofed herbivorous grazing or browsing mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through microbial actions: Cattle have one stomach with four compartments; the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum with the RUMEN being the largest compartment. The reticulum is the smallest compartment. The omasum's main function is to absorb water and nutrients from the digestible feed. The abomasum is like the human stomach; this is why it is known as the "true stomach".

-Cattle are known for regurgitating and re-chewing their food, known as CUD chewing, like most ruminants. While the animal is feeding, the food is swallowed without being chewed and goes into the rumen for storage until the animal can continue the digestion process later. The food is regurgitated back up to the mouth, where the now cud is chewed and grind down to small particles. The cud is then swallowed again and further digested by specialized microorganisms.

•In TAXANOMY, adult females are referred to as cows and adult males are referred to as bulls

-🐂An "intact" (not castrated) adult male is called a bull ; A castrated male is called a steer ;a Father bull is called a Sire; Other than the few bulls needed for breeding, the vast majority of male cattle are castrated as calves and are used as oxen or slaughtered for meat before the age of three years

-🐄An adult female that has had a calf is a cow; A mother cow is called a dam ;A young female before she has had a calf of her own and who is under three years of age is called a heifer

-Young cattle are called calves until they are weaned. In some areas they may be known as feeder calves. Following that they are referred to as yearlings or stirks if between one and two years of age

• On farms it is very common to use artificial insemination, a medically assisted reproduction technique consisting of the artificial deposition of semen in the females genital tract

•Over 800 cattle breeds


Ghee is clarified butter - butter resulting from separating the milk solids and butterfat while cooking out the water.

In France, clarified butter has uncooked milk solids, yielding a product with a very clean, sweet flavor. In comparison, ghee is cooked over low heat until the milk solids have a chance to start to brown lightly, creating a slightly nutty, caramelized vibe. It is shelf-stable and has a high smoke point and deeply nutty flavor.

•Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to a high enough temperature for a short period of time to kill the microbes in the milk and increase keep time and decrease spoilage time. By killing the microbes, decreasing the transmission of infection, and elimination of enzymes the quality of the milk and the shelf life increases

Planned Grazing

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