Ear Tag,  , Vaccine,  Grass Packing Machine

Raising cattle is definitely a rewarding activity and the benefits come in various shapes yet managing a herd of cattle successfully involves
perseverance, knowledge, and specific techniques and practices.
Cattle ear tags are actually part of the management system many farmers use.

If you have wondered about their role at some point and you’re still looking for an answer, this post might be of help. Check it out to learn more about cattle ear tags and their benefits.

 Cattle ear tag function

Although to many people, the ear tags cows wear are just a number, to the owner of the cattle, this little piece of information is actually
a shortcut to a cow’s history, body mass evolution, vaccination, birth date, bloodline, and other such characteristics.

Ear tags are used to help the livestock producer identify cows, bulls, calves, heifers, and steers and keep a record of their health history
and of all the above-mentioned aspects. Such tags are used for other animals as well including sheep, goats, and rabbits.

Benefits of ear tags

As we’ve said before, this number on the tag attached to a cow’s ear is basically a number that is associated with a certain record included in
a farmer’s record keeping system. The benefits of using them are various and you can hardly find a reason not to use them.

Knowing the history of every cow in your herd will significantly make your activities easier, as well as your decision-making processes.
By being able to track a cow’s health history, you will also be able to act accordingly and provide the right feed in the right amount at the right time.

Tags are also beneficial when it comes to the breeding cattle inventory as it will be easier for you to keep an account of your cows and their age.
This proves to be particularly helpful if you want to keep a certain age balance and need more replacement heifers.

The tags will further help you identify the carcass performance of a cow or a bull and the influence the animal had on carcass quality.
Moreover, if you’re interested in special beef programs, keeping individual performance records is compulsory. Tags will help you with that as well.

Without these tags, it would be impossible to keep track of the health problems and performance of all the cows in a large group.
However, the tags should send you to a record keeping system where you entered all the important information regarding the cows.
Therefore, their usefulness depends on the way you organize and record significant data.

 Numbering system and tag color

If you’ve reached the tag numbering stage yet you’re not sure about how to do this,
there are a few methods you can use. However, every farmer uses a specific numbering system that depends on personal preferences and ease of use.

A popular numbering method is to use a letter from the alphabet to number the year of birth.
For example, a calf that is born in 2015 would receive the letter “A”, then the calves born in 2016 would be identified with the letter “B”,
and so on. In case you have a large herd of cattle and you reach the letter “Z”, you should use “A” again the following year.

There are some letters livestock producers avoid using such as “O” and “Q” because of their visual similarity that could easily make farmers misidentify them.
You could also use numbers next to letters to further divide the cattle.

If you want to keep track of the lot in which an animal was born, you could number the lot and place it after the letter used for the birth year.
You would have something like “A01” for a calf born in 2015 in the first lot.

The color of the tag holds specific information as well. Use certain colors as a code for a feature you are interested in.
Plus, some farmers divide the cattle by the ear that is being tagged.
For example, you could tag the calf’s right ear if it’s a heifer and the left ear if it’s a steer.

Calf calves小牛, Heifer小母牛, Steer 阉公牛; 肉用公牛; cows, bulls公牛,    ,,牛,

When and how to tag your cattleMost livestock producers tag their cattle when they are calves for a more comprehensive record. However, there is debate regarding the age of the calf to be tagged. Most farmers do not tag the calves immediately after birth given the various dangers involved. It is best to wait for the calves to reach a few months of age before tagging them.

Although tagging the calves is not a difficult process, there are some measures you need to take in order to avoid complications and health risks.
 If you’re new to this, you might want to call a professional to do that properly and teach you how to do it yourself. Here are some general things to consider when tagging.

Make sure you get an applicator specifically designed for such uses. The most popular tags are plastic tags featuring a flat panel with the written ID number.
Today’s market also offers electronic identification systems known as EIDs yet they are more expensive.

The cow should go into a chute when being tagged. Make sure the animal is relaxed and even stroke its ears to help the cow get used to having the ears handled.
Find the proper place to be tagged. It should be somewhere between the upper and lower cartilage.
The middle portion of the ear is where the cow will feel the least amount of discomfort.

Clean the applicator before you use it. You will thus reduce the risk of infections.
All the tools and materials your cow will come in contact with should be sterilized.
You can use a disinfecting solution or alcohol to remove bacteria and harmful microorganisms.

Check your cow’s ear after it has been tagged. Keep an eye on the tagging site for a week or so to see if there are any signs of infection.
 If you do notice redness, swelling, and other such signs, see your veterinarian for the proper treatment.



How Many Pounds of Food Does a Cow Eat?

Last Updated: 25.09.20



If you want to learn more about cattle fences and find out which one is the best for you, we recommend you have look at our recent article.
There, you will find a wide selection of fences that have received great reviews from many customers. And if you are not sure which one to choose,
the post contains plenty of information that will help you make up your mind.

Cows are gentle animals that have unique and interesting characteristics. They are famous for their large stomach that features four chambers,
which means that they can eat huge quantities of food. But how many pounds of food does a cow actually eat? In this article, we decided to do our best and try and answer this question.


Dry matter vs. “as is”

In order to be able to find out how much a cow eats, we have to understand the difference between dry matter and “as is”. Dry matter is forage that doesn’t contain moisture, as the name itself says “dry”. But, what makes it more confusing is the fact that the forages contain moisture and we all know that not all of them contain the same amount.

So, the first step will be to determine the forage intake on a dry matter basis and then it will be easy to convert it to an “as is” basis. To make things clearer, let’s assume that the daily dry matter intake of a group of a 1,100-pound cow eating average quality hay is 22 pounds per head. We know that the hay that they are consuming is 70% dry matter.

How can we find out how much hay per head per day on an “as is” basis will this group consume? Well, in order to figure out the answer we just have to divide the 22 pounds by .70 and the as-fed intake per head/day is 31 pounds.

This is just an example to help you understand the process better and to make it easier for you to add your own numbers. Let’s take the same group of a 1,100-pound cows but this time they are fed a ration where part of the ration consists of corn silage, and the intake per head/day on a dry matter basis is 15 pounds.

In this case, we know that the corn silage is 40% dry matter and 60% moisture. It is easy for us to determine that there are 37.5 pounds per head per day on an as-fed basis of corn silage in the diet (15 pounds/.40).

Forage quality

Another important aspect that determines how much feed cattle will consume is the quality of the feed. Their normal intake is 1.4 to 4.0% of their body weight daily, but this can change depending on the type of diet they have. There are studies showing that if cows are fed on a dry basis a low-quality feed, they will consume between 1.8% and 2% of their body weight.

Plus, they will consume between 2.0% and 2.2% of their body weight on a dry basis of an average quality feed. But, when it comes to high-quality feed, they will consume between 2.2% and 2.5%. So, we can clearly see that the forage quality impacts dry matter intake of cows.

When the feed quality increases, it means that there is also an increase in the TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) which leads to an increase in the amount of feed the cow can consume. Forage contains both leaves and stems, and when the quality is better, what it actually means is that it has fewer stems and more leaves.

On the other hand, when the feed quality is not very good, it is easy to imagine that there will be more stems than leaves. Since stems contain more cell wall contents which are known to be not very easy to digest, the feed will not pass through the rumen that fast. Let’s take an example to understand better how this works.

Let’s have a look at wheat straw, which is low in protein and energy – it has 4.0% crude protein and 40% TDN. So, when cows are fed wheat straw they fill their rumen and then they stop eating. This happens because wheat straw has a very low digestibility and it takes a while until it is digested and passed through the rumen before more can be consumed.

Other factors

There are a few other factors that affect the cow’s dry matter intake and we will try to identify the most important ones. Environmental ones, for example, will definitely impact how much feed your cattle can eat. It is a bit similar to how we function: when it is colder we tend to eat more and when it is warmer we tend to eat less.

The same goes with the cattle, their intake can increase by up to 30% when the temperatures are colder and can decrease by 30% in hot/humid temperatures. It is believed that mud and snow can also affect their intake so that it can decrease by up to 15% in these adverse conditions.

Cows need to adapt to various weather conditions so that their body functions properly. That is why in the winter they need to eat more to keep themselves warm, and in the summer the heat will reduce their appetite. Another important factor that determines the cows’ feed intake is the amount of milk they are producing.

So, if a cow produces high amounts of milk then she will need to eat more in order to be able to achieve that. These two are closely linked together; you cannot expect a cow to produce a lot of milk if she doesn’t eat properly.

Also, a thin cow will consume more than a fleshier one, and that is why it is important to condition score your cows to know what to expect food wise. And, one of the most important factors is the reproductive status of the animal – a dry cow will eat 40 to 60% less than a lactating cow.


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