By Dr Clive Dalton
Cattle have served mankind for around ten thousand years, and the ancient herders soon learned that if you treat them well, they’ll reward you with good production and profit. They’ll also stay healthy and provide you with great job satisfaction. Now believe it or not, recent research into the human/animal behaviour of dairy cows has come to the same conclusion!
As you travel around you see a lot of cattle on large farms, but what is surprising is the number of cattle kept on small farms and lifestyle blocks. These cattle are providing a wide range of services for their owners – some obvious and some not. Consider these points:
- Meat for export and a wide range of edible byproducts as well as pharmaceuticals.
- Meat for the New Zealand domestic market and home kill for the farming family.
- Milk to feed calves –either as raw milk or in powder form.
- Over 1000 dairy products made from milk for both the export and domestic market.
- Grazing “mouths” to keep pasture under control.
- Dung and urine to recycle fertility in the soil.
- Business for veterinarians, stock agents and other rural service providers.
- Entertainment for humans (not for the cattle) at rodeos!
You can add to this list the pleasure (and some frustration) cattle provide their owners, and the fact that individual cattle on some farms often have names surely confirms this!
This information is to show how to farm cattle well, so you and your stock can enjoy each other’s company, and what’s most important - make some money at the same time. If you don’t have any cattle yet, then hopefully this information will be an interesting read and help you to make some decisions.
Cattle farmed well are something to be proud of,
and it's a sad day for most folk when they have to go off to the meat works.
Disclaimer This material is provided in good faith for information purposes only, and the author does not accept any liability to any person for actions taken as a result of the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) provided in these pages.