A cattle ranch is an opportunity to provide healthy, organic meat to your community while growing a business. The article ” How to Build a Cattle Ranch ” is not about how to acquire financing for a cattle farm or what goes into the decision of what kind of cattle farm you should run.
This is all about getting started in cattle ranch design regarding how to create the layout, what equipment you need, and how to optimize a cattle ranch to make your animals as comfortable and happy as possible.
Let’s learn how to build a cattle ranch successfully.
Research the Local Climate
There are many aspects of cattle ranch design. The first is to understand the local climate, i.e. topography, seasonal fluctuations, the inclination of the local market, and similar factors. This will help you understand what’s required for cattle farm operations to be successful.
Selecting a Cattle Breed
The breed of cattle you make your cattle ranch for should depend on what the goals are for your ranch. Beef production has specific breeds, as does dairy production cattle farms. Some cattle are easier to manage for beginners, while others are more aggressive.
Cattle Require Clean Water
Cattle can require anywhere from 15 to 67 litres of water per day depending on the weight if they’re lactating with a calf, and what breed they are. To ensure your cows are hydrated, have a cattle waterer or water trough available. Cattle waterers can be particularly advantageous when they are climate-controlled, refill automatically, and can be easily monitored.
Purchase the Equipment
The upfront cost of starting a cattle ranch can be sizeable, predominantly because you are setting up the barns and facilities and have to purchase equipment. Tractors and cattle farm equipment maximize operational efficiency. Depending on how you run your cattle ranch and its long-term plans, list the essential equipment you need to get going.
Build Proper Cattle Barns
Cattle need barns to protect them from the weather and to stay comfortable, healthy, and happy. They also require a specifically designed calf barn and a calving facility for calves. Another facility or area to construct for a dairy farm is a milking parlour with stanchions. There are simple designs available for each. Cattle barns are not overly complicated to build. However, ensure you have the right features and layout needs met.
Have a Waste Plan for Manure
Cattle ranches generate lots of manure. Find a use for it. Direct it to a waste management or compost plan. It’s important to have some sort of disposal plan because parasites contain parasites that can taint pastures and infect cattle. Fortunately, if you shovel it into a closed box and keep it warm, moist, and mixed for several months, it does make a very potent fertilizer.
Create Pastures for Cattle
Pastures are an art and a science. For your cattle to survive, they will need properly grown pastures. This is done through understanding soil health and your soil type, planning and timing grazing right and thinking carefully about what seeds you plant. Every cow-calf pair requires 1.5-2 acres of pasture space per year.
Set Up Irrigation Systems
Irrigation systems are needed for dry times to keep pastures hydrated and healthy. At the same time as irrigation systems are being installed, this may be a good time to look at if water needs to be directed to the barn.
Set Up Fences for Pastures
To keep cattle inside pastures, a cattle ranch should have fencing. As cattle can easily destroy fencing, connecting them with electrified, high-tensile wire is recommended to discourage contact with the fence. Perimeter fencing and area fencing are key to ensuring cattle can’t reach the areas they are not supposed to have access to. It also prevents cattle from wandering off the ranch.
Stock Up on Animal Feed
Every cow generally requires 2.5% of their body weight in dry feed forage daily. That’s a lot. Herds can be maintained on 4-6 pounds of roughage per animal, providing that there is sufficient grain available on your ranch. Stock up on animal feed at your earliest convenience. Ensure it is kept in good, dry storage as well.
Connect with a Veterinarian
Cattle are not hands-off. Be in touch with a veterinarian at your earliest. They must keep cows healthy, vaccinated, and fed with the right food. The vet you choose is as important as any buyer or supplier you work with. Don’t wait until the last minute or an emergency to connect with a farm-experienced vet.
Invest the Time in Record-Keeping
As you build up your cattle farm, start record-keeping. The more notes you take, the better. Track cattle health, finances, purchases, sales, assets exchanges, and more. Make day-to-day notes on anything you note that is different or memorable. The more information you have, the better you can go back and do health tracking, accounting, and overall cattle farm management.