You want to get a few cows for your property, whether you plan on butchering them for meat later or just having them to graze and help manage your land. In particular, you want black Angus cattle, which are typically bred for their meat production. Are you ready to have cattle on your property? Do you have the resources to raise cattle? How many cows can you afford? This guide will help you determine if you are ready for cows on your land and, if so, how many you can tolerate.
How big is your property?
In general, you will need at least an acre for a single cow. Acreage for cattle (and horses) is determined by weight versus land size, so the more animals you have to feed, the more pounds of grazing beasts you have on your property, which equals the need for more land. So, if you don't have a large amount of acreage, you may not be ready for more than one black Angus cow at a time.
How knowledgeable are you?
How much do you know about cattle? Are you aware of hoof rot, warts, pink eye, fly infections, and other illnesses and diseases that can afflict cattle? Do you know how to keep cows away from potentially toxic plants and materials and what to do if your animals encounter illness? Do you know how to give vaccinations or know a vet in the area who can do them for you?
What about calving? Do you know a few things about breeding cows or how to care for young calves? You want to have some basic knowledge of how cattle should be cared for so you don't lose any of your investment due to illness, death, or injury.
How much can you afford?
Cattle aren't cheap, beef cattle among them. You have to not only buy the cattle, which is usually purchased on a per-pound rate, but you also have to pay to vaccinate and care for the animals. You also have to buy feed and pay to keep fencing secure around your pasture. Tagging and otherwise marking your cattle can also be an expense. Buying a single cow for future slaughter can be a wise investment, but only if you can afford it. Sometimes it's best to share the purchase and raising costs with another person to help you save money on your investment while still getting to make the purchase initially.
For more information on raising cattle, contact a company like GDA Farms.