When asked what I do every day, I always answer: I care for animals that will be harvested to feed to my children and to yours.
Because this is the case, I have two main priorities that dictate every decision that I make at the feedyard.
- Food safety: My cattle quite literally “feed the world”. They are producing the beef that I cook at night to feed to my family, and you cook at night to feed to your family. It is my job to do everything that I can to make that beef as safe and healthy as possible.
- Healthy Cattle Make Healthy Beef: To be healthy, my animals must maintain mental, emotional and physical fitness. I must do everything that I can to “set my animals up for success” so that they can thrive and prosper and make safe beef. Good animal care leads to healthy animals. Good animal care is one of the cornerstones of Beef Quality Assurance.
We have some very important things that we do at the cattle feedyard to help our animals maintain complete fitness and good health.
- We trace the health history of our animals from birth to harvest to make sure that their vaccinations are current and comprehensive.
- We try to limit stress as much as possible, especially during times of transition for the animals. We do this through good cattle handling/psychology, limited time of transportation from the home ranch to our cattle feedyard or from our feedyard to the packing plant, and quality nutrition all throughout the calf’s lifespan.
- We exercise and acclimate our calves as they transition from life in a pasture to life in the feedyard, and provide extra trace
minerals to our animals as they make the dietary shift from eating on a pasture to eating out of a feedbunk.
- My cowboy (or I) check every animal in the feedyard every day to ensure that they are healthy. We are both good at recognizing what a calf in good health looks like, so that we can diagnose any sickness early in its onset.
We are “creatures of habit” (see previous blog) and deliver healthy and well balanced feed to our cattle two times per day. Breakfast is delivered between 8:00am and 10:30am and Linner (my children’s word for a cross between lunch and dinner) is delivered from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.