Healthy Animals…Healthy Beef!

Of all of the things that I have accomplished in my 36 and ½ years, I am most proud of my children.  They are the center of my world, and every decision that I make every day involves them in some way…

My talented girls who make me so proud...

My girls are always forefront in my mind as I care for my cattle.  My cattle are food animals, and I will use them to nourish my children.  My number one priority is to keep my cattle healthy because:

Healthy Cattle Make Healthy Beef!

Early immune system development in cattle plays a crucial role in the life-long success of the animals.  It is critical that Al provides his calves with everything that they need from the time of conception to ensure that they will be as healthy as possible throughout their entire life span.  Al does several things “at the ranch” to ensure that his calves remain healthy—I continue to do these things when I receive the cattle “at the feed yard”—this ensures that the beef that our animals produce is safe and healthy to eat.

Calf #718 is a great example of how doing all of the little things right everyday allows for the production of high quality and safe beef—beef that nourishes my children and yours.  Let’s talk about what some of these things are:

  1. Proper Nutrition—High quality feed that is balanced to provide the calf with the proper nutrition allows him to thrive.   He begins nursing his mama’s milk—he then transitions to eating grass—he then transitions to eating a blend of forage (grass) and grain to give his beef the taste and tenderness that we all love.

    One of Calf #718's herd mates...with Mama resting close by.

  2. Later in life and eating out of a feedbunk...

    Proper Mineral Supply—Minerals to cattle are like vitamins to humans.  Providing the proper “trace minerals” to our cattle allows for good development and immune system maturity that is required for the calf to remain healthy and flourish.

    A "trace" mineral tub for cattle...

  3. Proper Vaccination—I am a huge proponent of good vaccination protocols—it doesn’t matter if you are talking about animals or humans.  Properly timed and administered vaccines stimulate the immune system and protect against disease.  Just ask my girls how I feel about vaccinations—they will roll their eyes, remember the flu shot that they got last fall– and then give you an “ear full”!

    Beef Quality Assurance ensures good vaccination technique and selection...

  4. Proper Parasite Control—The reality is that when a bovine grazes on grass, he will come into contact with parasites.  It is important for good digestive function for the calf to be “de-wormed” periodically to get rid of these parasites.

    Grazing on grass...

  5. Limiting Stress—We all know what stress does to us…elevated blood pressure, increased risk of illness, and overall decrease in good health.  Well, a calf is really no different than a human when it comes to stress.  One of the most important things that Al and I can do for our animals is to figure out ways to decrease or limit stress.

    Cattle resting quietly in the home pen---stress free!

There are many days when I am positive that I have done a better job limiting the stress on my animals than I have limiting stress in my own life…We all work to achieve “balance” in our lives.  Al and I also work hard to enable our animals to achieve balance.

Every time I look at my children I am reminded of the importance of good quality animal care…High quality and wholesome beef is “What’s For Dinner” at my house.

One of the perks of having a daughter who raises great tasting Nebraska beef!

5 Comments

Filed under Animal Welfare, Beef Life Cycle--Calf #718, General

5 responses to “Healthy Animals…Healthy Beef!

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post thank you for sharing it with us:)

  2. Lana Hoffschneider

    As a mother of 3 and wife of a cattle feeder and farmer, I love reading your posts and admire you for sharing your story. I also admire the work that you do for your family and your cattle.

    • Hi Lana-

      I am so glad that you are following the blog and enjoying it. It is my hope to tell the real story of “where your beef comes from”! Thank you for following and thank you for your lovely comment.

      Anne

  3. Thanks for sharing the picture and info about the minerals supplemented to cattle! I’m so intrigued by the detailed composition of feed required for growth and health- and the similarity to the human diet too!

  4. Pingback: Women in Ag: Anne Burkholder, Nebraska’s Feedyard Foodie

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