Introduction to Cattle Industry

Cattle are raised as livestock for meat (beef and veal), as dairy animals for milk and other dairy products, and as draft animals (pulling carts, plows and the like). Other products include leather and dung for fertilizer or fuel. In many cultures, cattle take part in spiritual, economic or political significance far ahead of the monetary worth of the animals themselves. As a response to these many uses and habitats of cattle, a broad array of breeds have been developed.

Spanish explorers initially brought cattle to the Americas inauguration in the initial 1500s. These cattle were hardy and rugged, and the adapted readily to the new-found environments. They make up a breed family called criollo cattle; the term criollo means "of European origin but born in the New World." North American criollo breeds include the Corriente, Florida Cracker, Pineywoods, and Texas Longhorn.

Cattle from England and Northern Europe were imported to North America commencement in the the first part of 1600s.

[The imported European breeds] served a variety of subsistence niches in America for over 200 years. A more intentional introduction of cattle breeds began around 1800. Several improved cattle breeds were imported from Scotland, England, France, and the Netherlands. The Shorthorn [from England] (also known as the Durham) was by far the most valuable. People needed multipurpose cattle, and the Shorthorn combined excellent dairy and beef qualities as well as the size and strength needed for aid as oxen. It soon became the largely well-liked breed in America.

By 1900 the marketplace had shifted to support the use of specialized beef and dairy breeds. The Hereford and Angus came to dominate the beef industry, while the Ayrshire, Jersey, and Guernsey were the most numerous of the diary breeds.

Imports since 1900 have further increased the diversity of cattle breeds in the United States. The huge quantity of beef cattle breeds - and the genetic diversity they stand for - has been a keystone of achievement for the beef industry, allowing producers to respond to changing marketplace demands. Yet diversity has been conserved not deliberately because of the broad range of habitats in which beef cattle are raised, the accessibility of markets, and decentralized approaches to selection. It is for the reason that of this informal conservation process that farmers and breeders have access to the diversity they required for new production and market niches.

The dairy industry presents a critical contrast, as it rests almost entirely on the use of a single breed, the Holstein. The Holstein is famous for is adaptation to confinement dairying, and the cows yield more milk under such conditions than do those of any other breed. As a consequence, it has prospered at the expense of all other breeds in the previous fifty years. The success of the Holstein, however, rests on the availability of high levels of inputs, together with large amounts of grain and veterinary support.

The revival of lower cost, grass-based dairying as a production niche is causing dairy farmers to rethink the industry's reliance on the Holstein. Grass-based production requires cows that are active grazers, able to keep up body condition, churn out milk, and reproduce efficiently on a forage diet. Farmers looking for these qualities have turned to the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Jersey, and other "colored" dairy breeds.

The pressures of economic consolidation and vertical integration, substantial in the swine and poultry industries, have had less obvious influence on cattle. Nonetheless, there is increasing consolidation along with the companies that buy milk and beef from farmers. This process is progressively having two negative effects: The overall lowering of prices paid and the further discounting of animals which do not conform to a standard industrial type. The cattle industry, built upon a foundation of genetic diversity, cannot afford to let short term market pressures eliminate rare breeds and thus the diversity essential to its future success.


Other Articles:

How to Farm Cattle - 5 Things To Remember Before You Start To Rear Cattle

Farming Beef Cattle - Basic Requirements and Resources Needed

How to Raise Beef Cattle - Claiming Your Chunk of a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

How To Raise Cattle Effectively - It Is Easy If You Know What To Do When Raising Cattle

Raising Beef Cattle - Sources Where You Can Buy Cattle With value For Money

Raising Cattle For Profit - It Can Give You High Return of Investment But Know This Before You Start

Cattle Farming Basics - What You Need to Know Before Farming Cattle

Raising Cattle For A Living - Difference Ways To Consider Before Keeping Cattle

Why Is Farming Cattle Considered To Be A Profitable Business?

Dairy Cattle Farming - Raising Cows For Milk

Top Tips For Cattle Fencing To Avoid Your Cattle Grazing On Other Ranchers' Property

Easy Guide on Cattle Handling and Why Learning the Ropes Matters When Keeping Cattle

Critical Tips On Rearing Calves

4 Simple Steps In Developing A Cattle Farm Business Plan

Raising Dairy Cattle

Raising Black Angus Cattle

How To Raise Dairy Cattle - 4 Key Requirements

How To Raise Calves - What To Expect When You Start Raising Your Own Herd Of Calves

Cattle Information From Wikipedia


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