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Thomas April 14th, 2010 09:25

Beginner Cattle Farmer
Hi Everyone. I have been all over the search engines and can't seem to find a single forum site that is for the beginning cattle farmer. I want to get into beefers during my first year and consider raising calves thereafter. Even with friends and research, I don't feel ready to undertake this operation without more help. I simply don't know all the terminology and requirements for handling cattle. Sure, i could wing it and probably do OK, but I'd prefer not to make a bunch of mistakes in the beginning. Could someone please point me in the direction of a website or book that would give me a leg up? I'd really like a resource with information on medications and equipment needed/advised for a beginner. I've already talked with my local FSA office, and they are willing to help me get going with an operation. I just feel I need to know more about that operation from the ground up.


joncowcare April 14th, 2010 12:45

Hi Thomas,
Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of cowcare !
I really would advise that you find the name/address of your nearest agricultural college and see if they have any full/part-time courses that would suit you.
I grew up with cows so it was all pretty easy for me but if you have no prior experience you will have all sorts of problems trust me.
Keeping cows is not like keeping a pet it is a whole new ball-game and not one to go into without learning the basics first as you seem keen to do.
You might like to also try a local farmer and offer to work part-time for free which would be invaluable experience and help you decide if this is really a future you want for your self.
Seven days a week, 365 days a year there is no time off believe me, you will be out at night calving cows and will be so tired yet still have more to do and in all weathers.
If you still wish to proceed I wish you all the very best,please let us know how you do !

Thomas April 16th, 2010 08:41

Fortunately, I have found an old friend who is willing to impart his knowledge. Next week, I will be going to his hobby farm. I also talked to an auctioneer today who was quite helpful. It was chance to stumble onto these resources, but the timing was nothing short of perfect. It's easy to get lost in an operation so large. I'm certainly feeling better for the moment and hope to gain enough connections to keep me afloat. Being so rural, I don't even have a vet within an hour, so you can imagine my fear of jumping in blind. At least I now have a couple of locals to call in an emergency.

Rhodie April 16th, 2010 19:54

It looks like you are on the right track, I can only agree with Jon, that you should get as much 'hands on' experience with a mentor to guide you.
Recognising sick animals and learning how to treat and handle them cannot be learned from a book.

BecM April 1st, 2011 02:55

I would have to agree with Jon and Rhodie...getting first hand experience is the only way to go. Once you already know the basics, books can be invaluable in braodening your knowledge base, but you just cant do it from scratch.

Do you have any experience with large animals at all? Having animal sense is also something you cant learn from a book and I would strongly suggest working on someone elses farm for a bit just to see if you a) enjoy it and b) have a feel for working with livestock! You may for example find that you prefer working with sheep than cattle!

Good luck and keep us informed!

PS what country are you in just out of interest?


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