Beef farm

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Beef Farm
Beef Farming

Beef farming is the raising of beef cattle. Farmers may keep a herd of beef cows and sell the calves in the fall (these are called cow-calf operations). These calves are sold as "feeders" and are purchased by other producers who feed them to a finished market weight of between 450 and 600 kilograms (at an average of 18 months). Others will keep a herd of purebredcows and sell breeding stock or replacement animals. Most beef farms in Nova Scotia are part time family operations with the farmer working off the farm or having another farm enterprise combined with the beef.

The history of beef dates back many thousands of years, from the wild free roaming oxen depicted in Neolithic caves. Domesticated cattle are known to have been kept in Babylonas long ago as 5000 BC. The ancient Egyptians also left evidence of beef eating; beef ribs that were discovered in the tombs of the dead were meant to provide sustenance on the journey to the next world. Until the last 200 years or so, cattle were important as draught animals to pull ploughs and carts. They were only slaughtered at the end of their working lives and consequently by today'sstandards most beef was of very poor quality. In the poorer countries of the Third World cattle are still used principally as draught animals with milk and meat as a secondary income. The manure produced by cattle is important for use as fertilizer and fuel. In the eighteenth century, Robert Bakewell, a Leicestershire farmer, began selectively breeding his sheep and cattle. He only mated the animals thatgrew best and improved the size and shape of his stock. His aim was to produce animals with a deep body and a large rump and hind legs. Bakewell's cattle were the predecessors of the modern beef breeds which grow quickly producing good quantities of meat. The rise of beef in the eighteenth century was aided by the introduction of turnips and clover in crop rotations which provided nutritious foodsfor livestock in the winter. Lighter machinery meant that horses took over much of the draught work previously done by oxen. Since the last half of the 19th century, the Mexican beef cattle industry has consisted of two, nearly separate, market components. Beef producers in the arid and semiarid northern third of Mexico have largely focused on the production of calves for export to the UnitedStates. European beef genetics have been widely used in the region, beginning with imports of Hereford cattle and continuing with today’s popularity of Angus and Brangus along with several continental breeds. For the most part, the young steers are exported to the United States while the heifers are used in the fledgling Mexican Feedlot industry to produce quasi-U.S. style fed cattle. The central andsouthern regions of Mexico, consisting of the temperate inland areas and the tropical and semitropical coastal areas, have historically produced grass-fed beef for the Mexican domestic or “national” market. These regions include a diverse group of small, mostly subsistence producers, who sell a small amount of beef in local markets, as well as dual purpose producers that use dairy-zebu crosscattle to produce both milk and beef. Grass finishing operations, located mostly along the gulf coastal region, assemble larger groups of grazing cattle until they are mature at 30 to 40 months of age to be slaughtered directly off of pasture. In earlier years, most cattle were shipped live from pasture finishing to urban centers, such as Mexico City, to be slaughtered in plants in and around the cityand sold in nearby fresh markets. More recently, slaughter plants have been located in production regions with chilled carcasses shipped to urban markets. Beef consumption in Mexico historically evolved as two very distinct markets. There has been a small Feedlot industry in Mexico since the post-WWII period, located mostly in a belt across northern Mexico from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, to...
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