Basic Dairy Cattle Biology

Basic Dairy Cattle Biology - Ba sic Da ir y Ca ttle Biology...

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10/12/13 Basic Dairy Cattle Biology animalscience2.ucdavis.edu/ans1/handouts/dairy_cattle.html 1/3 Dairy Cattle & Dairy Cattle Biology A. Population/Census Information World Population Figures (United Nations Food And Agriculture Statistics, ( FAO ) World - 265 million head of milking cattle (avg lactation - 4275 lbs) United States (Statistics DataBase USDA ) US: 9 Million Head; Average milk per cow - 21,300 lbs milk, 640 lbs fat CA: 1.8 Million Head; Average milk per cow - 23,400 lbs (#1 US), 790 fat US: Total cow numbers are realtively stable(California leads US with 1.8 million cows)) CA: Cow numbers are slightly increasing, as well as per cow milk production. California’s #1 agricultural industry - $7.6 billion in on-farm gross receipts (Total CA ag =$43.5 bill) For other information on state agriculture go the Department of Food and Agriculture website. Or, for a list of California's top commodities , just click. B. Basic Biology of Bos Taurus (same for Dairy Cattle as in Beef Cattle) a) Puberty : 11-14 months in heifers; 10-12 months in bulls (between 600-800 lbs depending upon breed and season) b) Reproduction : Nonseasonally polyestrus - If not impregnated, cows will cycle in all seasons of the year, however, as the temperature climbs some cows are less likely to express the visible signs of estrus (e.g., standing to be mounted, excitable and ‘nervous’ behavior) Estrous Cycle - 21 day average (19-23) Estrus Period - lasts 12-20 hours Ovulation - 12-15 hours after the end of estrus Gestation - 281 days (longer in larger breeds) c) Digestive Anatomy : Ruminants. Cattle, like sheep, are obligate herbivores, although they are nonselective grazers with a dental pad instead of top front teeth. Cattle shed ‘baby’ teeth, regurgitate and re-chew their food, using
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Basic Dairy Cattle Biology - Ba sic Da ir y Ca ttle Biology...

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