Basic Beef Cattle Biology

Basic Beef Cattle Biology - Ba sic Be e f Ca ttle Biology B...

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10/2/13 Basic Beef Cattle Biology animalscience2.ucdavis.edu/ans1/handouts/beef_cattle.html 1/3 Beef Cattle & Beef Cattle Biology A. Population/Census Information World Population Figures (United Nations Food and Agriculture Statistics - FAO ) World - 1.4 Billion cattle; 174 Million buffalo Developed World - 370 Million; Developing World - 970 Million United States (Agriculture DataBase - USDA ) 30 million head beef cows in 700,00 Beef Herds In California approx 70% of herds have less than 100 cows (and own 7% of the cows); 15% have between 100 and 500 cows with 19% of the cows and 9% of the herds have over 500 cows but represent over 74% of all the state’s cows. 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 and Bos Indicus a) Puberty : 9-14 months in heifers; 9-12 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 microorganisms in the rumen to ferment fibrous plant material - producing food energy and methane (to be belched) in the process.
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