RSept.V 1o936, No. 193, M ;uy 19 2,
Sept. 1936, Nov. 1938, May 19i44
Bulletin No. 28
By L. H. LEWIS
Livestock Specialist, Florida State Marketing Bureau
P. 0. Box 779, Jacksonville, Florida
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The author desires to express his appreciation to all agencies from
whose data materials were taken, and especially to the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station, the Florida Agricultural Extension Service, Livestock
Sanitary Board, Agricultural agents of the various railroads, the United
States Department of Agriculture, and other State experiment stations,
as well as the various Beef Cattle Breeder Associations-including the
American Aberdeen Angus Breeders' Association, American Brahman
Breeders' Association, American Devon Cattle Club, American Hereford
Breeders' Association, Red Polled Cattle Club of America, American
Shorthorn Breeders' Association for pictures; and Morrison's Feeds and
Feeding, as well as others.
The author also desires to express appreciation to Drs. R. S. Glasscock,
R. B. Becker and Geo. K. Davis of the Florida Experiment Station, Gaines-
ville; V. W. Lewis, General Livestock Agent, A.C.L.R.R., Savannah, Ga.,
for verification of materials in the bulletin and suggestions made to improve
the manuscript; to Hon. T. J. Brooks, Assistant Commissioner of Agricul-
ture, Tallahassee, and Gifford N. Rhodes, State Marketing Bureau, Jackson-
ville, who read the manuscript and offered many suggestions; to Prof. W.
E. Stokes and R. E. Blazer, Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville,
for materials on "Pastures" which they kindly wrote for the bulletin, as
well as to Dr. J. V. Knapp, State Veterinarian, Tallahassee, who prepared
the chapter on "Diseases and Parasites;" and Dr. W. G. Bruce, Bureau
of Entomology, Savannah, Ga., for material on use and value of DDT.
Much credit is due Miss Kathryn Vernon for her untiring efforts in typing
and helping proof read manuscript of this publication and its previous
prints, and to also express appreciation to many other persons and agencies
from whose thoughts materials were taken.
The appendix carries much statistical data on livestock.
The production of beef cattle in the United States has undergone a
great many changes since the days when cattle took the place of the roving
buffalo herds on the western plains. Every State in the Union raises some
beef cattle and it seems safe to predict that the future will see vast herds
of beef cattle being raised in sections that heretofore have not been noted
for cattle raising.
In the State of Florida there have been cattle for 375-400 years, or
since the early days of Spanish settlement. These early importations by
the Spaniards were not given much attention in the way of herd manage-
ment-the cattle being left to rustle for themselves. Fortunately the ranges
provided some forage for this early stock, and as a result of this compulsory
self-feeding, the offspring of these early cattle is today noted for its
hardiness and rustling ability.
Florida is naturally adapted to beef cattle production. The climate
permits grazing from nine to ten months of the year on the soils found
in hammock and flatwood ranges; but South Florida muck lands, a twelve
months grazing sometimes is possible. To produce the best quality of beef
it is advisable, however, to supplement the forage crops with properly
balanced rations as suggested herein.
There are approximately 1,539,000 head of cattle in Florida, having a
value of approximately $183,141,000.00 (1952), which does not include
land, fences, corrals, horses for handling and other equipment of estimated
value $500,000,000 total. Production of good beef cattle in Florida funda-
mentally is the same as in other states. There must be carefully selected
breeding stock, and proper facilities provided for the care of the herd; the
right kind of feed, including high protein supplement, water and shade,
and often mineral supplements, to both plants (soils) and animals, are
most necessary in the production of good beef.
Florida enjoys a very good market position, the outlets being almost
unlimited. With an under-production basis consumption, the market
demands in Florida are perhaps the highest of any section in the United
States, therefore ready markets are within the State.
There is a heavy demand for veal and calves which will undoubtedly
stimulate their production in Florida. There are about 60 meat packing
plants in the States of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, as well as markets
of the North and East, which assures a market for all the marketable
cattle Florida produces.
Florida produces a considerable amount of high quality beef and the
meat from these cattle should be advertised as "Florida bred and fed beef,"
and not "western meat." Watch Florida grow.
Acknowledgments and Introduction .................................................... ........ 1-6
Chapter 1 General History of Cattle, and Their Adaptation ............ 7-10
Chapter 2 Breeds of Beef Cattle, Their Description and Uses ...... 11-31
Chapter 3 The Breeding Herd, and Some Things it Takes to
have a good one-Breeding, Care, Management, Re-
placements, Culling, etc. ................................................................... 32-51
Chapter 4 Beef Cattle Program in Florida ................................................... 52-56
Chapter 5 Some Breeding Terms Explained, Selection, Pure
Breeding, Inbreeding, Hybrids, etc. ......................................... 57-63
Chapter 6 Herd Management, Improvement, Increase in Size-
Calf Crop, Marking, Branding, Dehorning, Culling...... 64-86
Chapter 7 Florida Needs Feeds and They Should Be Extended
-Grains, Protein and Mineral Supplements, Root
C rop s, etc. .............................................................................................................. 87 -100
Chapter 8 Feeding Terms Explained, Nutrition, Feed Ingredi-
ents-Water, Minerals, Proteins, Fats, Carbohy-
drates, Feed Substitutes, etc. ......................................................... 101-115
Chapter 9 Pastures and Forages, Native Pastures, Improved
Permanent Pastures, Fertilization, etc. .................................... 116-140
Chapter 10 Feeds and Feeding Rations, Creep-Feeding, Lot-
F eedin g ............................................................... ................... ............. 141-152
Chapter 11 Feeder Cattle, Selection for Feeding, Margins,
E quipm ent, etc. ........................................................... ............ 153-163
Chapter 12 Farm and Ranch Equipment, Silos, Barns, Corrals,
V ats, etc. ........................................................................................................ 164-181
Chapter 13 Common Diseases and Parasites of Cattle .............................. 182-192
Chapter 14 Cattle Shows, Showing Cattle, Showmanship and
J udging ........................................................................................................... 193-203
Chapter 15 Marketing Cattle, Grading and Marketing Facilities
Losses, from Bruises, Injuries and Deaths .............................. 204-232
Chapter 16 Stamping Beef, Beef Cuts and Their Preparation ...... 233-242
Chapter 17 Country Hides and Skins, Preparation and Selling...... 243-253
Appendix-Includes Livestock Statistical Information .............................. 254-303
i: ~ ~~- ~~~
FLORIDA GRADE ANGUS HERD
TRIBUTE TO GRASS
By JOHN J. INGALLS
"Next in importance to the divine profusion of water, light and air,
those three great physical facts which render existence possible, may be
reckoned the universal beneficence of grass. Exaggerated by tropical heats
and vapors to the gigantic cane congested with its saccharine secretion, or
dwarfed by polar rigors to the fibrous hair of northern solitudes, embracing
between these extremes the maize with its resolute pennons, the rice plant
of southern swamps, the wheat, rye, barley, oats, and other cereals, no
less than the humbler verdue of the hillside, pasture and prairie in the
temperate zone, grass is the most widely distributed of all vegetable beings,
and is at once the type of our life and the emblem of our mortality. Lying
in the sunshine among the buttercups and the dandelions of May, scarcely
higher in intelligence than the minute tenants of the mimic wilderness, our
earliest recollections are of grass; and when the fitful fever is ended, and
the foolish wrangle of the market and the forum is closed, grass Iheals
over the scar which our descent into the bosom of the earth has made, and
the carpet of the infant becomes the blanket of the dead.
"As he reflected upon the brevity of human life, grass has been the
favorite symbol of the moralist, the chosen theme of the philosopher. 'All
flesh is grass,' said the prophet; 'My days are as the grass,' sighed the
troubled patriarch; and the pensive Nebuchadnezzar, in his penitential
TFF~ .e ;I; ..
~ ;i.; .-.
mood, exceeded even these, and, as the sacred historian informs us, did eat
grass like an ox.
"Grass is the forgiveness of nature-her constant benediction. Fields
trampled with battle, saturated with blood, torn with the ruts of cannon,
grow green again with grass, and carnage is forgotten. Streets abandoned
by traffic become grass-grown like rural lanes, and are obliterated. Forests
decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish, but grass is immortal. Beleaguered
by the sullen hosts of winter, it withdraws into the impregnable fortress of
its subterranean vitality, and emerges upon the first solicitation of spring.
Sown by the winds, by wandering birds, propagated by the subtle horti-
culture of the elements which are its ministers and servants, it softens
the rude outline of the world. Its tenacious fibers hold the earth in its
place and prevent its soluble components from washing into the wasting
sea. It invades the solitude of deserts, climbs the inaccessible slopes and
forbidding pinnacles of mountains, modifies climates, and determines the
history, character and destiny of nations. Unobstrusive and patient, it
has immortal vigor and aggression. Banished from the thoroughfare and
field, it bides its time to return, and when vigilance is relaxed, or the
dynasty has perished, it silently resumes the throne from which it has been
expelled, but which it never abdicates. It bears no blazonry of bloom to
charm the senses with fragrance or splendor, but its homely hue is more
enchanting than the lily or the rose. It yields no fruit in earth or air,
and yet should its harvest fail for a single year, famine would depopulate
LIVESTOCK IS MORE THAN AN INDUSTRY
", .. "
Courtesy American Hereford Breeders' Assn.
"But livestock is far more than an industry.
It is also a way of life. It is important to the
nation, not merely for the money it brings, but
pjri1,,r't;li for the sort of people it develops."
TRIBUTE TO THE COW
"The grand old brute-man's greatest friend-without her, Sunday
stillness would pervade the great stockyards, and many cities would decay;
one-half the freight trains of the U. S. A. would be sidetracked; 50% of
their employees would draw no pay Saturday night; our tables would be
bare of the greatest luxury with which they are now furnished, and millions
of prosperous homes would be destroyed.
"There is nothing like a cow. Everything from her nose tip to tail tip
is used for man,-her horns for combs; her skin for man's feet and horses
backs; her hair to keep plaster on walls; her hoof makes glue; her tail
makes soup; she gives us our cream, milk, butter and cheese, and her flesh
is the greatest meat of all nations. She is the foster mother of civilization;
she works for man day and night; she has gone with man from the orient
to the accident; her sons drew the prairie schooner for the pioneer; her
milk fed the family at the end of the day.
"Eliminate the cow and one eliminates milk for the baby, the cream
biscuit, the custard pie, cream for the coffee, butter, cheese, the smoking
beefsteak or roast.
"The cow makes it possible for man to make an undeveloped America
into a land of happy homes. When she came to America the buffalo
disappeared, the Indian tepee gave way to the church, the school house, the
home, and where once wild animals roved and howled today children laugh
and play, grass grows, flowers bloom and birds sing. The cow is man's
second greatest benefactor, being only subject to grass-man's greatest
By F. M. WOODS.
General History of Cattle
The ancestors of our modern beef cattle roamed the earth when wild
animals first inhabited its forests. It is difficult to state definitely the
original sections where they began life, and it seems most reasonable to
believe that almost every section of the globe except the frigid zones con-
tributed to their general welfare, however, their origin antedates history.
Dr. Frederick B. Mumford states: "The domesticated cattle of the
world are now classed in two species: The Bos Taurus, or common cattle of
Europe and America; and the Bos Indicus, the humped cattle of India,
called Zebus. The humped Zebu was domesticated in Egypt over 2,000
years before the Christian era.
"The prevailing type of cattle common to Europe and America belongs
to the species, Bos Taurus. From this animal all the principal British breeds
have descended, and this species has been widely dispersed to every country
on the globe. The first attempts toward development were very crude
and little progress was made.
"Systematic improvement which resulted in specialized breeds began
about the close of the 18th century. The greatest progress was made in
Great Britain, and to Robert Bakewell (1725-1795), of Leicestershire,
England, must be given the credit of producing such markedly superior
animals; types which justly have entitled him to the distinction of being
called the 'father of the science and art of modern cattle breeding'."
Careful selection and breeding originated by Robert Bakewell was
carried on in Scotland and England by Colling Brothers, Amos Cruick-
shank, Richard Tompkins, and Hugh Watson. This work was continued in
America and is still receiving the best thought of our outstanding cattle
A general classification divides the existing Breeds into Beef and Dairy
DESIGNATION OF "CATTLE"
Among the old English writers is found the word "cattle" or "catel"
used collectively to designate all kinds of live animals held as property
or those raised for food or beasts of burden. This classification included
horses, sheep, swine, and some writers even applied the word to cover bees
and poultry. Our present dictionaries give the meaning of the word
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"cattle" to be: "domesticated bovine animals such as oxen, cows, bulls,
Bovine animals were those known as "horned cattle" and at later
periods as "black cattle" and "neat cattle." "Neat cattle" were so
called because of their usefulness, "neat having it origin in the Anglo-
Saxon word "neaten," meaning "to make use of."
The term "ox" often used for cattle in general signifies more correctly
mature, castrated males that are used for draft purposes. In Continental
Europe a broader meaning is given to the word as it is used to include
all male cattle; in the plural it includes both sexes.
Animals which may be comprised as cattle in its more restricted meaning
are oxen which have been placed in six groups, Buffaloes (India and
Africa); Bison (Europe and North America); the Yak (Tibet); the Gaur
Gayal and Bantin (India and Further India); Eastern and African domes-
ticated cattle, Brahman or Zebu, and western or European domesticated
cattle. The India Buffalo, Yak, Gayal and Bantin have also been domes-
ticated. All of the species named are rather closely related except the
Buffalo. The India cattle are commonly called Brahman in India and
Zebu in South America.
PRESENT LAND CONDITION IN FLORIDA
Idle land is useless to its owner, and a drag on the prosperity of the
community; it, therefore appears one of the problems of Florida is to make
use of land not otherwise producing, in order that taxes and overhead
expenses may be taken care of.
In Florida, a few years ago, millions of acres of land were in perfectly
good virgin timber; these lands were cut over without Government control,
some were put into farms for cultivation, or were allowed to grow volunteer
timber; but the need is to improve two major crops in this State-livestock
There are thousands of acres of land unsuitable for cattle or lands
which do not give very high return per acre of beef; such lands might be
used for timber. The best lands no doubt should be used and improved for
cattle. The poorer or whiter sand lands of Florida should be stocked to
timber, but the darker, heavier, more fertile types of land should be kept,
used, and improved for cattle. It is possible to raise cattle and timber on
the same land, but impossible to raise a full stand of timber and the
maximum number of cattle on the same land, therefore one should think
of using lands in terms of their adaptability.
Florida is producing about 70% of its present beef consumption. With
the proper utilization of such lands as are adapted to pasture, Florida can
more than supply herself with the beef that she needs. With improved
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 9
pasture conditions, Florida can produce more than three times as many
pounds of beef as are being produced at present.
Florida has 35,111,040 acres of land, of which about 6,000,000 acres
are cleared for cultivation; 3,000,000 in beaches and pleasure resorts;
approximately 6,000,000 acres are white sand carrying a high percentage
of silicon which might be developed into the production of glass; therefore,
there are approximately 22,000,000 to 25,000,000 acres adaptable to the
production of beef cattle. What shall be -done with these lands except to
develop them in cattle and/or timber?
Native wild grass lands, in wire grass, or other wild grasses, will produce
from 15 to 18 pounds of beef per acre, some acres more and some less, while
improved lands will .produce 175 to 300 pounds or more of beef per acre;
for example, steers on lespedeza and the better grass pasture have made
gains per acre of 220 pounds from June 1st to November 11th. It is a
known fact that improved pastures will give from 3 to 20 times as much
beef per acre as our average wire grass, or other wild grass pastures,
therefore the necessity of pasture improvement. Many lands in Florida
have as great carrying capacity as the lands of any state.
FLORIDA IS ADAPTED TO THE PRODUCTION OF BEEF CATTLE
Florida is particularly adapted to the production cattle for the
1. She has the lands adapted to the production of improved pastures.
2. She has ample rainfall to generally guarantee an abundant growth
of feed, as well as pastures; she has never had a general drought and has
never been generally flooded; therefore her lands are safe.
3. Her seasons are mild, making for as long a grazing season as any
Some of Florida's natural resources are: Climate and adaptable soils.
As to climate, the following table tells one that as to rainfall and tem-
peratures, Florida has rainfall so well distributed throughout the year
and temperatures so mild that grasses, forages and grains can be abund-
Monthly Averages of Normal Precipitation and Temperatures
Over Period from 1898-1932-35 Years.
January February March April May June Annual
Precipitation............. 2.79 2.96 3.23 2.83 4.21 6.76 ...........
Temperature............. 59.60 61.10 65.10 70.00 75.60 '79.80 ............
July August September October November December
Precipitation............. 7.17 7.22 6.67 4.37 2.23 2.83 53.27
Temperature ............. 81.30 81.40 79.50 73.30 65.10 60.20 71.00
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
4. Her soils are generally heavy enough to produce a good carrying
capacity of grass per acre when put in improved pastures.
5. Feeds or grazing crops can be produced cheaply in Florida.
6. Improved beef type cattle, grades and pure breds, have done well
under good management.
7. Lands can be obtained at reasonable prices and in fairly large acre-
ages, making for cheap fencing per acre unit.
8. Florida producers have sold calves not only to the forty meat
packers in the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida, but have sold
thousands of calves on the Jersey City and Baltimore markets at satis-
factory prices. Feeder and stocker steers have been shipped to Kentucky,
Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Kansas and as
far west as California.
9. Many producers in Florida are finishing steers in their own feed
lots; some of the best cattle feeders have made these cattle into quality
grades of medium, good, choice, and a few prime.
10. Florida is particularly adapted to the production and sale of good
veal and calves, and stocker and feeder cattle.
The old native cows vary in color, showing evidence of such breeds as
the Jersey, Ayrshire and Devon. In many respects the native Florida
cows are the most desirable for establishing a herd. By proper selection of
cows from these survivalss of the fittest" and the mating of them to
suitable bulls, beef cattle improvement should be rapid. Native cows are
fast disappearing as most herds in this State are now showing improvement
by such breeds as Hereford, Angus, Shorthorn, Brahman, Devon, etc. The
cattle industry is fast improving.
Florida dollars spent in Florida help to build her cattle industry, and
it is expected that the beef cattle industry will, before many years, grow
to such size that every local demand for beef may be supplied by good
Breeds of Beef Cattle
The principal breeds of beef cattle in the United States are. Shorthorn
(both Horned and Polled), Ifereford (both Horned and Polled), Aberdeen-
Angus, Galloway, Devon, Red Polled, and Brahman (Zebu). These breeds
(excepting the Brahman) have been carefully bred for many generations
in the United States, all of these breeds except Brahman having been
originally developed in the British Isles; the Brahman were bred and
developed in India. The dairy breeds do not yield the largest quantity or
the best quality of beef, therefore the beef breeds are supreme for beef
production. About 25% of the beef and veal produced in the USA comes
from dairy herds.
WHAT IS A BEEF ANIMAL?
A good beef animal is one which gives dominantly high priced cuts;
it is quick maturing; it furnishes the kind of meat the market wants; it
gives quality of maximum nourishment and with minimum waste. It should
be healthy, vigorous, hardy, a good rustler, early maturing, adaptable to
conditions, prepotent, fecund and it should fatten quickly and economic-
ally. (See pages 32 to 35 for full description of a good beef animal).
SELECTING A BREED
There is no best breed of beef cattle, as various breeds for the production
of desirable beef are practically on a parity, although breeding character-
istics may be different. One should select the breed that one prefers, taking
into account its peculiar adaptation to one's condition. It would be well
for each stock breeder to visit well bred herds of other breeds and make a
thorough study and become conversant with the different breeds, thus
having reasons for selecting a breed rather than promiscuous buying. This
is particularly true of purebreds. The person engaged in commercial herds
should select, generally, bulls similar in type and conformation, even though
he may use several breeds. He should know what he wants and buy only
what he does want. The following pictures illustrate some of the more nearly
ideal types of cattle, namely, Angus, Brahman, Devon, Hereford, Santa
Gertrudis, Shorthorn and Red Polled.
Beef breeds of cattle normally are divided into major and minor
breeds, the majors being Angus, Hereford, Shorthorns. The Galloways,
while a major beef breed, have never taken a major place in the Southeast.
Brahmans in coast country have taken a big place; therefore they will be
discussed with the major breeds. In this discussion the breeds will be
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
classified as major beef and dual purpose breeds for beef. In selecting here
bulls for commercial herds, the producer should give primary consideration
to the type of bulls selected, as type is more important than breed.
THE PRINCIPAL OR MAJOR BEEF BREEDS
ABERDEEN-ANGUS (Figs. 3 & 4)
The first known importation of Aberdeen-Angus cattle was made ir
1873 by George Grant, of Victoria, Kansas. They are black in color anc
have no horns. Aberdeen-Angus cattle are good rustlers, and are valuable(
for grading up native cattle. The cattle give more milk than the Hereford
but not so much as the Shorthorn.
Cattle of this breed mature very early and have a tendency to fatter
well at any age. The body is more cylindrical, smoother throughout, anc
smaller than either Shorthorn or Hereford. Their readiness to fatten, earl3
maturity, exceptional vigor, high quality, general smoothness, uniformity
and the high percentage of valuable meat produced have made them popular
among cattle feeders. They usually dress out a higher percentage of market.
able meat than any other breed except Brahman.
The head of the Angus shows a sharp, tapered poll, great breadtt
Fig. 3-ANGUS BULL
Courtesy American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Assn.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
between the eyes, prominent forehead and eyes, nose of medium length,
large mouth and muzzle, and large nostrils. The neck is short and full.
The bull has a well-developed crest, but the neck does not always blend
smoothly with the shoulders, which are sometimes prominent. The chest
shows great depth, width and length. The body is compact, the ribs are
curved, long and well sprung. The deep covering of flesh, the smallness of
bone, and the deep rounding, bulging hind quarters give a maximum
quantity of meat.
Good Angus cattle are blocky, low set, compact, small boned, and thick
fleshed. They have high dressing percentage, have a high percent of weight
and low percent of waste. They have small heads, fine bones, which is
conducive to high yields. Their polled characteristic is an economic asset
as there is no loss or set back from dehorning, less danger from screw worm
infection, minimum loss from injury in the feeding lot and in transit. This
breed has been hornless for about two hundred years. They are early
maturing and are excellent in transmitting color, hornlessness, conforma-
tion and fleshing qualities to their offspring.
BRAHMAN (See Figs. 5 & 6)
The term Brahman has been designated by the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture as the name for all breeds of "India cattle" in the
Fig. 4-ANGUS COW
Courtesy American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Assn.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 5-GUZERAT BRAHMAN BULL
Courtesy Brahman Breeders' Assn.
- W? V
Fig. 6-GUZERAT BRAHMAN COW
Courtesy Brahman Breeders' Assn.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
United States. These India cattle are commonly known as Brahmans in
India and Zebus in South America. In India these cattle are used primarily
for milk and work, and are not killed for meat. Certain animals have been
called the "sacred cattle" of India. There are many breeds of Indian
cattle in India, with the Nellore or Ongole, Guzerat, Gir, and Krishna
Valley being the principal breeds represented in the United States.
All the India cattle breeds belong to the species "Bos Indicus" and
are characterized by the prominent hump above the shoulders, abundance
of loose, pendulous skin under the throat, on the dewlap, navel, and sheath.
Good specimens have great depth of body, showing considerable depth of
muscling in the loins and hind quarters. The rump is drooping, although
in the best individuals it is rather full and rounding. The ears of the best
breeds are usually long and drooping, and the voice is more of a "grunt"
than a "low".
Brahman cattle have a very beneficial characteristic in that they sweat;
this enables them to stand intense heat, although they likewise can adapt
themselves to cold.
The Nellore breed is one of the largest in size and varies in color from
steel gray to almost pure white, has a moderately long face, fine muzzle,
and broad forehead. The horns are inclined outward and slightly backward;
the small ears pointed and drooping. The hump is well developed in both
sexes. The body is of moderate length and the legs fine, with an abundance
of clean bone.
The Guzerat is somewhat larger than the Nellore. The head, neck and
shoulders are usually darker than other portions of the body; the head is
long and slightly bulged above the eyes; the ears are longer and more
pendulous; the horns rise vertically; the neck blends smoothly into the
shoulder. The body is deep and wide, with a less drooping rump. These
cattle are white to black, preferred colors being white to steel gray; the
hair is short and fine, and the skin is generally pigmented.
The Gir breed is of medium size and the color is often a combination of
a medium shade of brown with a dull red. Speckled color is the one most
found. The neck, ears and legs are frequently darker than other portions;
the forehead is prominent; the horns are usually thick at the base, curve
backward and outward abruptly, and then upward. The ears are long
and pendulous, often extending below the nose in calves. A nick near the
point of the ear on the inside is characteristic of the breed. The body is
fairly broad, the rump drooping and the dewlap is large and pendulous.
These cattle are round bodied and generally shorter legged as well as shorter
bodied than the Guzerat and Nellore breeds.
The Krishna Valley breed is similar to the Nellore. The head is wide
and massive. The horns are short, thick at the base, slightly flattened, and
extend outward horizontally. The body is wide and deep, and possesses
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
straighter top and bottom lines than are found in most of the other breeds.
The legs are straight, well fleshed, with large flat bones.
Brahman calves take on weight rapidly under Florida conditions. They
will normally weigh more than calves of the same age of most other breeds.
The India cattle were introduced into the United States about 1850.
The Brahman or India bulls are valuable in the Gulf Coast region in
crossing with the native southern cattle and the domestic beef breeds. The
India cattle transmit hardiness, grazing ability, and prolificacy to their
offspring. The crossbred calves develop very rapidly. Breeders who use
Brahman bulls have had more success in selling the crossbred offspring as
calves or yearlings off of grass than as older cattle except for breeding
purposes. Cattle possessing Brahman blood usually show a high dressing
USE OF BRAHMAN BLOOD TO BREED UP CATTLE IN
In the Coast country, and Florida has considerable lands of such a
nature, that Brahman blood has wide adaptability.
1. Brahman cattle are quick growing.
2. They suffer less from heat and can travel great distances.
3. The cows are good mothers and produce rich milk to produce a sleek,
4. They have a high dressing percentage.
5. They seldom have pink eye, or cancerous eye.
6. They are very prepotent, having unusual ability to transmit their
characteristics to any breed of cattle.
7. They are very hardy cattle with strong rustling ability.
8. They make an excellent first cross on the native cow in flat woods
or Coast counties, and cross well on grade cattle of any beef breed.
9. They were bred in India under extremely parasitic and diseased
The following are some of the disadvantages of Brahman cattle:
1. They are highly nervous and must be handled very carefully.
2. These cattle are generally leggy. They invariably have drooping
rumps and quite frequently slightly swayed backs.
3. If confined to small pastures in the general farm area they are
more difficult to fence against than British breeds.
4. While Brahman calves are readily sold, Brahman steers are gener-
ally discriminated against by many packers, however, the more docile steers
are becoming more popular.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 17
HEREFORD (Figs. 7-10 incl.)
The Hereford is very popular and out-ranks in numbers other beef
breeds in this country. They were imported by Henry Clay and Lewis
Sanders in 1817.
These cattle, because of their "rustling ability" have found favor on
scant pastures, and on the range where water holes are far apart they have
shown merit. Not only do they thrive under adverse conditions, but they
also respond readily to a favorable environment. The bulls are active,
vigorous, prepotent, and very sure breeders; they mature early, and fatten
readily in the feed lot.
The Hereford color may be described as a medium to deep rich red,
with white head, breast, belly, crest, switch, and legs below the knee and
hock. Their hair is usually medium or long, soft and silky, with a curly
tendency. The neck is short, thick, and blends well with the shoulders.
Great width, depth, length of chest, and a fullness of the crops account for
their constitution and endurance. The loin is broad and deep. The rump
is long and level, and hind quarters well developed, deep in the round and
full in the twist. The horns of the bull are somewhat coarser, straighter,
Hereford breed is as popular as any breed; they possess constitutional
vigor and have demonstrated their adaptability to the semi-arid section of
the West where they are the most popular breed; they, therefore, are adapt-
able to adverse weather and hardships. They have natural grazing instincts
and no breed is any more popular in the feed lot, as the number of
Fig. 7-HEREFORD BULL
Courtesy American Hereford Breeders' Assn.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Herefords found in same demonstrates. They are prolific and prepotent,
fairly early maturing, and based on the number found in the United
States, they must be profitable.
The Polled Hereford is a new breed, now about 50 years old, developed
in America by mating Hereford cattle that are naturally polled, and are
similar to the horned Hereford, except they are polled.
SHORTHORN (Figs. 11-A-B-C)
Shorthorn beef cattle are very extensively raised. They were brought
to the United States in 1783 by Miller and Gough, of Virginia and Mary-
land, respectively, from the Tees River Valley, in Northeastern England,
where they were known as Yorkshire, Holderness, Teeswater, or Durham
cattle. Col. Lewis Sanders, of Kentucky; Samuel Thorne, of New York;
Abram Renick and R. A. Alexander, of Kentucky, may be considered
founders of the Shorthorn breed in America. (U.S.A.)
The Shorthorn attains the largest size of any of the beef breeds, and
have great adaptability. They may vary in color from red to white or any
combination of red and white, or a blending of red and white called "roan."
This is probably the oldest recognized purebred -breed of cattle, and
since its inception as a breed its influence has been felt in every continent
of the world. The breed has been used extensively in cross-breeding pro-
grams since early days when ranchers mated this breed with cattle of
Fig. 8-HEREFORD COW
Courtesy American Hereford Breeders' Assn.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 19
Fig. 9-POLLED-HEREFORD BULL
Courtesy American Polled-Hereford Breeders' Ass'n.
I- ; - '. . f'
Fig. 10-POLLED-HEREFORD COW
Cnrfv Amrirnn PnllA.l-lWn.tn..I Rroo.I AC '-
20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Spanish "longhorned" origin. This breed is very satisfactory in putting
on great weight in short periods of time. Some major characteristics o
Shorthorns are-weight for age, extra milk production, and easy feeding
disposition. These characteristics have given them an unrivalled range o
adaptability that have enabled them to give outstanding performance unde:
a wide variety of environmental factors. It is a common saying "that ni
steer can walk out of a feedlot after a given length of time carrying mor
weight than a Shorthorn." Shorthorns have great adaptability to conver
common farm grown roughage into meat and milk.
The Shorthorn crosses well with native and grade cows, as evidence
when used to grade up such cattle. The Shorthorn cow excels other bee
breeds in milk production and is preferred on small farms to supply mill
and butter for the family, in addition to raising a calf for beef. The steer
produce very high class beef.
This breed is a good beef type, being wide, deep, and thickly fleshed
The horns of the cow are small and curved forward, and should be of
waxy, yellowish color. The head should have great width between the eyes
short from the eyes to the large and flesh-colored muzzle, having large
open nostrils. The neck should be short and full, smooth and well covered
with flesh; the crops full, the heart girth large, and foreflank low; the ches
wide and deep, with the brisket thick and well to the front; the ribs wel
sprung and the barrel well developed. In good individuals, the back is broach
Fig. 11-A-SHORTHORN BULL
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
**7-,. .-. ,,
t12s- ,' t,, `ZI' *-, .' ., , ,.
Fig. 11-B-SHORTHORN COW-CALF
Courtesy American Shorthorn Breeders' Assn.
Fig. 11-C-POLLED SHORTHORN BULL
Courtesy American Shorthorn Breeders' Assn.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and the loin is wide, deep, and thickly fleshed; the hips are wide and well
covered with flesh; the rump is long, wide, and level, carrying an abund-
ance of flesh. The hind quarter is almost straight from the root of the
tail to the hocks; it is wide and thick, carrying the flesh well down. The
flank is low; the udder, having teats of medium size, is usually well de-
veloped, extending well forward, with prominent milk veins.
The bull should possess the same desirable features as the female, but
show masculinity, a larger and thicker neck, heavier bone throughout,
greater depth, thickness, and scale; his horns are heavier and less curved
than the cow's.
Polled Shorthorn, formerly known as Polled Durham, is similar to the
Shorthorn in every way except it is hornless. They have the following
1. Natural hornlessness. 2. Unexcelled mothers. 3. Adaptability (small
or big farm). 4. Thrift, weight for age. 5. Roughage utilization.
WHY USE SHORTHORN BULLS ON BRAHMAN X NATIVE
When one uses Brahman as first cross on native cows and uses good
Shorthorn bulls on Brahman x native cross, one will find the following
advantages of Shorthorn bulls: (1) The Shorthorn is the most docile of all
breeds of cattle. (2) They give more milk as a breed than other beef breeds.
(3) The calves from Shorthorn are generally larger at given ages than
other beef breeds, and since Brahmans are fast growing, the placing of
Shorthorn bulls on native Brahman cross should prove out very beneficial
to gentle the cattle, for milk, and for fast outgrowing cattle that might
be sold as calves, stocker or feeder cattle, and such cattle should prove
acceptable on the range. Angus and Hereford also cross well with Brahman
GALLOWAY (Fig. 12)
It is not known when Galloway cattle first made their appearance m
the United States. They do not respond so rapidly to careful feeding and
management as the other breeds, being slow in maturing and are smaller
than any of the other beef breeds. The Galloway is low-set and deep, the
head being covered with long, wavy black hair, and the ears are set far
back from the forehead. The body is long and of medium depth; the rump
long and well filled, although the tail head is usually set rather high. The
bone is fine, the skin mellow, the hair soft and silky, and the meat fine and
of high quality. The Galloways have commanded attention because of their
prepotency, as shown by the uniformity of the offspring when the bulls are
used for grading up or for crossing.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
Fig. 12-GALLOWAY HEIFER
SANTA GERTRUDIS (Figs. 12-A-B)
The Santa Gertrudis breed resulted from an attempt to obtain a breed
or type of cattle having the hardiness of the old Mexican longhorns, together
with the market desirabilities of English breeds.
King's Ranch, Kingsville, Texas, experimented with Mexican cattle,
with purebred herds of Shorthorn and Hereford cattle, and with purebred
Shorthorn and Hereford bulls mated with Mexican cattle, and even though
each had its advantages, the results were rather unsatisfactory as to the
exact characteristics desired to meet all conditions on King's Ranch. About
this time (1910) Brahman cattle were being used more extensively in that
area, and a halfbred Brahman-Shorthorn bull (given to King's Ranch) was
tried on Shorthorn cows. The offspring were superior rangers, were both-
ered but little by hot weather, flies, mosquitoes, screwworms and other
insects, and were larger, heavier, and remained fatter on the same range
and during drought than the Shorthorns, the Mexican longhorn-Shorthorn
and the Mexican longhorn-Hereford crosses. The offspring cows resulting
from the Brahman-Shorthorn cross were wonderful mothers, giving large
quantities of milk, and the steer calves developed into big-boned fat cattle,
right off the grass. There were very few stunted animals, the principal
objections being the drooping rump and lack of uniformity.
Because of such favorable results from crossing Brahman with Short-
horn, King's Ranch sought to establish a type of cattle red in color, rapid
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 12-A-SANTA GERTRUDIS HEIFERS
Courtesy King's Ranch, Kingsville, Texas
- ., -._,4 4- *.
Fig. 12-B-SANTA GERTRUDIS BULL
Courtesy King's Ranch, Kingsville, Texas
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
growing and having the rustling and insect-resisting abilities of the
Brahman, together with the docility, fleshing qualities and type of the
Shorthorn. A dominant bull with these characteristics was ultimately
found, named "Monkey", and he was used in such close inbreeding work
that "Santa Gertrudis" cattle resulted, having about 3/8 to 4/8 Brahman
blood and 4/8 to 5/8 Shorthorn blood. This is the approximate blood make-
up of the present Santa Gertrudis cattle, the name being derived from the
old Spanish Santa Gertrudis Land Grant, where these cattle were evolved.
Santa Gertrudis bulls have been sold to several states in the United States,
especially in the southern half of the U.S.A., and have been exported to
several Central and South American countries. According to the most
recent information (June 1950), no Santa Gertrudis females from King's
Ranch have been sold to the general public for breeding purposes.
Characteristics of the Breed: Individuals are red or cherry-red in color,
are very large, deep-bodied, early-maturing, are beefy in confirmation and
carry a mellow covering of flesh. According to statements made by the
management of King's Ranch, Santa Gertrudis cattle, based on conditions
on King's Ranch, (1) are better adapted and have higher resistance to heat
and insect pests such as flies, mosquitoes, etc., (2) are the most rapid
growing cattle as calves, yearlings or steers, and (3) are able to produce
a higher percentage of quality cuts from a higher-dressing carcass, than
other breeds they have tried. King's Ranch is continuing to improve these
cattle as to conformation and uniformity of type.
The principal dual-purpose breeds of beef cattle in the United States
adapted to Florida are milking Shorthorn, Red Polled, and Devon.
The type of animal necessary for the production of large yields of milk
is entirely different from that of beef animals, and it has been impossible
to produce breeds of superior merit for both purposes. The dual-purpose
animal, however, may be a desirable milker and also produce calves which
develop into good beef animals.
DEVON (Figs. 13-14)
Devon cows are good milkers and the steers are used as work oxen or
for beef. Endurance, intelligence, and gameness have made them unexcelled
as work oxen. They are solid red in color, white being permitted on the
udder, or near the scrotum, and on the switch. The shade of red varies.
The Devons incline more to the beef than the dual-purpose type. They are
fairly close coupled, compact, smooth, and rank high in quality.
Although the Devon makes, generally, a somewhat slower growth and
fattens less rapidly than the beef breeds, they produce meat fine in texture
and of good quality.
26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 13-DEVON BULL
Courtesy American Devon Cattle Club
.1 41 -VIC Y''
......... ... ... .....;. .... .'... . ... .,
Fig. 14-DEVON COW
Courtesy American Devon Cattle Club
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 27
Devon bulls are very prepotent and have been used very satisfactorily
in grading up the native range cattle in sections of Florida.
RED POLLED (Figs. 15-16)
Red Polled cattle are good grazers and have long been noted for early
maturity, easy fleshing qualities and fairly good milk flow, but most beef
producers prefer either Shorthorn, Hereford or Aberdeen-Angus cattle.
The bulls are very prepotent and give uniformity in offspring when bred
to native cows. The color ranges from light to dark red; the head is lean,
medium in length, with well-defined poll covered with a tuft of hair of
medium length; the neck is longer and thinner than in the beef breeds;
the chest is usually well developed and the ribs well sprung, but lack thick
covering of flesh. The barrel is developed to a greater extent than with the
major beef breeds, and the loin and hind quarters are more lightly fleshed;
the bone is of medium size, the skin is thin, soft and pliable and the hair
short and fine; the udder is well developed and the teats large.
BREEDING UP NATIVE CATTLE
British blood is indispensable for best market outlets. Under Florida
conditions, when British blood is combined with Brahman blood, so as to
overcome some of the handicaps of both and yet retain the hardiness of
Brahman cattle, and disposition and type of British beef breeds, much
good will be accomplished by such crosses, both to the advantage of the
producer and probably to Florida's cattle industry as a whole.
Brahman blood may be placed on the native cow for the first cross calf.
No doubt the second and third crosses should come from British blood,
either from Hereford, Shorthorn or Angus. The following has been sug-
gested as the probable solution of this breeding up business, especially in
marshy or prairie lands of the State: For the first cross, use Brahman
blood. Second, use Shorthorn blood. Third, use Hereford or Angus blood;
and repeat. Others suggest the use of Brahman blood for first cross, Here-
ford blood for second cross, and then repeat. No doubt a combination of
Shorthorn and Hereford and Angus blood with Brahman blood should give
good results in the production of calves or veal. Where feeder and stocker
steers are produced, Brahman blood might be diminished and British blood
increased. Other producers prefer to use nothing but British blood, while
others prefer to use nothing but Brahman blood. It will be interesting to
note the improvement which will take place during the next few years.
THE VALUE OF A PUREBRED
The value of an animal as a purebred over the market value of the
same animal is determined by one thing. The purebred has come down
thru many generations bred by conscientious men for a purpose, and the
greater the evidence that this purpose has been met in each generation,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 15-RED POLLED BULL
Courtesy of Red Polled Cattle Club of America
I w C
Fig. 16-RED POLLED COW
Courtesy of Red Polled Cattle Club of America
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 29
the greater the assurance the purchaser has that his animal will be able
to pass on to the herd the characteristics or purposes for which he and his
ancestors were bred.
BREEDERS OF PUREBRED LIVESTOCK NEED SUPERIOR
1. He must have a broad knowledge in many fields to be successful.
2. He must be more than just a farmer.
3. He must be an economist and a business man.
4. He must know Animal Husbandry, be a Botanist, an Agronomist,
a Veterinarian, a Machinist and an Engineer.
5. He must keep abreast with new varieties of crops, cultural practices,
control of crop pests and diseases, fertilizers, and many other practices.
6. Naturally he must he familiar with the breeds of outstanding
animals, principles of genetics, principles of feeding.
7. He must be familiar with animal hygiene.
8. He must be a good salesman.
9. He must have a liberal education, not necessarily college, or he must
be imbued with an unusual amount of just plain common sense or be able
to see far into the future.
10. He must know marketing with all its principles.
Fig. 17-GRADE STEERS ON DIGIT GRASS
Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Service
: ',': _
Fig. 18-FED OUT HEREFORDS Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Service
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 31
SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT PUREBRED SALES FOR PUREBRED
1. Do you put due emphasis on the desired type of the 1952 or the latest,
most desirable and acceptable models?
2. Do you watch the blood lines in your herd-to strengthen your herd
and intensify your preferred blood lines?
3. Are you sure you know what quality is and how to get it? And do
you encourage other purebred breeders to know quality?
4. Do you strive to keep the milking qualities of your herd on a basis
that will tend to make the cows better mothers to their calves and
your cattle more salable?
5. Do you constantly cull your herd and market the undesirables via the
6. Do you give your young cattle additional care?
7. Do you keep your herd bull in condition to present to the public, and
in presenting him not have to apologize too much for him?
8. Are you a promoter of the breed, and do you cooperate with good
similar breeders as yourself of the breed?
9. Are you a good salesman?
10. Will you stand back of the sales you make?
11. Do you take and advertise in your breeder journal magazine?
12. Are you constantly on the alert about the health of your animals so
they can be shipped anywhere any time, etc.? A disease-free herd is an
important part of an improved cattle industry. (See page -8, Feed and
Care of Valuable Heifers.)
NUMBER OF BULLS NEEDED IN FLORIDA
With 1,539,000 cattle in Florida of which 1,250,000 are beef or range
cattle, (Jan. 1, 1952) there is a need for 31,000 good bulls. About 13,000
such bulls are on the farms and ranches at present, therefore one great need
in Florida is for an additional 18,000 good beef-type bulls to replace 18,000
low-grade and scrub bulls.
The Breeding Herd
HOW TO BREED UP A HERD
There are a number of important factors in breeding up a herd.
1st. Cull the cow herd by eliminating the poorer quality females.
2nd. By using purebred bulls.
3rd. By segregation of the breeding herd from other classes.
4th. Protecting heifers until about 2-years old before breeding.
5th. Provide separate pastures for steers and all classes of cattle.
6th. The wise use of minerals.
7th. Ample water.
8th. Ample shades on some ranges where shade is not sufficient.
9th. Improved pastures. Improved pastures will give from 3 to 20
times as much grazing as wire grass pastures or non-improved pastures.
10th. If one is unable to purchase sufficient purebred bulls for his
cow herd, he should use some of the best half-breed or three quarter bred
or seven-eights bred grade bulls. (The use of good grade bulls would
materially improve cattle as compared with scrub bulls. The bulls should
always be better than even the best cows in the cow herd. If the bull is no
better than the cow herd, no improvement can be made.)
11th The wise use of providing winter feeds, including pastures and
protein supplements for the breeding herd.
12th. Timely breeding to fit timely markets will allow the cow herd a
rest period which will materially improve her condition and ultimately
improve the cow herd, calf crop, etc.
FULL DESCRIPTION OF A GOOD BEEF TYPE ANIMAL-
A beef animal, when correct in form and fatness, presents a massy,
blocky appearance from every angle of view. Two dimensions of the beef
bull should be, great width and depth; the third dimension, length, should
not be extensive. As viewed from the side, the body is rectangular, very
deep and short from shoulder to hip; the body is very wide, the legs are
short and placed squarely under the body. The back is uniformly broad,
the more width the better. Viewed from the side, the top line and underline
are straight and parallel. An animal showing too much length of middle and
too much leg is referred to as being "rangy," while an animal standing
high off the ground is usually termed "leggy."
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 33
The head should be of medium size, short and broad, with a broad
muzzle indicating capacity for grazing and feeding. The head below the
eye is short; the eyes being wide apart, large, prominent, bright, clear and
placid, indicative of a quiet disposition; the forehead is very wide, the
jaws broad and well muscled; the ears of medium size, of fine texture and
neatly attached to the head. The entire head should be clean cut, giving a
well bred appearance, sometimes referred to as character. The nostrils
should be large, indicating capacity for breathing and hence a good con-
stitution. The throat should be neat and trim without showing coarseness.
The neck should be short, thick and muscular. A long neck is indicative
of poor quality and is usually associated with a rangy type of body. The
neck should show plenty of depth and fullness at the shoulder, blending
smoothly into the shoulder or disappearing into the shoulder unnoticed.
The shoulders should be very smooth, blending perfectly with the rest
of the body; the shoulder blades should lie snugly against the ribs beneath
and be covered with a uniformly thick layer of flesh; the top of the
shoulders wide and nicely rounded over with flesh, not rough or angular
or unevenly covered. Prominent shoulders cause the development behind
them to appear insufficient.
The crops is that portion along the upper top line just behind the
shoulder blades. It should be full and smooth preventing the animal from
having a pinched or contracted appearance in this area-thus carrying
out a straight, full top line and upper side line of the animal, making the
animal more valuable in meat cuts as well as adding materially to the
symmetry or beauty and usefulness of the animal.
The brisket and chest are highly important. The brisket should carry
forward prominently and wide, be well fleshed, neat, presenting a full,
well developed and trim appearance. A deep, full chest with a large heart-
girth indicates a rugged sort of animal possessed of much constitutional
vigor; the floor of the chest should be wide as indicated by the distance
between the two fore legs; with the fore ribs lying just behind the shoulder,
arching boldly so that no flatness or depression exists behind the shoulder.
The flesh should carry down deep and full at the front flanks just behind
the elbows. Every intelligent feeder places emphasis on the depth and
width of the chest. The fore quarters must, therefore, be smoothly laid,
thickly fleshed, very wide and deep, but showing no lack of constitution
anywhere, not rough or too prominent.
The front legs should be short and placed squarely under the animal;
come straight down, and the toes point straight ahead. The arm should be
wide and muscular at its attachment to the shoulder. "Fineness of bone
and smoothness of joints are evidences of quality; whereas rough, coarse
animals have heavy joints and a big shank bone."
The back should carry great width, be straight, strong, as it furnishes
one of the high priced cuts of beef and always receives critical attention
34 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
in judging. Width of back is secured when the ribs are arched boldly from
the spinal column; if the ribs are not arched the back must necessarily
be narrow. When touched with the fingers, great depth of muscle and
mellowness should be found.
The ribs should be well sprung and carry down with much depth to
help make a roomy or capacious body. Cattle have 13 pairs of ribs; the
last pair should come close to the hips, but they should be fairly close
together. A wide, deep middle is essential to digestive capacity.
At all points the animal should fill out "plump" and smooth, to form
a straight line from front to rear; with the fleshing over the ribs thick,
smooth and even; the hind flank well filled with flesh; the front and hind
flanks carrying down properly; the underline straight.
When animals are full in the rear flank it adds to the symmetry of
the animal. There is more meat to eat, there is less chance of bulls wrenching
their hind legs when serving cows and generally they can give better service
and are more apt to transmit their full characteristic to their offspring.
The loin is that portion of the back lying between the rear ribs and the
hips. It has no ribs below it but consists of large muscles affording the very
choicest cuts of the entire beef carcass-the porterhouse and sirloin; the
loin should be very wide and thick and thickly covered with flesh that is
smooth and firm, padded and plumped with muscles having the proper
degree of fatness, or finish.
The hips should be laid in snugly. While it is generally said that
animals should have wide hips, the width should not be beyond what can be
covered over with flesh-never prominent, as prominent hips indicate
improper muscling and devaluate the cuts in this area.
The rump is that portion between the hips and the tailhead. It should
be level and carry out the top straight line and square up the end of the
body. The tailhead should be on a level with the back, otherwise it presents
the appearance of being rounded off, or having a high tail-head. The rump
should be smooth and evenly coated with flesh.
The thigh is that portion of the body between the rump and the hock.
It should be wide and plump, bulging practically to the hock. "Plumpness,
thickness and fullness to the hock" is a common saying among judges.
Viewed from the side or from the rear, the thigh should be wide, and near
the thickness of the body, to give the animal a uniform appearance.
The hock and hind legs of a beef animal are very important. They
should be straight and properly placed and set squarely under the animal.
The arm or leg below the hock carries straight down. The bones or joints
should be clean cut and show refinement.
The twist is that portion between the hind legs above the hock. It should
be very deep and full and carry well down.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 35
The proportion of muscle in an animal is evident at its birth. If an
animal is not born with the kind of frame work it should have, it is not
likely that it will ever have it. Quality is shown by the head, the hair, the
skin, and bone.
A good animal should be short, thick and deep, not "rangy." The
demand is for animals which will finish at most any age, particularly for
"baby beef." The compact, typey animal or the heavy-bodied compact
animal is of the type for which feeders seek, and the type which breeders
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD BEEF TYPE BULL
1. Bulls should be of the acceptable beef type: a short, compact, deep body;
wide, strong back and loins; deep, well developed rear quarters; short,
straight and stout legs; a short, wide head with a wide muzzle. Prominent,
placid eyes set in a broad, short face are important characteristics. The
narrow, long, shallow bodied, long legged, thin ewe-necked bulls should be
steered or slaughtered.
2. Bulls should be fecund or fruitful, prolific and fertile. Their ability
to produce regularly over a long period of years is influenced by indi-
viduality, inheritance, environment and disease. It is, therefore, important
that they be prolific or fruitful.
3. The bull should be prepotent, that is, possess the ability to transmit to
his own offspring his desirable characteristics; he should also possess the
ability to lay on flesh rapidly when given plenty to eat, from 3 to 5 pounds
per day or more when on full feed. A bull which will transmit to his
progeny feeding qualities with the correct beef type, demand that he be
clean cut yet rugged about the head.
4. Durability is also an important factor. A short, wide head; a large
muzzle; a deep, full chest; strong top line; and a deep middle, and straight,
short, strong legs are indications of durability which help to stand adverse
conditions and insure productivity for several years.
Since it is from the hindquarters of the carcass that the highest priced
cuts come, it is essential that bulls used as herd sires be deep, wide and
thick in the rear quarters; the loins should be wide and thickly fleshed; the
rump long and level; however, one cannot overlook the fore quarters. While
extremely wide, thick and rough shoulders are undesirable, it is important
that bulls have good chest development, be wide between the front legs,
well filled in the heart girth, which is essential for transmitting type,
durability and prolificacy as well.
5. A good breeding bull has the ability to transmit his desirable character-
istics to his offspring, therefore his offspring should be outgrowing, thrifty,
desirable in type, put on flesh rapidly and economically, and be predomi-
nant in high priced cuts. A good bull is half the herd, a scrub bull is
36 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
many times all of the herd. The bull should be better than the best cow in
the herd to continue to make progress. For bulls needed in Florida, see
RANGE BULL CHARACTERISTICS
Bulls to improve range cattle should (1) Be out of a cow that is a
regular breeder and a good milker. (2) Be growth and thrifty; producers
want pounds and not coarseness. (3) Be well marked, typical of the breed
he represents, and if a Hereford not a line back, not a red neck. (4) Have
every evidence of beef type; deep, wide, thick, due to natural muscling
rather than fat; heavy boned, moderately low set; reasonably close coupled;
much development in high priced cuts. (5) His breeding to be from blood
lines that are of proven merit and from a herd that is uniformly good.
A poor quality bull is expensive even if he is a gift. A good breeding bull
of real quality might be a "give-way" at a high price.
WHY PUREBREDS EXCEL
Outstanding blood with a highly desirable background for improve-
ment for many generations as exists in good purebreds is important. Pure-
breds excel in (1) the better conformation and quality, (2) more of a
better product for less feed, (3) greater uniformity to their offspring,
(4) earlier maturity, (5) their offspring is more saleable, (6) their off-
spring is more valuable. In selecting a sire avoid extremes in type. Gen-
erally the medium type, thick muscled, compact, out-growing kinds of
high quality give greater production per breeding unit at least cost.
REASONS FOR USING PUREBRED BULLS
The following are some additional reasons for using purebred bulls:
1. A purebred bull will generally pay for himself with his first crop
2. His keep may be slightly more than that of a scrub, but one does
not have to apologize for his offspring. Generally speaking, his feed is no
greater than that of the scrub. The profit from him is from 25% to 75%
greater. He may be fed during the winter months and should be, for the
reason he is valuable and his get is valuable.
3. The offspring from a purebred bull gives a greater per cent of
high-priced cuts than from a scrub.
4. A greater price is received per pound for the better grades of cattle.
5. Generally, there is no greater cost per calf, therefore less cost per
pound, as better bred calves are larger at birth and grow faster after
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 37
6. The offspring from a purebred bull will conform to good feed lot
practices as related to feeder cattle type.
7. It is easier to sell the better grades of cattle in that they argue for
themselves, and the outlet-buyer demand is greater.
8. Purebred bulls give greater uniformity of conformation and type,
and ultimately more quality and better color of calves, than those from
9. Half-breed beef-type heifers or cows, when bred to purebred bulls
will average 50% better in price than scrub cows bred to scrub bulls,
therefore one simplifies his marketing problem by improving the beef type
blood in his herd.
10. It is easier to sell quality animals than those of inferior quality.
11. Coupled with purebred bulls, breeders should cull out the cows
which are poor in type, shy in breeding, cows which "go on the lift" in
the winter, and old cows which fail to breed regularly or fail to give good
calves. Culling should be done from two angles: (a) "Cut out" scrub bulls
and substitute purebreds. (b) "cut out" inferior breeding stock within
the cow herd.
12. Use purebred bulls for the general improvement of the existing
13. To give earlier finishing and greater weight to their offspring.
14. For more economical gains, more product for the feed used.
15. To give superior cuts of meat over that given by the existing herd.
16. For greater uniformity in the herd as to size, quality, production,
17. To give a more marketable product, the kind sought for by the
stocker, feeder and slaughter trade.
There is no substitute for good, purebred bulls.
38 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
SCORE CARD FOR BREEDING BEEF CATTLE
(U. S. D. A.)*
SCALE OF POINTS
1. Weight and Size, according to age....
2. Form, deep, broad throughout, low-set;
straight top and underline type.......
3. Constitution, good depth and width of
4. Quality, smooth throughout; good hand-
ler as indicated by soft, loose pliable
skin covered with fine mossy hair; bone
fine, yet of sufficient substance and
strength to carry body................
5. Condition, carrying enough natural flesh
to indicate vigor, free from patchiness
6. Breed Type, and color, clean-cut head
and neck with good form; color mark-
ings typical for breed-breed character
7. Sex Character, strong masculine head
and neck in bull, more refinement
throughout in cow than in bull........
8. Disposition, docile with quiet tempera-
Disqualifications automatically eliminate the animal from competition in the class.
* (Taken from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Husbandry.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 39
PUREBRED SIRES AND HERD IMPROVEMENT
(U. S. D. A.)
See How Rapidly the Proportion of Native Blood (Black Portion)
Diminishes When a Purebred Sire is Used
Progress in Five Generations Using Progress in Five Generations Using
Purebred Bulls and Native Cows Grade Bulls and Native Cows
Replace Scrub and Grade Sires With Good Purebreds
Join the "Better Sires-Better Stock" Campaign
For full information
Consult your County Agent, your Agricultural College or
the United States Department of Agriculture
40 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
MANAGEMENT OF THE BULL
In order that a bull may most ably render service, he should be in
good flesh, therefore winter feeding and special attention during the
breeding season is important.
He should not be over-bred or bred too often. The amount of service
expected depends upon feed and age. Bulls from 12 to 18 months of age
may have light service; the number of cows should be limited to 15 for
one season. The 2-year-old bull halter-bred may give service to 25 to 35
cows; in pastures 20 to 25. The 3-year-old bull may serve from 30 to 50
cows per season, while with the insemination method 100 to 150 per year,
but when run with cattle on small pastures from 25 to 35, and in large
pastures 20 to 25. When used on purebred cows and halter-bred or lot-bred,
a mature bull will be able to take care of 50 to 60 cows per season.
His rations are similar to those for the heifer or cow but in sufficient
quantities to promote strength and vigor. (See Chapter 10.)
Under farm conditions, the purebred bull calf should be taugh to lead
and stand tied. Impress upon him the fact that you are his master, and he
will learn to depend upon you for proper treatment. Be firm but careful
Do not leave the bull with the cows the entire year. Provide separate
pasture for him or turn him with the steers after the breeding season is
over. They will keep him company and make him more contented. During
the breeding season and if his service is heavy, he will probably need a
little extra feed. When feed is required and/or during the winter season,
feed grain with a little protein supplement. Bulls may be fed on the same
feed as purebred cows but will generally need more feed because of addi-
tional weight. They should generally be kept in as good or better condition
than the'cows. During the heavy breeding season if extra feed is required,
feed about two parts of corn and one part of bran or oats. It generally
requires 1/2 pound to 1 pound..of grain to each 100 pounds live weight, to
keep the bull in good breeding condition. During the winter he may be
given 30 pounds of silage, 10 pounds of cowpea hay, 6 to 10 pounds of
grain (corn or oats), and about 11/ to 21/2 pounds of cottonseed meal per
day. Good legume hay may be substituted for silage, feeding about all he
will consume, and 11/2 pounds to 2/2 pounds of cottonseed meal. This is
about all that would be fed ordinarily in dry lot with no pasture. With
pasture available, feed only enough to keep the bull in good thrifty condi-
tion. Ordinarily, good pasture will meet the requirements of the summer.
When feeding, remember the gentler the bull the closer he should be
watched-you can never trust a bull, therefore keep your eyes on the bull.
HOW OFTEN TO CHANGE BULLS
It may be necessary to change bulls at least every two years in small
herds or if his offspring runs with the breeding cows in the pasture with
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 41
the bull. The best thing to do is to select a given number of cows and place
them with a given number of bulls in the same pasture and wear out the
cows and the bulls together. Put the heifers from these bulls into pastures
of other bulls which are not too closely related; it is not generally advisable
to breed a bull to his own offspring. Select heifers should go with new or
select bulls in another pasture. By practicing these methods it is possible
to get many years of service out of bulls and cows together, and save quite
a bit of money in buying new bulls.
A FEW PRODUCERS' REASONS FOR NOT BUYING GOOD BULLS,
AND ANSWERS TO THEM
1. Some cattlemen do not purchase purebred bulls for fear they will
breed up the herd too fast. It is impossible to eliminate all of the scrub
blood in cattle by the breeding-up process, but for practical purposes good
herds can be developed. (See USDA cut on page 39.)
2. Other cattlemen on open range do not use purebred bulls because
their neighbors will not purchase them, and they claim they are unable
to furnish bulls for the entire community. In such instances the owner
might fence his cow herd and get the full benefit of the purebred bulls
bought, or he might segregate a portion of his best cows in pastures and
use good purebred bulls, thereby obtaining ultimately good half-breed
bulls to go on his range. Most states have made their most rapid progress in
the improvement of cattle when such cattle are behind fences, and can be
bred in season for good management, under screw worm conditions, etc.
3. Others fail to purchase purebred bulls for fear the purebred bulls
might die. Insurance is reasonably cheap on livestock; such bulls might
be insured against accident or death, therefore providing the purchaser
with funds to replace such bulls.
4. Others fear to purchase these bulls because the older scrub bulls in
some instances whip the younger purebred bulls, thereby rendering poor
service from the purebreds. When any purebred bulls are purchased of
any breed, these purebreds should be placed under fence with some of the
best cows in the cow herd, and separated from other bulls, so as to reap
the full benefit from the purchase. (Page 82-Reasons for Fencing).
5. Others fail to purchase purebred bulls for fear the non-aggressive
cattlemen might castrate such bulls. This is another reason for placing
cattle behind fences, where the owner can give good care and manage-
ment to his herd.
6. Others fail to purchase purebred bulls because they have not been
convinced of the importance of some feed and care during the winter
months. It is impossible to starve profits into cattle. Bulls which have been
well wintered usually get more calves of a finer quality and more than
pay for the feed given them. These calves will generally be better in
proportion as the parents of such calves are fed during the winter months.
42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
A FEW THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN BUYING BULLS
There are all kinds of bulls: (1) bulls not worth the money paid for
them, (2) bulls worth the money paid for them, (3) bulls worth more
money than was paid for them. .What kind have you bought ? A good or
an excellent bull is heavy in bone but possesses a fine quality bone; he is
of good size for his age; is deep bodied; has a level back with its width
carried throughout his body from front to rear; he has well-sprung ribs;
a good head, and is good to excellent in beef type. (See pages 35 and 36).
Some general facts one should find out about a bull at the time or before
buying, are: (1) Is he desirable in conformation and quality? (2) Does he
possess a loose hide and have the quality to put on flesh evenly? (3) Does
he readily respond to feed? Is he slow, medium or fast in making gains?
Unless a bull has the ability to put on 2 to 3 pounds of gain per day on full
feed in a feed lot, he should not be used as a bull. A mature bull should
readily put on 2 to 31/2 pounds per day; better if he puts on 31/2 to 41/2
pounds per day; and he will be a real bull if he will put on 4 to 5 pounds
or more per day for a period of 100 to 150 days; or a real bull responds
readily to feed. (4) Does he consistently get calves as good as he is or
better, or do his calves look more like their mothers? The calves of a
desirable bull should look like him, otherwise he may be a "breeding stick"
instead of a good "breeding bull." (5) Are his calves consistently good,
or are a majority of his calves of lower quality and more undesirable than
he, or his calves one-half good and one-half of the less desirable, or
what? A good bull consistently gets good calves no matter to what bred.
(6) Is he a sure breeder? (See pages 35 and 36).
Many producers ask the questions "What can I afford to pay for a
bull?" From the above statements one should be able to judge at least
some of the desirable characteristics to look for in a bull. If a producer gets
better than the average bull, or one better than the best cow in his cow
herd, he then may easily pay 25 to 35% of the value of the cows the bull
will serve, or any time the owner can sell 5 to 7 average cows in the herd
and with his money buy a good bull, he has made a good trade. Assuming
a bull under pasture conditions should serve 25 cows per season, the
following table may serve as a guide to what minimum price may be paid
for a bull, provided the purchaser buys a bull worth the money. If on the
other hand a producer can buy more bull for the money, such producer is
that much better off; but suppose he buys too little bull for his money,
he then is loser. (See table, p. 43).
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
TABLE-HOW MUCH CAN A PRODUCER PAY FOR A BULL?
Average value Total value Minimum price to
Average number cows served per head of of cows pay for a
cows served served bull
25.......................................... ..... $ 25.00 $ 625.00 $135.00-$165.00
25.......................................... ............ 30.00 750.00 155.00- 190.00
25.................................... .......... .. 35.00 875.00 190.00- 225.00
25.......................................... ..... 40.00 1000.00 240.00- 285.00
25........... .............................. 45.00 1125.00 275.00 -315.00
25...................................................... 50.00 1250.00 295.00 -350.00
25................. ..................................... 60.00 1500.00 325.00- 375.00
25............................................... 75.00 1875.00 375.00- 450.00
25........................................................ 100.00 2500.00 400.00- 500.00
25................ ..................................... 200.00 5000.00 800.00- 1200.00
If cows are high in price, then bulls are generally high, and the price
of the offspring is high. The value of the cow herd therefore has much to
do with what one may pay for a bull. Furthermore, the pastures available,
the amount of feed on hand, the labor situation, etc., will have its effect
upon how much one can pay for a bull. One should buy bulls that will
correct the defects in the cow herd, and use his own good judgment in
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD BEEF TYPE COW
Those desirable characteristics of the purebred bull should likewise
appear in a good purebred cow, except that the appearance of the head
and neck will display femininity. A good cow likewise has a quiet tempera-
One should constantly select the best heifers in the herd as replace-
ments for undesirable cows in the herd, or one should constantly be on
the alert to improve one's existing herd in conformation and quality,
selecting cows that are thick, low set, broad and deep, with well-sprung
ribs, and short, compact bodies, and to use or keep only cows that (1) are
consistent breeders; (2) will produce enough milk to rapidly grow a calf;
(3) to stand the range with minimum help; (4) have good quality calves.
One should breed only good cows, but poor quality cows should be culled
from the herd and sold for beef.
BREEDING CHARACTERISTICS OF COWS
The breeding characteristics of cows may vary with the individual cow,
the amount of feed given, or her general physical condition, but as a
general rule (1) the non-pregnant cow comes in heat about every 21 days
until she is settled. (2) This heat period of cows in good flesh lasts nor-
mally about 1 to 2 days. (3) The gestation period runs from 278 to 288
days-the average being about 283 days, or about 9 months.
44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
There are several methods of breeding practiced in different sections
of the State, depending upon whether strictly range or whether in areas
of grain and hay production. For range cattle, they may be bred to calve
from February 15 to June 15, therefore the breeding time in such practice
is from May 15 to September 15, so the calves will come in late February,
March, April and early May, but so that all calving will be over on or
before June 15.
In the feed producing area, where corn and hays are produced in
abundance, and where some high grade and purebred cattle are now
being produced, a number of breeders are breeding their cows so as to
calve from December 1 to March 31. The cows and calves are fed to provide
from fair to good wintering and put on pasture as soon as grasses will
support cow and calf. Some breeders are creep-feeding their calves while
on grass. Many of these steer calves go into feed lots when from 8 to 12
months of age, and are being put on the market when from a year to 15
There are others who are practicing a modified form of these two
principles, that is, they are primarily raising their cattle on the range and
feeding some in the winter but in the main the cows are bred to calve from
February 15 to June 15. (See gestation table No. 2, page 45.) Heifers
bred to young bulls often have less calving troubles than if bred to
HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN A COW LOSE IN THE WINTER
AND HAVE A CALF ANNUALLY?
The condition of the cow has much to do with the frequency of calving,
'the quality of calf and the general productiveness of the herd. Cows should
be fecund and prepotent. Feed is an indispensable part of obtaining a calf
crop, therefore if cows lose too much weight in the winter the owner will
lose in percentage of calf crop. It is the opinion of animal husbandmen
generally that a cow should never lose over 10 to 12 per cent of her
maximum summer weight in the winter; and it would be much better if she
did not lose over 8 to 10 per cent of her summer weight, as her winter
weight loss seriously affects the percentage of calf crop. The following
table may serve in a reasonable way as a guide to maximum losses one may
incur if cows are in good flesh in the summer without seriously affecting
the calf crop; however, if cows are poor and stringy in the summer they
should not be permitted to lose any weight in the winter. Cows should
receive at least their minimum protein requirements in the winter and
in off-seasons, such as droughts or floods, receiving about 2 lb. Cotton-
seed cake 41% or similar high proteins daily per head for about 100 days.
Service on date given
TABLE 2-GESTATION TABLE
in first column should bring calf on date given in second column
Jan. Oct. Feb. Nov. Mar. Dec. April Jan. May Feb. June Mar. July April Aug. May Sept. June Oct. July Nov. Aug. Dec. Sept.
1 10 1 10 1 8 1 8 1 7 1 10 1 9 1 10 1 10 1 10 1 10 1 9
2 11 2 11 2 9 2 9 2 8 2 11 2 10 2 11 2 11 2 11 2 11 2 10
3 12 3 12 3 10 3 10 3 9 3 12 3 11 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 11
4 13 4 13 4 11 4 11 4 10 4 13 4 12 4 13 4 13 4 13 4 13 4 12
5 14 5 14 5 12 5 12 5 11 5 14 5 13 5 14 5 14 5 14 5 14 5 13
6 15 6 15 6 13 6 13 6 12 6 15 6 14 6 15 6 15 6 15 6 15 6 14
7 16 7 16 7 14 7 14 7 13 7 16 7 15 7 16 7 16 7 16 7 16 7 15
8 17 8 17 8 15 8 15 8 14 8 17 8 16 8 17 8 17 8 17 8 17 8 16
9 18 9 18 9 16 9 16 9 15 9 18 9 17 9 18 9 18 9 18 9 18 9 17
10 19 10 19 10 17 10 17 10 16 10 19 10 18 10 19 10 19 10 19 10 19 10 18
11 20 11 20 11 18 11 18 11 17 11 20 11 19 11 20 11 20 11 20 11 20 11 19
12 21 12 21 12 19 12 19 12 18 12 21 12 20 12 21 12 21 12 21 12 21 12 20
13 22 13 22 13 20 13 20 13 19 13 22 13 21 13 22 13 22 13 22 13 22 13 21
14 23 14 23 14 21 14 21 14 20 14 23 14 22 14 23 14 23 14 23 14 23 14 22
15 24 15 24 15 22 15 22 15 21 15 24 15 23 15 24 15 24 15 24 15 24 15 23
16 25 16 25 16 23 16 23 16 22 16 25 16 24 16 25 16 25 16 25 16 25 16 24
17 26 17 26 17 24 17 24 17 23 17 26 17 25 17 26 17 26 17 26 17 26 17 25
18 27 18 27 18 25 18 25 18 24 18 27 18 26 18 27 18 27 18 27 18 27 18 26
19 28 19 28 19 26 19 26 19 25 19 28 19 27 19 28 19 28 19 28 19 28 19 27
20 29 20 29 20 27 20 27 20 26 20 29 20 28 20 29 20 29 20 29 20 29 20 28
21 30 21 30 21 28 21 28 21 27 21 30 21 29 21 30 21 30 21 30 21 30 21 29
22 31 22 29 22 29 22 28 22 31 22 30 22 31 22 31 22 31 22 30
Dec. 23 30 23 30 .............. ... .. ..... July
Nov. 24 31 24 31 March April May June Aug. Sept. Oct.
22 1 22 1
23 1 23 2 Jan. Feb. 23 1 23 1 23 1 23 1 23 2 23 1 23 1 23 1
24 2 24 3 24 2 24 2 24 2 24 2 24 3 24 2 24 2 24 2
25 3 25 4 25 1 25 1 25 3 25 3 25 3 25 3 25 4 25 3 25 3 25 3
26 4 26 5 26 2 26 2 26 4 26 4 26 4 26 4 26 5 26 4 26 4 26 4
27 5 27 8 27 3 27 3 27 5 27 5 27 5 27 5 27 6 27 5 27 5 27 5
28 6 28 7 28 4 28 4 28 6 28 6 28 6 28 6 28 7 28 6 28 6 28 6
29 7 29 5 29 5 29 7 29 7 29 7 29 7 29 8 29 7 29 7 29 7
30 8 30 6 30 6 30 8 30 8 30 8 30 8 30 9 30 8 30 8 30 8
31 9 31 7 31 9 31 9 31 9 31 9 31 9
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Winter Loss Versus Summer Weight in Good Flesh
Summer Weight of Cows in Good Flesh of Weight to Lose
600 pounds .......................................... 50-60
700......................... ............ 55-70
1000 ............... ............................ 75-90
If cows lose too much flesh in the winter, it affects (1) the calf crop;
(2) the resistance of cow to parasites and diseases; and (3) the costs from
mineral deficiencies. On the other hand, avoiding winter weight loss saves
feed; helps to eliminate winter death losses, and gives an increased calf
WHY THE FEMALE IS VALUABLE
The cow is valuable because:
1. Her heredity influence is equal to that of the bull.
2. She is the soil in which the seed is planted and if her condition is
strong during gestation, the offspring will continue, in the main, strong
through life if given good feed and management.
3. She furnishes the soil and one-half the seed for the calf crop, there-
fore the necessity for keeping her thrifty before the calf is born.
WEIGHT OF CALVES AT BIRTH-MATURE COWS VS. HEIFERS
Heifer's calves are lighter in weight than 6-year old cows. Birth weight
of calves in the beef Shorthorn herd, Beltsville, Md., tended to increase at
the rate of 0.2 lbs. per month of increase in age of dam until dams were
6 years old.
Estimate-6 yr. old cows calf 9 lbs. heavier at birth than 21/2 year old
THE TYPE OF CATTLE TO STAND RANGE
Improved beef type cattle, including grades and pure breds, have
demonstrated that they do well on Florida ranges. It is known that grades
have done well for years. The better cattle generally require better ranges
but improved blood of the desirable type will stand the range if managed
properly. The broad-backed, thick, deep, close-coupled, compact-type of
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 47
cattle should be kept for the following reasons (whether of British or
Brahman blood) :
1. The thicker type cattle will winter better than the lean, long, lanky,
slab-sided or poorer type.
2. The thicker kind is sought by buyers more than the poorer quality
kind. Good cattle argue for themselves while the poorer ones have to be
argued for at selling time.
3. When put into feed lots the thicker kinds give an account of them-
selves through the economy of gains and increased sales price.
4. Thicker animals accomplish much in production and at market
time. The same grass makes a higher-priced animal at sales time.
PERCENT OF HEIFERS TO KEEP AS REPLACEMENTS
To keep the number of cows in the breeding herd constant, enough of
the best heifer calves should be kept to replace some undesirable cows in
the breeding herd each year. This will allow a small percentage of the
poorer end of these best heifers to be culled before breeding or after their
first calf, if they do not show up as they should in the herd; but only the
best heifer calves should be retained.
If one desires to increase rapidly the size of the breeding herd one may
retain 50% or more of the better heifer calves as replacement; however,
to improve the herd one should always sell 25% or more of the poorer
quality heifer calves, as calves; for the reason that generally 25% of them
are not good enough to be put in the breeding herd.
KIND OF HEIFERS TO KEEP AS REPLACEMENTS
The heifers naturally should be better than the cows which they are
replacing. They should, therefore, (1) be thrifty, out-growing and of the
desired type sought for, (2) be out of cows that are of good type, thick,
and good milkers, (3) be of high quality, and (4) be sired by the right type
of bulls. They should possess every evidence of having those desired char-
acteristics most desired in the herd and should be an improvement over the
cows they replace in conformation, quality, adaptation, and utility. These
heifers naturally would be substituted for old cows, cows with bad udders,
non-breeders, or cows culled from the herd for other reasons. They, there-
fore, should come out of cows possessing the desirable characteristics sought
for, so as to improve the herd. These heifers, when of suitable age and
proper development, should be separated from their mothers, possibly in the
late summer or early fall, and wintered on good pastures and, if necessary,
fed while on pastures, and be fed when pastures are short.
Many heifers that are in good flesh and thrifty frequently come in heat
the first time between the ages of 6 to 12 months, hence it is highly im-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
portant that heifers saved for replacements be kept away from bulls as
heifers bred too young never reach maximum'size, and do not make as good
cows as otherwise. Six months old heifers should be separated from the
breeding herd until they are about 2 years old; then they should be put in
separate pastures, from the older breeding herd, while being bred, so as to
permit much of the veterinary work which comes from the first calving to
be centralized in one pasture, etc. Such management permits the heifer
(1) to reach greater size and development prior to calving, which is re-
flected in her future calves; (2) to produce higher quality, thriftier and
more outgrowing calves throughout her life; (3) to. produce calves of
quality and size that more nearly fill market demands, thereby increasing
the price of the calf at market time; (4) to store sufficient minerals in her
body to meet the demands of the developing foetus in her own body, during
pregnancy, without sapping her system of its mineral supply. Ample
proteins and minerals should be fed during gestation and lactation.
During her development between the ages of 18 months and 4 years
the heifer gets her permanent teeth. The heifer's first calf should ordi-
narily be sold, as she may be handicapped on the range by having a calf
at her side, if not given every opportunity for maximum development. She
is unable to graze normally for the reason that two of her primary front
teeth are out. If the calf remains with her during the winter in this con-
dition, she will lose much weight due to the fact that she does not possess
a full mouth. (See page 82).
The heifer's first calf should be sold as a calf for the following reasons:
(1) This permits the heifer to increase her size and production capacity.
(2) Wintering will be easier and death losses during the winter months will
be materially reduced. (3) The income from the heifer will be immediate.
(4) Much needed minerals will be retained in the heifer's body rather than
be put in the milk-flow for the calf.
Since heifers require strict attention at calving time and may require
some assistance with their first calf, it will prove time-saving and more
convenient to have all heifers calving for the first time separated from
older breeding herd and in a pasture-together. Heifers having difficulty
in calving can readily be detected, whereas if the heifer is in the regular
breeding herd she may go unnoticed until it is too late. Never overlook
milk-producing qualities in heifers and cows. The best time to select out-
standing heifers is when the young are weaned.
FEED AND CARE OF VALUABLE HEIFERS
1. Keep the heifer on pasture. If grass is plentiful, and the variety
of pasture good, the heifer may be kept there. The heifer should keep
growing and not be stunted.
2. As the breeding heifer gets older, cheaper and more bulky feeds
may be used, but fed liberally. Daily rations in the winter may consist of
15 to 20 pounds of silage, 4 or 5 pounds of legume hay, with a small amount
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 49
of other roughage. Stover straw or cheap hays will prove to be economical.
Good silage is a very good feed. As a substitute, sufficient grain as recom-
mended for other calves may be fed with the addition of roughages to
assure satisfactory growth. (See Chapter 10.)
3. Reduce the bulky part of the ration previous to calving time, and
substitute some laxative feeds such as bran, oats, and one of the oil meals.
Legume hays should be fed during the winter. Corn, cottonseed meal, or
similar feeds should be fed previous to calving time.
4. When 20 months old the heifer may be bred. Increase the ration
during the gestation period so as to promote the heifer's growth and for
the development of the foetus or unborn calf. Minerals and common salt
should be included in the ration, especially lime and phosphorus with salt.
5. Be sure the heifer is not disturbed by other animals. Keep her
away from rough, steep hillsides, and bog holes prior to calving.
6. Let the cow or heifer care for the calf after it has been dropped.
It is important that the calf get the cow's first milk, and both cow and calf
should be carefully watched.
7. Treat the navel cord of the new-born calf with tincture of iodine
and a fly-repellent to prevent big-joint and screw worm infestation.
CLASSIFICATION OF PRODUCERS
Producers of beef cattle may be classified as follows:
1. Outstanding breeders of registered cattle whose cattle are sold to other
registered cattle breeders.
2. Breeders of registered cattle whose output is used by the best com-
mercial cattle producers.
3. Commercial producers of high-grade cattle which find their way into
4. Commercial producers of cows from which calves are marketed.
5. Breeders who practice two or more of the above systems.
6. Producers with no definite plan-cattle not fenced, using scrub blood,
raising or providing no winter feed, etc., resulting in a non-progressive
TO THROW LARGE CATTLE
For animals too large to hold securely, the following diagram illustrates
one method by which large animals may be thrown.
After placing the halter and throw rope as indicated in the diagram,
two men should pull the throw rope from the rear of the animal. It will
usually lie down. After it has lain down, continue to pull the rope to keep
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the animal from getting up. One can usually do what is "necessary to the
animal as it will usually lie helpless as long as the rope is drawn tight from
the rear. This method of throwing is used on fairly gentle cattle that must
be thrown to treat for screw worms, trim, feet, etc.
Fig. 20-HOW TO ARRANGE ROPE TO THROW CATTLE
FOUNDING A HERD
1. Select the best females you can afford and if possible get them of
similar type and breeding.
2. Select bulls of similar blood lines and be sure they are equal to or
better quality than cows to which bred.
3. Breed and Feed-Test and Weed.
Study Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, etc.
Fig. 20-A-COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE NATHAN MAYO AND I. A.
KRUSEN, Zephyrhills, stand with Miss Estes, champion sale animal and
senior champion Brahman female at the first Purebred Brahman Show and
Sale in Florida, held at Ocala, February 1, 2, and 3, 1945.
Beef Cattle Program for Florida
Some of the fundamental principles of a good beef cattle program are:
1. As far as possible know the productive history of each breeding
2. Know desirable animals. Get the picture of an ideal in mind and
then build so as to approach that ideal as fast as possible. Cull and sell
non-breeders, shy-breeders and animals with bad udders, inferior con-
formation, type and quality, and the scrubbier, slower growing or unthrifty
animals from the herd. (See pages 11 to 27 and 32 to 39).
3. Use a purebred bull of highly desirable conformation and quality-
one that gains fast and lays on its flesh evenly-one loose-hided and out-
growing-one that possesses the natural ability to grow fast (thrifty);
docile, yet a hustler-a natural effective breeder of a good breeding bull,
not a "breeding stick." Feed the bull in winter and during the breeding
season if necessary. Any person interested in increasing his income from
cattle cannot do so by using a poor-grade or a scrub-bull. Use a pure bred
bull or one better than the best cow in the herd, and continue to make
improvement. (See pages 35 to 39).
4. Keep animals that winter well and are naturally thrifty or good
5. Keep cows that are good milkers or that give sufficient milk to
make a fast growing, fat, sleek calf.
6. Keep cows that are good mothers and that are fast breeders, or have
a tendency, under good herd management practices, to calve each year.
7. Keep animals that are good users of feed-fatten rapidly and with
high daily gain per head-the outgrowing kind, not the tight-hided kind.
8. Keep animals of desirable conformation and quality. (a) Conforma-
tion is the build, outline, profile or contour of the animal. It is due largely
to the size and shape of the bones and the proportions between the different
primal parts, such as the round, loin, rib or shoulder. Improved blood or
good breeding improves conformation. (b) Quality is a characteristic of
the muscle or lean meat of the animal and of the inter-and intra-muscular
fat and inter-cellular fat contained therein. It involves the relative size,
shape and condition of the bone, and the relation of bone to muscle and
fat. Quality is indicated from certain external evidences, such as fineness
and softness of the hair, thickness and pliability of the hide, width of
muzzle, refinement of head, or similar characteristics. (c) Fat or Finish
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 53
has beneficial effects upon conformation and quality. Further details will
be found in this bulletin under Marketing and Grading, pages 204 to 232.
As fast as possible, eliminate those animals for which one constantly has
9. Never breed heifers until about 2-years old and sell the heifer's first
calf to insure better wintering after the first calf and to give increased
size of the heifer as a cow. (See pages 47 to 49).
10. In buying bulls or cows, buy only disease-free ones. Keep them
separate from the old herd or from cattle known to be free of disease, and
then place in the regular herd only when found free of disease, and
relatively or comparatively free of parasites. Do everything reasonable to
eliminate or control diseases and parasites. This will pay big dividends and
keep the herd healthy. Control stomach and intestinal worms, screwworms,
lice, T.B., and Bangs-by all means. While very few cattle diseases exist in
Florida, preventive measures should be taken to protect the industry. (See
pages 182 to 192).
11. Practice systematic breeding. Timely breed to save feed, and timely
market for best prices. Timely breeding to fit timely grass (feed) and
timely markets are very important management practices. (See pages 43
to 44 and 204 to 232.
12. Segregate different classes of cattle into separate pastures. Keep
the breeding herd separate from heifers of non-breedable age, and from
steers, etc. Put all heifers bred for first calf in separate pastures, so many
calving troubles will be close at hand and altogether, as most calving
problems occur during first calving. (See pages 47 to 49).
13. Go after and get a calf crop. It is the source of profit. Generally
the bigger or better percent of calf crop, the greater the income and profits
from the herd. Timely breeding, better winter feeding and good herd
management practices are important in obtaining a calf crop. (See pages
69 to 70).
14. Provide feed-pastures, hays and grains. Grass, good grass, is the
cheapest, best feed, therefore more improved pastures. (1) Do not stop
short of three acres of improved pasture per animal unit (one grown cow
represents one unit of livestock). (2) Provide 1500 pounds of a good legume
hay per animal unit, or 200 pounds of cottonseed cake or pellets, for winter
use. (3) Creep-feeding calves on pasture pays, or feeding cow and calf on
pasture generally pays. (4) Two pounds of grain may be substituted for
one-half the cottonseed cake or pellets; or one pound of grain may be
substituted for three pounds of hay up to one-half the legume hay ration
(See No. 14, item (2) above); the better the cattle winter, the better the
calf crop, and the better the cattle that can be grown. (5) Keep those fields
green in the winter. One will surely be in a profitable cattle business when
ample fields and pastures are green in the winter. (6) It is a serious handi-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
cap to be overstocked. Some ways to prevent this condition are: (a) intelli-
gent culling of the herd; (b) put in improved pastures; (c) provide plenty
of additional supplemental pastures; (d) provide some additional extra
feed for winter to be used when any shortage of feed occurs. (See pages
87 to 140), and give at least the minimum protein requirements at all
15. (a) From native cows and purebred bulls sell more bull calves
and inferior heifer calves, as calves. (See pages 218 to 219).
(b) From one-half-breed cows and purebred bulls, one may sell not only
calves but some stocker and feeder calves and/or steers. (Pages 153 to
(c) Good half-breed and better bred calves and steers may be sold as
calves, or as feeder calves and/or steers, or may be put into feed lots and
there finished (lot fed) for beef. (See pages 153 to 163).
(d) If these better bull calves are sold as stockers or feeders, or put
into feed lots they should be castrated early, when from 2 to 4 weeks of
age; or castrate and dehorn when the horn buttons first appear. (See
pages 79 to 81).
16. To increase the profits from the cattle, never brand the upper
half of the animal and do not brand any portion of the animal promis-
cuously or unnecessarily. Why not practice jaw, neck, or thigh branding?
Hides are valuable and that portion of the hide over the animal's ribs and
back is most valuable. (See pages 243 to 253).
17. Minerals represent feed and are generally comparatively low in
cost, and are as vital as other feeds. Minerals of the right kind are indis-
pensable to a profitable livestock where mineral deficiencies exist. Pro-
ducers generally should use Florida Experiment Station "Salt Sick Mix-
ture" and/or salt and bone meal, keeping them before all the cattle at
all times. Each animal should have about two ounces of mineral daily for
1,000-pound cow. (See Chapter VIII-Nutrition, pages 104-107).
18. Water-clean, pure, and wholesome (not stagnant and contami-
nated)-will do much to keep cattle healthy. Water from mud holes is
frequently contaminated with parasites. A full grown or 1,000-pound cow
will consume on hot, dry days, as much as ten gallons of water; probably
average about seven gallons per day the year around. (See Chapter VIII,
19. Shade-dry, cool, and breezy, should be well spaced as well as a
part of every pasture or cattle program.
20. When shipping-handle, ship, and load so as to eliminate death
losses, bruises and injuries; never over-load, over-heat, or over-tax animals;
start right, load right, handle right, and ship right. Segregate classes by
weights in cars or trucks, or partition of each class and/or species. (See
Chapter XV-Marketing, pages 227-230.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 55
21. (a) Timely market each class when it brings best prices, timely
breed to fit timely markets. (b) Sell on competitive markets and induce
others to do likewise. (c) Take Market News and learn cattle and calf
grades, so as to keep up with market prices. (d) Always patronize the best
markets, as private selling generally works to the disadvantage of the one
practicing it, as well as those who are selling competitively. (See pages
*204 to 232).
See your County Agent for additional information on Beef Cattle
Program for Florida.
California Beef Cattle Program states:
1. Put into operation a selective breeding program.
2. Follow a systematic culling program to remove inferior and aged
animals (while prices are good).
3. Maintain breeding stock on normal plane of nutrition and provide
necessary feed for continuous gain of young, growing animals.
4. Make maximum use of pasture crops.
5. Conserve resources on both cultivated and range lands.
6. Watch cost of gains in feed lots.
7. Guard the health of animals.
8. Employ sound marketing practices.
9. Observe fundamental rules of general management.
Texas Beef Cattle Program states:
1. Save a larger percentage of the calf crop.
2. Market old barren and irregular producing cows.
3. Creep-feed calves from birth to weaning time. Gain can be put on,
during this period with less feed than during any other period of the
4. Fatten for a longer period of time, making the carcass a little
heavier. (Watch feed vs. cattle prices.)
5. Keep cattle free of internal and external parasites.
6. Handle cattle more carefully in getting them to market.
7. Keep a good supply of minerals available at all times.
56 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
To Acclimate Cattle
To acclimate cattle, feed them the same feeds they had before buying
them for a period of a few months, gradually getting them on the same
feed the other cattle use; keep mineral mixtures before them at all times.
Let them have plenty of grass if available, and be kept quiet, or disturb as
little as possible. Observe them daily, noting their condition and feed to
keep them thrifty. Observe all those good herd management practices found
under headings "Some Ways of Increasing the Size of Florida Cattle"
and those points found under heading "Herd Management." Producers
buying bulls for the first time would do well to purchase from Florida
purebred breeders as such cattle will be more nearly suited to Florida
Some Breeding Terms Defined
From earliest beginnings of rational mental processes, human beings
have asked the questions "Why?" From the time when the simple shep-
herds of Asia watched their flocks beneath the stars and wondered at the
mysteries of nature around them, man has marveled at the mysteries of
Some breeders of cattle have believed that objects of striking color
appearing in the vision of the female at the time of conception had an
influence on the characteristics of the progeny, but such is not the case.
The pregnant mother, whether of the human or of the animal family,
should be an object of the utmost solicitude and should receive the most
thoughtful, tender care. We must not forget, however, that there is no
direct connection of circulation or nervous system between the mother and
the foetus, therefore, the foetus cannot be affected by what the mother sees
or hears. Accidents to the mother may have effects resulting in the serious
injury or death of the young; but these results are not due to heredity, no
matter what the effect on the young may be.
Females usually accept service only during the period of heat. As a rule,
not more than one service is necessary during the period of heat to insure
conception, but after conception takes place, the female does not generally
come in heat again during pregnancy.
The life which results when two animals are mated has its controlling
elements in the nuclei of germ cells. It needs only nourishment to become,
in time, a full-fledged baby member of its race. Food will have a profound
influence on this mite of life but the character of the resulting animal, its
sex, its identity, and its individuality, whether it is to be white or black,
long-haired or short-haired, ring-streaked or spotted, are now settled by
the laws of life.
Keeping in mind the principles laid down in the foregoing it is clear that
in order to make the best out of the hereditary material represented in a
herd, and to use the laws of nature to the best advantage, the standard set
must be kept clearly in mind. This standard must be definite and should
be as practical and simple as possible. The exercise of selection, wisely and
judiciously pursued, offers the breeder one of the two most effective means
of benefitting from the operations of chance, which otherwise might result
58 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
in confusion. Constant selection of a good type will increasingly intensify
the properties of a given set of characteristics, but this selection must be
pursued constantly. There is a continual pull, backward and downward,
against which the breeder must work by wise and skillful matings. If this
intelligent direction by human skill should be removed, the animal stock
would rapidly degenerate to the level of the type of centuries ago.
The male is usually depended upon to correct faults in the parents. The
breeding animals should have: Good bone; deep, broad chests; strong, broad
backs; and fully developed bodies. Especial attention should be paid to the
head, for that part of the body discloses many characteristics which other-
wise would be overlooked. Width between the eyes, full, prominent nostrils
indicate points of value both to the breeder and the feeder. In males,
masculinity is important. The evidence of the masterful impressiveness of
the masculine sex is often apparent in very young animals. Avoid cows
with heads like those of steers. These points make up in total what breeders
call "character" and are among the most important considerations which
a breeder must bear in mind in building up a herd.
Good feed, care, and attention are valuable adjuncts to selection.
Starved animals which never have had an opportunity to demonstrate their
capacity to produce meat, furnish poor material from which to make
selection of animals capable of maximum and economical production.
While faults undoubtedly can be corrected by the use of males of
superior individuality, it may be unwise to use some females for breeding
even for market stock. To sell them and substitute better individuals, either
high grades or purebreds, is often the most profitable in the end. It should
also be remembered that even all purebreds are not desirable.
Selection alone is not always certain to result in steady progress.
Different combinations of hereditary elements may develop the same
characteristics. The introduction of the blood of a line which merely looks
like that of the old stock, may at any time breed differently. The result
will be the undoing of past progress, the next generation showing the
variability characteristics of the second generation of a cross. Only by
breeding within relatively narrow limits can there be reasonable assurance
that mating animals which look alike have the same heredity.
Next in importance to selection is the judicious mating of related
animals. This is known as inbreeding, and various terms, such as line-
breeding, close-breeding, and incestuous-breeding, have been used to define
varying degrees of intensity of inbreeding.
This is one of the most discussed subjects in the whole field of genetics.
All sorts of bad results are attributed to it; lack of vigor, non-resistance
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 59
to disease, decline in size and fecundity; and even sterility are the fate of
inbred animals, in the minds of many people.
We have, however, the accepted fact that progress in animal breeding
began only when breeders began to inbreed. The work of Bakewell, and the
method that has been most far-reaching in its results was that he mated his
animals with first regard to their individual suitability for the mating, and
with secondary importance placed on their relationship. Since the time of
Bakewell every breeder who has made an impress of permanent importance,
has used inbreeding as the most useful means at his command.
When related animals are mated there is brought together more uniform
hereditary material than when those that are not related are mated. The
probability that the offspring will be like the parents is increased, but
there may be hidden in the hereditary material the factors of an undesirable
character. It is possible to inbreed some animals much more intensely than
others, and certain strains of breeds in the same species exhibit similar
Inbreeding should be practiced only by the most skillful breeders, and
only when they have definite knowledge of the ancestry.
The successful use of inbreeding is one of the best tests of a breeder's
skill, and it is absolutely necessary to possess the requisite skill to make
such a step successful.
It is difficult to obtain a good breeding bull, so when one does one should
wear out such bull in the herd.
Cross-breeding is the mating of purebred animals of different breeds
of the same species. Except to produce market animals, cross-breeding
should be used only by the highly skilled breeder, and it is not then prac-
ticable unless there has been an opportunity to place the progeny on the
market for breeding purposes. As a rule such animals prove inferior to
purebreds for breeding purposes.
The art of breeding reaches its zenith in the breeding of purebreds-the
most fascinating, inspiring, and remunerative branch of animal breeding
when successfully followed, but the most difficult and disappointing when
not successful. This type of breeder is far more than a business man or a
farmer; he is an artist, and the artistic appeal is first in importance to him.
Only an experienced breeder who is a good judge of beef cattle should raise
purebreds; and he must know how to manage the herd in every particular,
what to feed, how much to feed and when to feed; what to breed, to what
it should be bred, etc., for best results. Winter feed must be provided in
abundance and summer grazing crops must be ample.
60 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
A breeder's success largely depends on the ability to judge animals,
knowledge of the pedigrees, and acquaintance with the characteristics of
the ancestors of those animals; and his ability as a judge must be based on
an instinctive gift to recognize animal types and carry them clearly in
mind. Every cattleman should use purebred bulls.
Early maturity is very important in economical beef production, and
purebred calves often weigh over 100 pounds more at six months of
age than calves sired by native bulls. Grade calves will carry more fat and
will be heavier muscled, with a higher quality of meat in the carcasses than
that obtainable from natives. There is likewise greater uniformity in the
grade offspring. Always use a purebred bull.
To summarize very briefly, let us bear in mind the following funda-
1. All domestic animals have developed gradually by very slow
2. The young animal starts on its career when two bits of heredity
material (germ plasm) unite-one from the female (the egg) and the other
from the male (the sperm). When the union is complete, the sex, identity,
and individuality of the animal are settled. Chance plays a most important
part in determining these factors.
3. From now on the fate of the animal depends on its nourishment and
4. The breeder can do much to bend the operations of the laws of
chance to his own ends by careful selection of breeding stock. "Breed the
best to the best."
5. Next to selection, the best means at the command of the breeder to
fix type in his animals, is inbreeding. It is a powerful tool, but a dangerous
one in unskilled hands. Inbred sires are more impressive as a rule than
sires which are not inbred.
6. Nature does not work lawlessly. Occurrences generally can be
explained as a manifestation of some operation of a law of heredity.
If a breeder has a clear conception of these facts, he can usually explain
by one or the other, nearly every occurrence which he may observe. The
more clearly he thinks on these subjects the more successful he will be as
Mr. A. 0. Rhoad, Animal Husbandman, Jeannette, La., and W. H.
Black, U. S. D. A., state that "Brahman cattle have been extensively crossed
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 61
with the range cattle to obtain a hardy, fast-growing type of beef animal
that will fatten well on pasture and be adaptable to the long, hot, humid
summers characteristic of the Gulf coast plains. The climate here has little
or no adverse effect on the milk flow and grazing habits of cows with a
noticeable percentage of Brahman blood . First generation hybrids
of the Brahman-Hereford cross are called Brafords by some breeders.
Similarly the term "Brahorn" is used to designate the first generation
Brahman-Shorthorn cross. . When promiscuous crossing methods are
employed, however, the results are none too favorable. . A large pro-
portion of inferior range cattle in the Gulf coast region is due, in part at
least, to lack of a well-planned breeding program. Good herds showing
evidence of Brahman breeding are now in the Gulf coast area. Uniformity
of type and temperament is more difficult to obtain in hybrid animals
than in purebreds.
"When Brahman x Hereford or Brahman x Shorthorn bulls of good
quality and type are used on range cows along the Gulf coast, the experi-
ments indicate that success largely depends on the type of breeding of the
herds in which they are placed. It is recommended that if possible the hardy
native cows be bred to purebred beef bulls and that the resulting heifer
offspring be mated to hybrid beef bulls, one parent of which was a pure-
bred of the same breed that sired the heifers, and the other parent pre-
dominantly of Brahman breeding. In all later generations hybrid quarter-
bred Brahman bulls should furnish sufficient hardiness in the offspring
to maintain their resistance to sub-tropical climates and retain a noticeable
amount of Brahman breeding in the future cow herd. In general, it is
recommended that hybrid bulls used have the same blood lines as were
represented in the sire of the heifers. . Brahmans used for breeding
should be selected on the basis of individual merit."
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS OF WORK DONE IN
CONNECTION WITH HYBRID BEEF CATTLE AT
"When only purebred Hereford bulls were used on either native or
grade Hereford foundation cows, best results were obtained by first grading
up the foundation herds with these bulls, then crossing the first-generation
heifer offspring with Brahman bulls, and finally backcrossing the hybrid
offspring with purebred Herefords. The resulting animals were of % Here-
ford-1/4 Brahman-1/ foundation breeding.
"Second-best results were obtained by backcrossing the first-generation
grade Hereford heifers with purebred Hereford bulls and then crossing the
second-generation heifers with Brahman bulls, producing as the final
result animals of 1/2 Brahman-% Hereford-%/ foundation breeding.
"When purebred Aberdeen-Angus cows were the foundation stock, best
results were obtained by first crossbreeding these cows to Brahman bulls
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and then backcrossing the first-generation half-bred heifers with the
Aberdeen-Angus sires, producing in the second generation the quarter-bred
(1/ Brahman--3 Aberdeen-Angus), and also by mating the first-genera-
tion half-bred heifers to the quarter-bred, thereby producing the 3/ Brah-
man-%5 Aberdeen-Angus. Likewise, second-generatipn quarter-bred heifers
when mated to the half-bred produced the 3/ Brahman-%5 Aberdeen-
"Almost as good results were obtained by backcrossing half-bred
Brahman bulls with purebred Aberdeen-Angus cows, thereby producing the
1,/ Brahman--3/ Angus, and then mating such heifers to half-bred Brahman
bulls, producing the 3/ Brahman-%5 Aberdeen-Angus. Both the quarter.
bred and three-eights-bred produced by the second breeding method are the
reciprocal crosses to those produced by the first breeding method.
"For the Gulf coast area, Brahman hybrid beef-type bulls are recom-
mended for use on range cows with one-half to three-fourths the blood of a
pure beef breed. One parent of the hybrid bulls should be of the same pure
beef breed that sired the range cows and the other parent predominantly
of Brahman breeding and of acceptable beef-type conformation."
Florida needs other addition purebred breeders of Brahman, Shorthorn,
Hereford, and Angus to supply the need for desirable types of purebred
bulls for these hybrid or breeding programs as outlined above, or other
good programs of producing desirable hybrids and crosses. There are also
great opportunities in Florida for purebreds, to breed up grade cattle
through any breed of beef cattle, using only outstanding fecund, prepotent,
and rugged bulls. At present there are more than 600 purebred herds of
beef cattle in Florida.
With 1,539,000 head of beef cattle in Florida (Jan. 1, 1952) and with
50% of this number females of breeding age (using 1 bull to 25 cows)
would require approximately 31,000 bulls. It has been reliably estimated
that about 13,000 of this number of bulls are of sufficient type and quality
to properly improve the herds, therefore one big need is 18,000 more good
bulls to replace low-grade and scrub bulls.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 63
THE VALUE OF FARM CATTLE
More cattlemen in the territory where cheap feeds can be grown should
feed out the better kinds (1) so as to properly market these feeds to a
better advantage, (2) use the fertilizer to build up the soil to raise more
feed to feed more cattle to get more fertilizer to raise more feed to go
through cattle thereby simultaneously build up feeds, fertility and cattle
income. Florida is blessed with some good soils and some that could be
materially and substantially built up by the best fertilizer in the world,-
barnyard fertilizer, or livestock fertilizer; (3) and also with quality fed
cattle get an additional income over feed costs. (4) Surveys in southern
states and elsewhere in the U.S.A. prove conclusively that the most sub-
stantial farmers in the U.S.A. are those farmers who sell their feeds
through livestock and get 50% or more of their income from livestock.
A breeder who understands the value of good herd management practices
will regulate the breeding in the herd. The bull should be with the cows
only during the breeding season, and in this manner the birth of calves
will be controlled, and the size of the calves will be uniform which is very
important even if the male calves are to be sold as calves, grown out as
"feeder" steers, or fattened in the feed lot. Help solve the marketing
problem by using improved production and management practices.
The consistent effort of every producer should be to improve the quality
of his herd; to increase his calf crop; to feed his herd the necessary amount
to make the cows most productive, consistent with economical production;
to remove inferior animals, substituting in lieu thereof superior ones; to
remove aged animals, substituting therefore younger, more desirable types;
and at the same time to provide more of the cheapest kind of feeds in the
form of grass and legume pastures; and to so sell his livestock as to fit
into best markets when better prices are prevailing.
TYPE AND BREEDING ARE IMPORTANT IN HERD
Culling the herd should be systematic with the end in view to constantly,
year by year, build up a more productive, better adaptable herd of cattle
to one's condition and to help prevent the storing up of a burdensome
supply of inferior animals. The past, present and future prospective per-
formance of breeding animals should be taken into consideration when
Type and breeding of cattle have an important bearing on dressing
percent or yield. In well-bred cattle about 75% of the value of the animal
is in the upper half of the body, therefore the reason for good strong backs,
loins, rumps, as well as well-laid in shoulders and well-sprung ribs. On the
other hand, in such cattle about 60% of the value of the carcass is in the
rear half, therefore, the necessity of good strong backs, well-developed loins,
good straight rumps, including the round which should be well-developed
to the hock.
FACTORS IN HERD IMPROVEMENT.
Herd improvement that leads to a profitable cattle production must
give consideration to many factors, some of which are:
1. Weight of calves at birth and at weaning time.
2. Milking qualities of the cows.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 65
3. Selling value of the calves.
4. Regularity of breeding of the cows.
5. Rate of maturity to breeding age.
6. Feed requirement per 100 pounds gain.
7. Feed lot performance of the cattle.
8. Killing and cutting characteristics on the block.
9. How well the cattle winter.
10. Ability to stand heat.
11. Efficiency with which they use native vegetation.
GREATER PROFITS BY IMPROVING CATTLE
There is a true saying, "The eye of the master fatteneth his cattle".
A finer cattle industry and increased profits will result by good-breeding,-
feeding,-care and-management, and good marketing practices. There should
be a balanced all-round program or a practical system of operation. Another
true statement is "Keep the eye on the ball". There are numerous ways of
increasing profits from cattle, some of which are:
1. Know the herd, and then keep it properly culled-eliminate non-
breeders, shy-breeders, and the scrubbier, least profitable cattle, or those
poor in conformation, poor milkers, with bad udders, etc., keeping only
good breeding stock. This culling should include cows, bulls, heifers, etc.
(See pages 83 to 86).
2. Use good purebred bulls-that is, good breeding bulls. (See pages
32 to 51).
3. Castrate or eliminate scrub or poor-grade or poor-purebred bulls.
4. Carefully select heifers as to replacements in the herd. (See pages
47 to 48).
5. Protect the heifers from breeding until they are about 2 years old.
6. Control the breeding season, that is, timely breed to fit grass or other
feeds and endeavor to sell when prices are best.
7. Put in improved pastures for more feed the year round, so as to
practice better feed methods. When possible, produce more hay and grain.
"Brush and weeds are thieves to a cattle industry". A good weed chopper
or a mowing machine is one of the best implements on a cattle farm or
cattle ranch. The proper kinds and amounts of fertilizer applied to a
pasture should make good grazing and good cattle.
8. Take better care of cows and/or the breeding herd during the winter
and during the nursing period. A good bull is a valuable animal; therefore,
feed him if and when he needs it whether winter, spring, summer or fall.
66 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
9. Some of the best and cheapest supplementary feeds for cattle during
the winter on farm and ranches are-(a) So manage improved pastures in
the late summer and early fall as to have some grazing in the winter. (b)
If one practices burning wire grass, use the proper control burning practices
as to give some winter grazing from it. Decide what will be burned and
then control burn about 25 to 30% of each pasture or area in late December
or after the first frost; then the second burning another 25% would take
place about the first of February,-and then finish burning the remaining
portion or area about March 1st or when the danger of frost is over. It is
best not to burn wire grass any more often than each 2 years. It should not
be burned when it is very dry and if burned too often the stand of wire
grass will be reduced. (c) Use a high protein supplement such as "cotton-
seed cake" or similar high protein cakes, using 2 lbs. per head daily
for a period of about 80 to 100 days, depending upon season and conditions
of other grazing crops or other feeds. (d) Try to have good grazing the year
round consisting of grasses and legumes.
10. Use the right kind, quality and proper amounts of a good mineral
supplement, using what the Florida Experiment Station recommends and
keep it before the cattle at all times. (See pages 107 or 67).
11. Provide separate pasture for different classes of cattle. Do not
put steers in the pasture with the breeding herd, and do not put young
heifers in the pasture with bulls and/or steers. Best cattlemen generally
keep light-weight steers in separate pastures from medium-weight steers
as they have found that each size, age or weight class does better when kept
separate from other weight selections. In the winter, feed a high protein
12. There are certain areas in Florida, under range conditions, where
cattle suffer the lack of sheds in the winter, shade in the summer, and
water most any season.
13. Try to get at least 85% and if possible 100% of a calf crop an-
nually. The bigger the calf crop generally the more profitable the herd.
14. Control diseases such as Bangs or Contagious Abortion, T.B., as
well as any other infectious or contagious disease. (Pages 182-184).
15. Control internal parasites such as worms and liver flukes, etc., by
good grazing practices, such as rotational grazing, use of good clean water,
the use of phenothiazine or other methods recommended for the control of
internal parasites by the Florida Agricultural Experiment stations. (Pages
186 to 192).
16. Control external parasites such as screwworms, lice (both body and
tail lice), ear ticks, warbles or grubs, etc. Use DDT or such other remedial
measures as the Bureau of Entomology and/or the Experiment Stations
recommend. (See Chapter 13, Diseases and Parasites of Cattle).
17. No animal will do its best without plenty of good clean water.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
18. If one is going to produce for sale stockers and/or feeders, or going
to fatten out steers on the farm or ranch, these animals should be dehorned.
The bull calves used for such purposes should be castrated when from one
to two months old.
19. All potential profits may be lost by poor marketing methods. One
should know grades, take Livestock Market News reports, and study market
conditions and sell by competition. Timely breed, timely feed, to fit timely
markets so as to net the highest dollar. Sell more calves as calves which will
reduce the labor cost and increase the calf crop and give greater profits.
Cooperate with the neighbors for a united front whether in breeding, feed-
ing, care and management, or in marketing,-all of which means more
profits by improving cattle. (See pages 204-232).
SOME WAYS OF INCREASING THE SIZE OF FLORIDA CATTLE
The size of cattle has an important relationship to the price of cattle
and the quality of such cattle marketed. Large cattle invariably produce
better calves, especially if such cattle carry the conformation and quality
they should carry. Cattlemen generally are interested in profits in cattle
and the size of cattle bears a very important relationship to profits.
Below are given a few factors for cattlemen to consider in increasing
the profits from their herds. By practicing good herd management, the
size of Florida cattle can be materially increased, making it possible to
obtain more beef during a shorter period of time.
1. A proper balance of minerals kept before cattle and combined with
plenty of grass will materially increase the size of cattle. By using good
grass and good cattle the size of the cattle may be increased 50% over poor
grass and poor cattle. Improved pastures properly fertilized will furnish
much of the minerals needed by cattle, and such practice tends to greatly
increase nutritious grasses, resulting in increased gains, size and profits.
The mineral mixture now being used at the Range Cattle Station, Ona,
Florida, consists of the following:
Steam ed bonem eal.......................................................................................26 pounds
Defluorinated superphosphate ................................... ............... 26 pounds
Common salt.............................................. 100 pounds
Red Oxide of iron.................................... 10 pounds
Copper sulphate..................................... 2 pounds 8 po
Cobalt chloride........................................ 2 ounces
B lackstrap m olasses.................................... ...................................... 5 pounds
Cottonseed m eal....................................... ............................................. 5 pounds
2. Nothing is more important than providing plenty of water for
cattle at all times. The 1,000-pound cow requires about 10 gallons of water
per day in hot weather. This water should be good, clean and plentiful,
68 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
even in dry weather. The writer has seen cattle suffer from lack of water
in Florida. It might be well to provide a few windmills scattered over the
range, to provide this water during dry spells.
3. The use of improved purebred bulls will materially increase the
size of cattle. These bulls should increase the size and quality of cattle from
25% to 50%-mostly 30%.
4. Heifers should never be bred until they are about 2-years old. This
will allow them to grow and to be more fully matured before their first
calving and will materially increase the size of heifers.
5. The sale of the heifer's first calf will allow her to grow and to
retain a better flesh condition, during the winter, resulting in an increased
size of about 10%.
6. Heifers not old enough to be bred should be put into pastures to
themselves. Steers should be kept in pastures to themselves. Bull pastures
should be provided, in which to keep the bulls when not being used for
breeding purposes. There should be bull pastures, heifer pastures, steer
pastures, and breeding pastures.
7. It is advisable to put heifers in a pasture to themselves for their
first calving as this will allow practically all of the veterinary work to
be done in one pasture.
8. Culling the herd is an important part of herd management and
when properly executed will materially increase the size of the cattle.
Generally, the herd should be culled some each year. Such culling will
provide an income from the cattle. Why allow cattle to die on the range
when they might be converted into an income if culled and sold when they
should be ? Low grade and poor producing cows are thieves to the owner.
9. The sale of calves will materially improve the wintering condition
of their mothers. This will allow their mothers to grow into larger cows.
Just in proportion as calves are sold, just in proportion will the producer
increase the size of his calf crop. The size of the calf crop bears an impor-
tant relationship to profits. There are many reasons for selling calves. (See
pages 218 to 219).
10. It might be well in figuring out the location of corrals and barns
to take into consideration their location as related to their various pastures.
Make it convenient to draw the cattle to one central point located with an
outlet for such corrals to the pastures to reduce shrinkage and unnecessary
11. The size of cattle is tremendously increased by the use of plenty
of feed. Nothing will provide better and more economical feeding than
plenty of improved pastures, and the size of cattle can be materially in-
creased by the wise use of improved pastures. Plenty of feed throughout
the year will give a material increase in size, probably 10% to 15%-often
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 69
12. It is best to feed the bulls during the winter months, to put them
in good condition for breeding purposes the following spring, and in pro-
portion as the breeding herd is maintained in better physical condition
during the winter, the larger will be the offspring and the larger the calf
crop will be the following year.
In analyzing the above suggestions (if cattlemen generally practice
them) it would be possible to materially increase the size of Florida cattle.
Granting that this increase in size was 50%, it would naturally result in
cows on Florida's ranges averaging 825 to 900 lbs., or possibly 1,000 pounds.
HOW TO OBTAIN A CALF CROP
A cow herd cannot be successful without a successful calf crop, or the
herd should produce 85 to 100% calf crop annually to be most profitable.
This requires good herd management practices, to include fencing, im-
proved pastures, care of breeding herd, corrals, careful and efficient help,
use of minerals, winter feeds, water, and often shade. It involves systematic
management, timely breeding, timely selling, and many other vital things
as well as conditions. The quality and condition, the acclimation of cattle,
the type of cattle, the herd management practices, do much toward getting
a good calf crop. The following suggestions, if followed, will materially aid
producers in obtaining a good calf crop.
1. On the range, use good, thrifty, acclimated bulls of desirable type
for the breed and not a "breeding stick," using about 1 bull to 25 cows,
but never less than 3 bulls to 100 cows.
2. The bulls should be fed when necessary to keep them in good thrifty
condition during the winter, as well as during the breeding season.
3. Remove unprofitable females from the herd, such as old, worn out,
shelly cows, shy-breeders, non-breeders, poor milkers and poor quality cows
producing poor quality calves. Select cows so as to improve their quality
and condition. These cows should give plenty of milk and should generally
raise a good calf annually.
4. Good, improved pastures are very essential as most economical gains
are made on pastures. Provide grass and legumes in these pastures and see
that a year-round pasture is provided.
5. Control the breeding season so that the cows drop calves early in
the spring when grass is growing. Normally it is best to breed cows in May,
June, July, August and early September for calving during the months of
February, March, April, May and June. The breeding season should be so
adjusted to fit grass feeding and the best herd management practices and
to keep the herd healthy and thrifty.
6. Feeds-grains and hays-not only should be fed the bulls to keep
them in thrifty condition, but weak cows should be fed through the winter;
70 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and see that nothing interferes with the proper growth and development
of the calf. The cow must give plenty of milk, therefore build up reserve
quality pastures as well as some feed for the winter. Keep those fields green
in the winter. Provide enough feed in the winter to keep the herd in fair
to good condition and prevent the herd from losing more than 10% of its
maximum summer weight during the winter.
7. See that the cattle have plenty of the right kind of minerals.
8. Segregate the different classes of cattle in the pasture. Keep steers
away from the breeding herd; have pastures for steers, pastures for bulls,
pastures for the breeding herd, and pastures for heifers not old enough to
breed. Calves should never be bred and heifers should not be bred until
about two years old. Do not expect yearling heifers to have good calves.
Sell the heifer's first calf and allow its mother to develop.
9. Practice selling as calves the poor end of the entire calf crop, while
they retain their maximum baby flesh from their mother's milk. It is always
a good practice to save for replacements in the herd the top end of the
heifer calf crop. If bull calves are to be retained as steers, one should like-
wise retain the better end of bull calves for steers. As to whether or not
the latter should be retained would depend upon feed and market con-
ditions. Generally if selling on a declining market one should sell liberally
of the calf crop.
10. Plenty of good, clean, wholesome water is essential. A 1,000-pound
cow will drink normally, under average conditions, about 6 to 7 gallons
of water per day, but on hot, dry days she will drink as much as 10 gallons
of water per day, and if on dry feed to 25 gallons.
11. See that nothing interferes with the growth and development of
the calf. A mother that is getting plenty to eat and gives plenty of milk
is a great asset; therefore, do not neglect the breeding herd. Plenty of feed
in the form of pasture will go a long way toward increasing the profit from
the cow herd as well as increase the calf crop.
12. By selling calves one can materially increase the calf crop.
WHY LIVESTOCK GET POOR IN THE WINTER
1. Less feed in the winter-more dead grass and less green feed or lack
of minerals and proteins in the grass in the winter.
2. Less vitamins in feeds used for wintering, than in summer with
nutritious grasses and legumes.
3. In cold weather it takes more heat to keep animals warm, or in cold
weather feed must be used up to keep the animal warm, which feed in the
summer might go for growth.
4. During the summer grasses are tender (more sugar and starch),
have higher protein content and better mineral distribution-higher vitamin
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 71
content, than similar grasses (dead) consisting of mostly cellulose in the
5. Lice are worse in the winter because-
(a) Hair is shorter in the summer and longer and more dense in the
(b) Perspiring animals (in summer) have a tendency to rid themselves
(c) The shedding of hair in the spring and summer tends to shed lice
(d) Lice can be better controlled in the summer, or the effects of lice
are not so noticeable in the summer as in the winter. Cattle should be
dipped two to three times before frost to rid them of external parasites.
(e) Cattle are generally better fed in summer than in winter.
6. Weakened condition of cattle for lack of minerals and other feeds
in winter shows more markedly the presence of internal as well as external
7. The effect of the lack of minerals show up more in the winter than
in the summer.
8. Under range conditions, late calves on cows in winter, under the
above conditions, give excessive drain on cows.
9. Florida needs more good feeds for wintering cattle and high protein
cakes are generally best to use on the range.
10. Sheds protecting to the north, or open to the south, with some
protection to the east and west side in cold rainy weather, are instruments
of an improved wintering condition. (See Chapter 12, Equipment.)
11. People eat heavier or more food in the winter than in the summer,
and it is reasonable to suppose that livestock (cattle) need likewise good
nutritious, palatable feeds in the winter, but generally there is less of it,
therefore the fields and pastures should be green in the winter-or plans
worked to keep them green in the winter, thereby providing more feed in
TO OVERCOME OVERSTOCKED CONDITION
It is a serious thing to be overstocked or to have more cattle on the
range than one has grass for, because an overstocked range is conducive
to poor calf crop, poor wintering conditions, and poor quality cattle. Some
ways in which overstocking can be prevented are:
1. Intelligent culling of the herd, keeping the most desirable and pro-
ductive in the herd, selling the remainder to the best advantage.
2. Each year put in some improved pasture or have a pasture improve-
72 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
3. Provide plenty of additional supplemental pastures, to take care
4. Provide some additional extra feed in the form of hays and grains,
or pellets or cake, to be used when shortage of pasture occurs.
5. Provide feed for winter, such as Crimson Clover, White Dutch, Oats,
6. Overstocking reduces the good grasses on a range and/or increases
the less desirable grasses, reduces the grade of meat produced, and lessens
the profit. At the Manatou Station (Montana) there was less profit by.
grazing 54 steers per section, by nearly $300, than by grazing 46 steers
FACTORS IN WINTERING GOOD BEEF CATTLE ON
Cows. (1) Very thin cows should be fed enough grass or other feed
to gain from 100 to 125 pounds to offset calving losses. (2) Cows in fair
condition need to be fed only enough to maintain body weight-a main-
tenance ration. (3) Fleshy cows may lose considerable weight during the
winter without harm, provided their condition does not go below fair.
(4) Thin strong cows produce as large calves at birth as fat cows; they
produce as large calves at weaning time as fat cows provided grass is
plentiful enough during the spring and summer to insure sufficient milk
for the calves. (5) Cows fat or in good condition in the fall, winter much
more easily than thin cows. Special efforts should be made to keep cows in
good flesh as far into the winter as possible to save feed. (6) When calves
have good size in the fall it is advisable to wean them to save feed on the
cows. (7) Calving time is the hardest time for cows. If winter hangs on
and the cows are in poor condition, the cow and calf may both die at calving
time. Young cows or heifers expecting to calve in the winter or early spring
should be separated from the herd and fed liberally. A poor female cannot
have as good calf as one in good flesh.
Steers and Young Stock. Steers can be wintered easier than cows or
calves. They may be fed more sparingly even on the same feeds. Calves
may be brought through the winter in good thrifty condition by giving
them 5 pounds of hay per head per day plus oat straw-all they will eat.
Young yearlings can be brought through the winter on even less. Cattle
do not need much shelter in some southern sections other than brush or
timber for wintering but they need good grass or its equivalent, water and
salt. Roughage is the principal feed used in wintering dry cattle. The cost
of the roughage per ton and the amount necessary to get the cattle through
the winter is important. Oat hay makes an excellent roughage for cattle
in winter. Oat pasture is excellent.
Bulls. Bulls may be fed on the same feed as breeding cows but in larger
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 73
FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESSFUL BEEF CATTLE PRODUCTION
ON GENERAL FARMS OF FLORIDA
The following should be considered in the beef cattle program for West
Florida, where crops are grown:
(1) The size of the farm; (2) the proportion of feed crops that are
concentrates and roughages and the proportion of these feeds high in
protein; (3) the amount and quality of pastures. Can the cattle be grazed
on open range or are there confined to fenced pastures; (4) the regular
labor supply available for tending livestock; (5) the amount of capital
available for fattening livestock; (6) the amount of capital invested in
equipment; (7) and the adaptability of the operator to various kinds of
cattle productions, etc.
Where farm herds are kept and the cattle are more or less confined to
the farm, and suitable feeds are raised to adequately feed the herd, and
where the steers are fed out on the farm, it is best to raise a pound of
concentrates for each pound of roughage produced. If one specializes in
purchasing feeder cattle, the feed raised should be about in the proportion
of 2 to 21/2 pounds of grain to each pound of roughage raised.
The importance of well bred animals is illustrated by (1) well bred
animals have higher value at marketing time than poorly bred; (2) the
bull should be of high merit; (3) the bulls should be of the same breed
each year so as to properly color the calves. Better bred cattle of the same
breed bring better prices than mixed breeds if of equal quality. They are
The price paid for a purebred bull depends upon the kind and number
of cows to be bred, and the attention given the bull after he is bought.
The bull may be used near his capacity for service.
To maintain a good herd from 10 to 20% of it should be replaced
annually with good heifers. These heifers may be raised on the farm or on
the range. To build up rapidly a herd of half-breed cattle, from 50 to 75%
of the best heifers may be retained. With a replacement of 20% to 25%
each year effective and efficient culling is accomplished with excellent re-
placements. One should use good judgment in culling-cull to increase the
quality and income. (See pages 83-86).
WINTERING CATTLE WITH COTTONSEED CAKE
Tons of grain and hay are wasted daily because of the lack of protein
for efficient rations.
Over a 5-year period the Texas Extension Service found that cows fed
cottonseed cake during winter months weighed 150 pounds more than
cows not fed cake, while their calves averaged 54 pounds heavier weight
at weaning time than cows not receiving the protein concentrate.
74 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Tests show that one pound of cottonseed cake is equal to 4 to 6 pounds
of legume hay, or 2 to 3 pounds of grain, or feed lot tests show that 100
pounds of cottonseed meal will replace 250 to 300 pounds of grain when
no more protein concentrate is fed than is needed to balance the ration.
Calves fed on hay alone may gain 25 pounds per calf while if the calves
were given hay and 1 pound of cottonseed cake they made gains of 184
pounds over the same period of time.
REASONS FOR FEEDING CATTLE AND CALVES C.S. CAKE
OR PELLETS ON RANGE
1. They not only eat the pellets or cake but it stimulates their appetites
so they will eat more of most roughages.
2. They gain faster and sell for higher price (profit) per pound, even
when on grass.
3. The cows have better calves that grow off faster.
4. Most every man who has tried it, has been pleased with the results
by the returns-having obtained about $2.00 for each $1.00 feed given.
5. It has proven profitable to wintering cows, calves, yearlings, steers;
profitable in the summer while on grass, and in feeding both cow and calf
on grass, summer or winter.
6. It prevents cattle from dying in the winter, due to starvation.
7. More than 55 different cattlemen of Florida state that under all
conditions: winter, spring, summer and fall, fed to all classes of cattle and
calves, "It has been very satisfactory." This is further evidence that one
can feed profits into livestock but cannot starve profits into same.
8. In most cases there is a profit over cost by (1) having cheap gains
versus high selling price; therefore, one is helping produce more meat, at
less cost, obtaining better calf crop and solving marketing problems too.
(2) Reducing losses from death. (3) Increasing calf crop. (4) Utilizing
feeds present to better advantage. (5) Selling price about 2 to 1 over cost
9. Two to four pounds of cake per head per day seems to be the answer
to better wintering. Cows, about 2 to 3 pounds; cows with calf at side, 3 to
4 pounds per day per cow; yearlings, 2 to 3 pounds per day; bulls, up to 5
pounds per day per head. Excess loss of weight in the winter makes more
expensive gains on grass in summer. Prevent that winter loss in weight.
The owner loses money when his cattle lose in excess of 10% their
maximum summer weight in the winter. Produce a large calf crop, and
make those calves more profitable by feeding.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 75
South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station states that for a
4-year period creep-fed calves gained 80 lbs. more per head at weaning
time than those not creep-fed. The increased weight and increased price
resulted in an average profit per calf above feed cost of $8.03 per head,
when good steers were selling about $12 per cwt.
They suggest a practical mixture for creep-feeding calves up to 4-months
of age consisting of the proportion-200 lbs. of cracked corn or cracked
small grains and 100 lbs. of ground oats, ground barley or wheat. Calves
naturally will be nursing their mothers. Or, they suggest 800 lbs. of ground
grains and 100 lbs. of cottonseed meal or cake or peanut meal or cake in
case pasture is short or mothers are not giving sufficient milk.
PUREBRED FARM CALVES
If a new born calf does not immediately begin breathing at birth, any
mucus in its mouth or nostrils should be wiped out. Natural breathing may
be induced by forcing air into the lungs with a bellows or by alternate
compression and relaxation of the walls of the chest.
Soon after the calf is born the cow should be given all the lukewarm
water she desires. It is well, also, to feed a small amount of bran mash.
If the cow produces more milk than the calf takes during the first day or
two, that remaining in the udder should be milked out; however, see that
the calf gets the first milk.
Two calves, one of which is motherless, about the same age, may be
suckled by one cow; if not, this calf should be taught to drink milk, which
may be done by allowing the calf to suck the feeder's fingers and im-
mediately immerse the fingers in milk while the calf is still nursing the
FEEDING ORPHAN CALVES
Orphan calves, after being well started on whole milk, may be
raised successfully by:
1. Replacing whole milk with skim milk.
2. Substituting calf meal for skim milk.
3. Feeding gruel feeds with a minimum amount of whole milk.
The amount of whole milk fed during this period will depend upon the
size of the calf. The following table may be used as a guide in determining
the minimum daily milk requirements for individual calves:
76 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Weight of Calf Milk Daily
50 pounds........................... ........... . 4.0
60.................... ..................... 4.5
70........................ ........................... 5.0
80.......................... ......................... 6.0
90................. ..... .... ............... 7.0
100..................... ... ........... ........ .... 8.0
110....................................... ..... ..... 9.0
120.................. ........ .... ..................... 10.0
The calf's feed for the first day or two will consist of three or four
pounds of whole milk. Do not force it to drink as the calf will take the
milk at its next feeding time. Slowly increase the quantity about a pound
each day until the calf is getting 8 to 10 pounds daily, or what it will
consume depending on conditions.
.During the fourth week skim milk is gradually substituted for whole
milk in the ration, and after about the ninth week the amount of skim milk
is reduced at the rate of one pound daily. All the skim milk may be dis-
continued when the calf is from 70 to 90 days old, depending upon the
condition of the calf and the amount of grain and hay it is consuming daily.
Generally, one pound (dry weight) of a calf meal is a fair substitute for
four and one-half quarts, or about 9 or 10 pounds of skim milk.
If skim milk is to be discontinued at an earlier date or at the end of
about the sixth week, the following formulas may be used:
r25 lbs. yellow corn meal
15 lbs. ground oats
100 lbs. hominy feed 10 lbs. ground barley
100 lbs. oilmeal 22 lbs. flour middlings
100 lbs. red dog flour o15 lbs. corn gluten meal
100 lbs. dried blood meal 10 lbs. soluble blood flour
1 lb. steamed bonemeal
1 lb. salt.
Good quality beef calves gain about 11/2 to 2 pounds a head daily, when
creep-fed a ration of 4 pounds grain mixture, over a period of about six
months. A mixture of 2 parts of shelled corn and 1 part of whole oats, by
weight, makes a good feed for the first three months; thereafter, increase
the mixture to 5 parts of shelled corn, 2 parts of whole oats, and 1 part of
any of the oil meals.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
During the first 30 days, one-fourth of a pound of grain should be
fed to each calf in the creep the first two or three days and then gradually
increase the amount based on the amount of milk the mother gives and
pasture conditions. Normally the feed is increased as the calf increases
in age or size.
Breeding of young growing beef cattle may not need a mineral supple-
ment in addition to salt if they are afforded a variety of feeds, but they
generally require mineral supplements.
Pregnant cows, nursing cows, or cows of the dual-purpose breeds, if
fairly heavy milkers, may need a heavier allowance of minerals than
contained in their regular feeds.
A good mineral mixture is made of 2 parts (by weight) of finely ground
limestone (in using ground limestone be sure it is fluorine-free), 2 parts
of sterilized bone meal, and 1 part of salt.
REASONS FOR CREEP-FEEDING CALVES
A few reasons for creep-feeding calves are:
1. One can raise more quality beef more quickly, and sell at higher
2. Calves creep-fed utilize feed efficiently while they are growing.
3. They make more gain per pound of feed than at any other time.
4. They get accustomed early to eating and make better feeder steers.
5. They can be weaned with less shrink.
6. On the range it makes it possible to sell feeder calves 30 days earlier
at weights 50-75 pounds more per head, than when nbt "creep-fed."
7. Cows can be bred more often for bigger calf crop-that is, approach
getting a calf per cow annually.
8. Cows go into winter stronger.
Mixtures may be hand-fed daily or fed from creep-feeders.
9. The calves will be of better grades, selling at better prices.
FEEDING CALVES ON GRASS UNDER FARM CONDITIONS,
OR PREPARING FOR FEED LOTS
It is a mistake to feed the cow heavily on grain soon after she drops
the calf. The calf needs plenty of milk but an over supply should not be
given. When four to six weeks old, feed the calf some grain.
A calf may be taught to eat grain at the age of 4 to 6 weeks, by feeding
it in a creep. Bran is an excellent feed to start with. A good ration for the
78 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
first few weeks consist of the same number of pounds of coarsely ground
corn, ground oats, and wheat bran, to which a small quantity of oil meal is
added every few days. Start the calf on one-fourth of a pound of grain a
day, feeding one-half of the amount night and morning. After a few weeks
weigh out and feed a ration of whole or ground oats 4 parts, shelled corn 2
parts, and oil meal 1 part to be substituted for the ground feeds. For every
100 pounds of live weight, the calf should eat 2 or 3 pounds of grain each
Calves can be weaned gradually when 6 to 8 months old, and within
12- to 15-day period.
FEEDING FROM WEANING TO MATURITY
In starting these calves on feed, use a ration the proportion of about
5 lbs. corn, 2 to 3 lbs. of bran or oats, and 1 lb. of cottonseed meal or
its equivalent. The kinds and amounts of feeds fed would depend upon
results expected, that is are such calves being fed a growing ration or a
fattening ration. If fed a fattening ration (for slaughter) the corn or
carbohydrate portion of the feed should be increased.
Baby beef is produced from an animal of desirable beef type conform-
ation and quality. Such animals should not be permitted to lose their baby
flesh. These animals are usually under 20 months of age, and should be
produced from high grade beef type cows and pure beef type bulls, for
best results. Baby beef generally weighs on foot from 500 to 1200 pounds,
most often from 500 to 1000 pounds. Such cattle command high prices when
properly finished. Calves grown from good cows should receive grain along
with milk and pasture for best results, grain should largely supplement
the mother's milk during the nursing period. Before weaning time these
calves should be fed a grain ration. After weaning they should have a highly
concentrated ration of grain.
When feeding grain, separate the calf from the herd, putting it in a dry,
clean pen. Use plenty of straw, leaves, shavings, or other litter for bedding.
Calves do not thrive if compelled to sleep on foul-smelling, damp bedding.
Keep the water trough or stream clean. Do not allow mud to accumulate
near the drinking place. Foot diseases may be contracted from dirty
watering places or in filthy barns.
A bin that will hold several weeks' supply of mixed and weighed grain
should be provided. Protect the contents against rats and other animals,
and keep it dry.
Buildings for cattle should be cool in summer and dry and comfortable
in winter. Open sheds are usually sufficient. They may be walled to the
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
MARKING AND BRANDING
When cattle are branded, the branding iron should not be too hot, and
the brand should not be burned too deep. If possible confine the brand
marks to the regions of the neck and shoulders, thereby protecting the hide.
The use of a wire brand in the place of the heavy iron will prevent serious
injury to the hide. (See Fig. 59, page 245).
Cattle are marked by identifying cuts in the ears as shown by the
illustration and this system is becoming more general, in place of splitting
the dewlap, etc. (See Fig. 21).
COMMON EARMARKS OF CATTLE
All male calves not selected for breeding purposes should be castrated
when they are from one to two months old. Young calves bleed very little
and recover sooner after the operation than older ones.
If the calf is not to be shown, the lower portion of the scrotum may be
removed. The calf should be thrown down, and the scrotum washed well
with an antiseptic solution. The lower one-third or one-fourth of the
scrotum should be cut off with a clean knife, thereby exposing the lower
portion of each testicle. Then cut through the glistening membranes which
enclose the testicles, and pull the testicles outward, stretching the cord
considerably, but not jerking it loose from its attachment in the abdominal
cavity; scrape the stretched cord with the sharp edge of the knife until the
~r~Pd4 '-ae4--- ----fJ
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
cord severs. Bleeding is less if the cord is severed by scraping rather than
by cutting it off direct. Good drainage is provided when the end of the
scrotum is cut off.
To leave the scrotum in its entirety cut through the wall of the scrotum
on one side, remove the testicle through the incision, then make another
incision on the opposite side, remove the other testicle. The incision should
be long and made directly over the testicles on each side, but should extend
well down to the lower end of the scrotum to provide good drainage.
Bull calves have a tendency to take on the characteristics of a bull if
castration is delayed. If early castration is practiced, such calves have the
tendency to develop as steers should develop. Bulls generally show slightly
more development in the fore quarters, while cows, on the other hand, show
great development in the rear quarters. Since bull calves, early castrated,
have a tendency to take the shape of a cow, they should therefore have
greater development in the rear quarters by early castration. Bull calves
which are to be converted into steers should be castrated when from 2
weeks to 3 months of age. There is a great possibility in Florida for pro-
ducers to raise steers for feed lot purposes; such calves should be castrated
early and be dehorned so as to make them desirable for buyers of feeder
The use of bloodless castrators or emasculators is recommended under
screwworm conditions for young bull calves, as a means of controlling
screwworms. For details on their use, see your County Agent or other
persons of experience.
Removing Horns with Caustic: Horns may be removed on young calves
before they are 20 days old by the use of caustics, which prevent the growth
and development of the horn. Caustic potash or caustic soda is prepared
in stick form and can be obtained and used easily. When the calf is from
three to nine days old a "button" or thickened area may be felt at the
point where the horn will develop. Clip the hair from over each "button,"
leaving each spot about the size of a nickel. Put a heavy layer of vaseline
around the edges of the clipped area. Take a stick of caustic soda or potash;
wrap one end securely with paper to protect the hands; moisten the other
end; rub very briskly over each "button" three or four times until the
caustic becomes dry. Repeat this operation two or three times. Be careful
that the caustic is not applied too wet. The calves should be kept out of
rain for 12 hours after the treatment, otherwise the caustic may put out
the eyes of the calf.
Use of Saw: In dehorning cattle, two years old and older, it is best to
use a saw, since the dehorning clippers are apt to sliver or crack the bone
which forms the horn core.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 81
Treatment Following Dehorning: After dehorning, sear the horn area
with a hot iron to remove the smell of blood, then it is advisable to apply a
thin layer of pine-tar oil or Smear No. 62 over the wound and adjoining
areas to repel flies and prevent infection. Cattle should be dehorned in
cool weather when there is less danger from flies. The opening in the horn
may be plugged with clean gauze or antiseptic cotton covered with pine-tar
oil or some standard fly-repellent like Smear No. 62 or Smear EQ 335.
Should the cavity (frontal sinus) become infected, by pus being dis-
charged where the horns were removed it should be irrigated with boric
acid solution or a hypochlorite solution forced into the cavity with a
syringe, turning the head sidewise to allow the solution to flow out of the
Should maggots collect in the wound, saturate a piece of clean cloth
with chloroform or gasoline and insert same into the cavity, or syringe
out with a weak carbolic acid solution, using three tablespoons of carbolic
acid to one quart of water.
DISADVANTAGES OF HORNS
Horns are expensive, whether on the range, in the feed lot, or in the
slaughter pen; and hornless cattle, if equal in quality to the horned kinds,
have the following advantages:
1. Horns devaluate cattle 50e per hundred pounds live weight, or more.
2. Fewer horned cattle can be fed together or shipped in the car or
truck. They require about twice the feed-bunk space as do hornless ones.
3. Horned cattle injure each other in transit and/or in feed lots.
4. Horned cattle are more restless and more often fight, therefore
there are more bruises due to horns.
5. Horned cattle lack uniform well-shaped heads and are less attractive
than hornless ones.
6. Dehorned cattle handle more easily and are safer.
WHEN TO DEHORN
1. Dehorn when the calves are young and easy to handle.
2. On very young calves, remove the buttons with a knife or a "button
buster," or a Barnes or similar bell-shaped calf dehorner for calves up to
4 or 5 months old, or-
3. For calves over 4 months old, use a scoop dehorner or saw or
Kill the smell of blood at dehorning time and treat with some screw-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ADVANTAGES OF ADEQUATE FENCING
It is difficult to practice all of the desirable features of an improved
livestock industry without suitable and adequate fencing to take care of
the livestock. One cannot properly cull his herd and get the benefits of
culling, or use good bulls and get the benefit of these bulls, or protect the
heifers until they are old enough to breed, or properly segregate the classes,
or get the benefits from improving pastures, or the payments made by the
Government for such improvements, or get the proper benefits from using
minerals and high protein supplements in winter feeding, or get a calf
crop, or protect the herd against diseases and parasites, or put in proper
care and management practices in the herd without proper, suitable and
adequate fencing. Fencing aids in the control of thievery.
When one fences, one advertises to the world that the p'irl,'t,/ fenced
has a value, and that the animals behind the fence have a value. The proper
kinds and adequate amounts of fencing, and good, well located corrals, and
other good equipment, are indispensable in an improved livestock industry.
DETERMINING THE AGE OF CATTLE BY THE TEETH
The United States Department of Agriculture, in Farmers' Bulletin
1066 states: "The age of cattle can be approximated closely by the ap-
pearance (development, and subsequent wear) of their permanent incisor
teeth. Cattle have eight incisor teeth, all in the lower jaw. In the calf at
birth two or more of the temporary or first set of incisor teeth are present.
With the first month the entire eight incisors have appeared.
"As the animal approaches 2 years of age the center pair of temporary
incisor teeth or pinchers is replaced by the permanent pinchers, which at
2 years attain full development.
"At from 21/ to 3 years the permanent first intermediates are cut
and are usually fully developed at 3 years.
"At 31/2 years the second intermediates or laterals are cut. They are on
a level with the first intermediates and begin to wear at 4 years.
"At 41/2 to 5 years the corner teeth are replaced, the animal at 5 years
having the full complement of incisors with the corners fully developed.
"At 5 to 6 years there is a leveling of the permanent pinchers, the
pinchers usually being leveled at 6 and both pairs of intermediates par-
tially leveled and the corner incisors showing wear.
"From 7 to 8 the pinchers are noticeably worn; from 8 to 9 the middle
pairs, and by 10 years the corner teeth.
"After 6 years the arch gradually loses its rounded contour and becomes
nearly straight by the 12th year. In the meantime the teeth have gradually
become triangular in shape, distinctly separated, and show the progressive
wearing to stubs."
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 83
There are a few simple rules to remember in tattooing for permanent
and positive identification.
1. Have the inside of the ears entirely free from grease and dirt.
2. Be sure the letters or numbers are placed in the jaws of the tattoo
3. Avoid hair, dark skin, and the cords or ribs in the ear.
4. Be sure that the pins of the tattoo digits are driven deep into the ear.
5. Use plenty of ink.
6. Rub in well, so the skin will heal over it. Do not tear the ear.
The tattoo ink should be about the consistency of heavy cream. Make
correct entry of the number and do not use the same number on two
For one to tattoo, he must have tattooing pliers, sufficient removable
numbers and/or letters, tattooing ink, facilities and help to work animals,
CULLING CATTLE HERDS
There are numerous advantages in culling cattle on farms and ranches.
There is no better time to cull than when animals are fat; however, there
are some cattle and calves which are poor doers, waste feed, and will not
fatten, and such kind should be culled and sold. Furthermore, there is no
better time to cull than when prices are high as at present (1952); there-
fore, a rapid culling program should be put into practice while prices are
good and should continue from year to year and until such time when
production meets or more nearly meets consumer demand, whether prices
are high, average, or low.
The consumer demand for beef and veal in Florida today is for about
70 to 75% Choice, Good, and Commercial grades, with about 30 to 25% for
the lower grades Utility, Cutter and Canner (Cull). A recent survey through
meat packers of Florida indicates that a rigid general culling program
should have been started in Florida several years ago. One should cull to
improve the herd, and to properly cull the herd the owner should know
the age and productive history of each animal in the herd, whether cow,
What to Cull
The question is often asked, "What should I cull?" The following
points will give a few ideas concerning this question.
1. Cull all animals producing low-grade slaughter market stock such
as Utility, Cutter and Canner cattle and Utility and Cull veal and
calves, and preclude producing these low grades.
84 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
2. Cull and sell "out-law" cattle, "fence breakers", etc., as they
will help to make the whole herd troublesome.
3. Sull "poor-milkers" and cows with bad udders as they cannot
raise a good calf, and why waste feed?
4. Cull females that do not take good care of their calves.
5. Cull "Non-breeders" as they are non-paying boarders and often
ruin good bulls by over-service of no avail. "Shy-breeders" should be
culled because they do not have sufficient calves for their keep.
6. Cull animals small for age as they are usually poor utilizers of
feed and generally their offspring have similar characteristics.
7. Cull animals which fail to winter well, or get extremely thin or
"go on the lift" in the winter.
8. Cull animals which fail to put on rapid gains when given plenty
to eat. Animals should be the "out-growing" kind and not the "tight-
9. Cull animals poor in conformation, quality, and those hard to finish.
10. Cull nondescript poor-doing animals which fail to meet the goals
of the owner, and any kind which fails to improve the present herd. The
whole herd should be culled-including bulls, cows, heifers, yearlings and
calves. Cull the herd from year to year.
Some Advantages of Culling
There are numerous advantages to a constructive culling program,
some of which are:
1. To relieve an overstocked condition.
2. To prevent death losses on the farm and ranch.
3. To increase and improve the calf crop.
4. To better winter the cattle or to keep cattle that winter well.
5. To obtain better conformation and quality in the breeding herd,
to produce calves to sell as calves, as well as ultimately to sell good-grade
stocker and feeder cattle.
6. To produce a more valuable offspring.
7. To increase earlier maturity and more rapid returns at no greater
cost, but with a greater income.
8. To make feed go farther, or to save feed.
9. To improve the service of good bulls, making them twice as valuable
if bred to good females.
10. To improve breed and breeding characteristics.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
11. To meet consumer demands for grades of meat by producing better
grades which are easier to sell.
12. To have more of a better product for sale.
13. To simplify selling, as animals in the herd which have uniform
breed, color, size (or weight) for age, and sex are easier to sell and com-
mand uniformly higher prices.
14. To help solve present as well as future marketing problems.
Additional Culling and Management Suggestions
1. Sell culls for slaughter and do not return them to the farm or ranch.
2. Be careful when buying to buy something to improve the herd.
3. Sell for slaughter or castrate all scrub-bulls or any inferior bulls,
whether grade or purebred-use a better bull than the best cow in the
cow-herd. If possible, use the same breed of bull throughout the herd.
4. Use only good bulls, preferably purebreds, using one to each 20
to 25 heifers or cows.
5. Improve pastures to support a better cattle industry.
6. Properly segregate each class, as mixed classes in a pasture do not
do as well as a uniform class, by age and weight.
7. Use high protein supplement and the proper kinds and amounts of
8. Make every effort to control parasites and diseases.
The better type animals selected for conformation, quality and breeding
will mature earlier, fatten faster, produce more and better meat, and give
Replacements for Cattle Culled
Culling makes feed go further and better bred cattle can use feed to a
greater potential profit. Any culling program should be followed by the
proper replacements and animals replacing those culled from the herd
should be better in conformation and quality than those already in the
herd, that is:
1. They should be an improvement in conformation and quality and
generally better than the cows replaced.
2. They should have the general characteristics of being good milkers.
3. They should be sired by purebred or good bulls.
4. Each succeeding generation of heifers should be an improvement
over preceding generations and an effort should be made to improve the
herd from year to year.
5. They should be the kind that winter well or are good doers.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
6. They should be sure-and-fast-breeders, calving if possible once each
year or at least four times in five years.
7. They should put on flesh rapidly or be the thrifty out-growing kind
and not the undesirable slow-growing kind.
8. It has been found that the thicker, deeper, broader, more compact,
short-legged, short-necked, square-headed kinds of cattle stand the range
better than the narrow, shallow, long-bodied, ewe-necked, narrow-headed,
long-legged kinds. A culling program should be put in as a means of in-
creasing the number as well as the quality of calf crop.
9. If one cannot answer "yes" to the following questions, he needs to
do culling. Is she a fast-and-sure-breeder ? Does she produce a good calf
annually? Does she give sufficient milk to raise a good calf? Is she a
good mother? Does she winter well, or is she a good doer? Does she put
on gains rapidly? Is she good in conformation and quality? Is she a good
size for her age? Does she show improved blood and similar good char-
No one can have a good herd of cattle without culling. Cull to ultimately
eliminate low-grade market cattle. Strive to build up the herd so one does
not have to generally apologize for it.
Florida Needs Feeds
Florida's pasture, hay and grain needs to supply the feed to reasonably
finish and carry Florida's livestock industry (present cattle, hog, horse,
etc.) would take 722,039 tons of hay (grass and legume) and 39,000,000
bushels of corn or its equivalent in grain. This is about six times the
present hay crop and four times the present grain' crop and seven times
the present protein supply. Therefore the Florida producer should become
feed conscious to have a thriving livestock industry. This additional hay,
grain and protein is needed to (1) better winter the livestock, (2) finish
out the best livestock, (3) give greater calf crop, (4) increase the profits
from the industry. Florida's livestock industry will expand in proportion
as "Florida's fields are green in the winter." Hay, grain and green
grazing in the winter is the great need.
Oats, rye and citrus pulp may be used instead of corn. They should be
ground or rolled before being fed for best results. More oats and rye should
be grown, as they produce about twice the feed per acre as corn in most
Molasses. Cane molasses (Blackstrap) is relished by beef cattle, and
has been used for fattening steers throughout the southern states. The dry
matter of molasses is high in nitrogen-free extract, comparing very fa-
vorably with corn. Blackstrap is exceedingly low in protein, which must be
supplied in other feeds in the ration. Molasses may be used pound for
pound for corn up to 40% of the grain ration. When feeding molasses the
use of a good legume hay or roughage is preferred.
1. Raise more sugarcane and rack same for winter feeding.
2. Produce and save more silage crops-sorghums, napier grass, sweet
potato vine silage, etc.
3. Produce and save more hay crops. More careful attention to time of
cutting and proper curing and handling of hay can add materially to the
value of forage resources. Often value is lost in tonnage as well as in
vitamin A and protein content so essential to livestock nutrition. Cure it
well but do not bleach it out.
4. In many areas small grains have been overlooked. Georgia stations
point out that small grains generally produce from two to three times the
total digestible nutrients per acre as corn on the same lands.
5. Crop management practices should be such as to build up corn
yields as it costs about as much to cultivate a poor crop and poor stands
as it does to cultivate better lands and better stands. A few ways in which
corn yields may be increased are (1) Select lands suitable for growing
corn. (2) Use a good hybrid or a prolific variety. (3) Properly prepare
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the soil. (4) Use legume cover crops in rotation with corn and use a good
balanced fertilizer. (5) Use a side application of nitrogen such as nitrate
of soda and/or sulphate of ammonia. (6) Good yields cannot be obtained
without good stands. (7) Use the proper kinds and amounts of cultivation,
cultivating often enough to keep the crop clean, etc.
6. Root crops like sweet potatoes, dasheens and casavas may be the
answer to high yields of carbohydrate feeds per acre, especially since sweet
potato yields are 7 to 10 times as great as corn yields. These crops, when
shredded and dried, will keep. Work at the Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee and Belle Glade, Fla., stations indicate sweet
potato meal about equals slip shuck corn, pound for pound, in feed value
for cattle (dairy and beef). (See Table 7, page 94).
CORN AND GRAINS AND BY-PRODUCTS OF GRAINS
Corn is the all-round greatest energizing, heat-giving and fat-furnishing
feed for all domestic animals. The explanation of this lies in the fact that
it carries considerable oil, and on mastication the kernel breaks down into
nutty particles which are more palatable than the flour from wheat which
becomes gluey when wet. Oats, rye, and barley are good cattle feeds.
There are numerous byproducts of corn such as chopped whole ear,
corn-cob shuck, when ground known as corn-cob-shuck-meal, shelled corn,
or ground-shelled corn, corn chops, bran, etc. For older cattle it is best to
crack or coarsely grind small grains such as oats, rye and barley, and non-
saccharine grains and/or sorghum grains. (For further information see
Morrison's Feeds and Feeding).
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD VARIETY OF FIELD CORN
FOR GENERAL USE IN FLORIDA
A good variety of Field Corn should be one having or possessing the
1. Producing high yields-usually prolific-Hybrid varieties.
2. Strong resistance to damage by insects, diseases, (disease free), and
adverse weather conditions. Ear hanging down when mature yet strongly
attached to stalk.
3. Good quality and appearance.
4. Well suited to feeding practices.
5. Long shank, heavy and tight at tip.
6. Stalk medium height but strong.
7. Root system extensive-many branches.
8. Kernels smooth, dent type.
9. Husked ears with 14 to 18 straight rows of kernels, cylindrical
(not tapering in shape).
BEEP CATTLE IN FLORIDA
WHY GROW OATS?
By J. LEE SMITH
1. They produce an excellent grain feed, early.
2. When cut in the dough stage they produce good hay that is har-
vested at a season when curing is usually surest.
3. They provide the earliest grain feed that can be harvested with
cattle and hogs.
4. They provide green grazing for all kinds of livestock on the farm
during winter and spring.
5. They are harvested in the spring, permitting the production of
another crop on the same land during the year.
6. They prevent excessive soil erosion by winter and spring rains if
planted early on rolling lands.
7. Oats are an excellent feed for all kinds of livestock-as green
grazing, as hay or grain.
OATS FOR BEEF CATTLE
1. Oats generally sell for more when marketed through cattle than as
grain. At the Oklahoma Agriculture Experiment Station, feeding oats to
choice beef calves gave 21/ times as much per bushel as when sold to
2. A pound of oats will produce as much gains as a pound of corn,
but not as much finish.
3. Oats can be used for 1/2 the corn in a ration fed to cattle without
affecting finish or selling price.
4. Oats were superior to corn when fed in combination with molasses.
5. Grinding oats is recommended, especially for cattle over 1 year old.
6. Oats are most valuable in winter rations or for wintering cattle.
7. In a ration where the needs for a protein supplement has been met,
oats are equal-pound for pound-to a protein supplement and are better
8. Rolled oats are inferior to either ground or whole oats.
The average production of rice for a 10-year period (1930-1939) for
Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and California was 48.4 bushels per acre; in
1940 the average was 50.9 bushels per acre; 1941 the average was 43.4
bushels per acre. Possibly upland rice on many acres in Florida would be
profitable as a feed for livestock.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
TO SUCCEED WITH SMALL GRAINS
1. Use adaptable varieties.
2. Use plenty of seed 2 to 31/ bus. of oats, etc.
3. Select suitable soils.
4. Thoroughly and timely prepare soils.
5. Fertilization, liberally.
6. Seed at the right time.
Some qualities to look for in feeds are-Available protein, carbohydrates
and fats, vitamin content, mineral content, palatability, fiber content,
PROTEINS FOR WINTERING CATTLE
Under normal conditions, to properly winter and/or to maintain
weights on pasture or range when low grade roughage or silage is to be
fed, some oil-meal or cake, high in protein like cottonseed meal or cake,
peanut meal or cake, soybean meal or cake, etc., should be provided for
different classes of cattle as indicated below, basis daily per head:
Steers 1 to 2 years, about 2 lbs. Calves and Yearlings 1 lb.
Cows with calf at foot 11 to 21 lbs. Cows bred 1 to 2 Ibs.
Cows dry 1 lb. Bulls 2 to 4 lbs.
The above amounts during the winter should cover a period from 80 to
120 days, depending on weather and/or other conditions.
Racked sugarcane, silage, grass hays, or other roughages should be fed
in combination with the above. If good peavine and/or peanut hay can
be had, one may substitute 2 to 4 pounds of these legume hays per 1 pound
up to one-half of the above protein supplements. It is advisable to feed
minerals; if ground limestone is given as a mineral it should be fluorine-
free, as an excess of fluorine is detrimental to livestock.
Feeding Cottonseed Meal
Cottonseed meal has a high protein content and possesses the character-
istic of stimulating the appetite of fattening animals, resulting in an in-
creased consumption of other feeds and thereby producing greater gains.
It makes a good supplemental feed for fattening beef cattle on pasture.
It also has a good percentage of phosphorus and potash but is low in
calcium. Calcium carbonate may be added.
One pound of good quality cottonseed meal is equal to nearly 2 pounds
of cottonseed as a feed for fattening steers. (Rations containing over 5 to 6
pounds of cottonseed produce scours.)
Cottonseed contains about 20% each of fat or oil and crude protein.
Compared with a good grade of cottonseed meal it contains about half
as much protein and about three times the content of oil.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 91
TABLE 4-COMPOSITION OF COTTONSEED PRODUCTS*
Crude -- -- Fat
Product Water Ash protein Nitrogen (ether
Fiber free extract)
Per cent Per cent Per cent Per cent Per cent Per cent
Cottonseed ................................. 9.1 4.0 19.6 18.9 28.3 20.1
Cottonseed meal and cake:
41 per cent protein ......................... 7.1 5.7 41.7 10.0 28.4 7.1
38.6 per cent protein....................... 6.9 5.9 38.8 12.2 29.4 6.6
36 per cent protein ......................... 7.3 5.8 36.8 13.5 30.0 6.0
Cold-pressed cottonseed ....................... 6.9 4.2 27.5 24.2 30.2 7.0
Cottonseed hulls .............................. 8.7 2.6 3.5 46.2 38.0 1.0
Furnished by the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A ton of cottonseed 10-year average yields approximately the follow-
ing: hulls 478 pounds; cake or meal, 900 pounds; crude oil, 315 pounds;
dirt and loss in manufacture, 126 pounds. The fiber amounts to about
Cottonseed cake is made from the residue after the oil has been
extracted from the seed. Cottonseed cake and cottonseed meal are the
same thing; the meal is the cake in ground form. One pound of cottonseed
meal will balance as much corn as three pounds of bran. Range cattle on
wire grass should receive one to two pounds of cottonseed meal or cake
per head daily. When crimson clover, oats and rye can be grown they
make excellent grazing.
To determine the protein content of cottonseed meal sold on basis of
nitrogen or ammonia content, multiply the nitrogen by 6.25. For example,
if the analysis is given as 6 percent nitrogen, then the pounds of protein
in 100 pounds of meal will be 6x6.25, which is 37.50. If the analysis is given
in terms of ammonia, multiply the percent of ammonia by 5.15. For
example, if the analysis is given as 7.5 percent ammonia, the protein in
100 pounds of the meal will be 7.5x5.15, which is 38.62.
The addition of 3.31 pounds of cottonseed cake a day as a supplement
to the grass increased the daily gain 0.80 pounds, or from 1.52 to 2.32
pounds. (See Table 5.)
Unshelled peanuts, farmers' stock, per ton yield approximately 600
lbs. of oil, 1,000 lbs. of peanut meal (41%), 250 lbs. peanut hulls, and
150 lbs. of dirt, trash, etc.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Pasture Supplemented With Cottonseed Cake
Value of cottonseed products as a supplement to pasture in steer feeding*
Average ration of Selling Profit
Lot Ration daily concen- price of per steer
gain trates cattle
Lot A............ Pasturealone................. .................. 1.52 .......... $3.66 $2.86
Lot B............. Pasture plus cottonseed cake....................... 2.32 3.31 4.53 10.42
* From Bureau of Animal Industry Balletin 131.
UTILIZING ROOT CROPS FOR FEEDING LIVESTOCK
The Southeast is producing large quantities of proteins from the
different oil meals, like peanut, soybean and cottonseed meal, as well as
peanut and peavine hay; there is also produced through the meat packing
companies large quantities of tankage, and a number of fisheries producing
fishmeal high in protein are along Florida's coast. In the South unlimited
quantities of protein feeds are available. On the other hand, Florida needs
to produce more energy feeds, that is, increase her corn yields per acre
by improved methods of selection, fertilization and economical production;
also small grains including oats and rye should be increased in areas
adapted to same. The University of Georgia found that small grains like
oats, rye and barley, gave more than twice the feed per acre under similar
conditions than did corn.
One of the principal group of food crops used in England and through-
out Europe to feed and fatten cattle is the root crop group. This group
includes sweet potatoes, cassava, dasheens, carrots, turnips, mangles, ruta-
bagas, etc. Sweet potatoes, cassava and to some extent carrots, turnips,
rutabagas and dasheens are old crops in Florida. Certain varieties of
dasheens are usable for cattle feed; others cannot be satisfactorily used.
Yields of corn have been low, about 9 bushels per acre average, and sweet
potatoes, 69 bushels average; or some of these root crops are producing
from 7 to 10 times the pounds of roots as corn. Any crop should be grown
on soils adaptable to greatest yields per acre.
The average yield of corn in the north central states for 12-year period,
1928-1939, was 28.3 bushels per acre. For the State of Iowa (the crack
livestock producing and feed state) it was 37.8 bushels per acre; for
Alabama, Georgia and Florida it was 10.5 bushels per acre; for Florida
it was about 9 bushels per acre. This is too low a corn yield to permit
Florida to actively compete with Iowa in food lots. Corn yields 1950-1951
was about 15 bushels per acre.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
Results of Feeding Experiments Showing Relative Value of
Cottonseed Meal and Other Concentrates (U. S. D. A.)
Station Feed with which compared Result
Florida........................ Velvetbeans in pod............ Cottonseed meal worth from 1.5 to 2.5 times as much.
Maine ....................... Gluten meal ................. Cottonseed meal superior.
Massachusetts ................. do....................... do.
do ....................... Ground soybeans ............. Practically the same.
Mississippi................... do ..................... Cottonseed meal superior.
do........................ do .................... 1 pound cottonseed meal is equal to 1.71 pounds cotton-
do ....................... Velvetbeans in pod............ 2 pounds velvet beans are equal to 1 pound cottonseed
New Jersey ................... Equal parts wheat bran and 4.5 pounds cottonseed meal are practically equal to 10
dried brewer's grains......... pounds of other feeds.
do ....................... Ground soybeans ............. Practically the same.
Pennsylvania .................. Wheat bran ................. Cottonseed meal increased yield about 20 per cent.
South Carolina ................ Velvetbean meal............. Cottonseed meal slightly superior.
do ....................... Wheat bran ................. 1.5 pounds cottonseed meal slightly superior to 3 pounds
Tennessee .................... Ground soybeans............ Practically the same.
U.S. Department of Agriculture... Fish meal .................. 1 pound fish meal is equal to 1.24 pounds cottonseed
do ....................... Peanut feed ................ 1 pound cottonseed meal is equal to 1.36 pounds pea-
do ...................... Velvetbean meal............. 1 pound cottonseed meal is equal to 1.54 pounds velvet-
Table 6 shows the comparative value of other feeds with cottonseed meal.
Improved blood and feeds are interdependent on each other for an
aggressive livestock industry, therefore any safe energy feeds which can
be commercially produced in any portion of Florida, and grown on adapt-
able lands, have great possibilities.
The sweet potato is an old crop to the South. It has been grown in a
half-hearted fashion on most southern farms since early colonial days.
Sweet potato meal has been produced from sweet potatoes by shredding
and by different drying methods developed by the Alabama Experiment
Station, Auburn, Ala. It takes from 2.6 to 3 pounds of sweet potatoes to
give 1 pound of sweet potato meal. For information on shredding and
drying, write the Alabama Experiment Station, Auburn, Ala., or the
The following table shows the value of sweet potato meal compared
with corn and similar energy feeds in feeding steers and dairy cattle at
different experiment stations over the Southeast.
From Table 7 it is seen there has been much variation in the results
obtained, but a close study of available data would indicate that sweet
potato meal is approximately equal, pound for pound to corn-cob meal,
STATION YEAR RATION MIXTURE AND TOTAL FEED CONSUMED PER ANIMAL (LBS.)
Class Ave. Per
Year Pounds Pounds Pounds number begin end
days weight weight Total Daily
1940 Ground shelled corn.... 1169 C.S.M........ 360 Peanut hay........... 658 Steers.... 126 515.6 748.3 232.7 1.847
Alabama 1941 Sweet potato meal...... 1169 C.S.M........ 360 Peanut hay............. 658 Steers.... 126 520.6 733.3 212.7 1.688
Auburn 1942 Ground shelled corn.... 1050 C.S.M........ 360 Cane silage............. 2820 Steers.... 120 495.8 679.0 183.2 1.53
1943 Sweet potato meal...... 1050 C.S.M........ 360 Cane silage............. 2820 Steers.... 120 495.7 663.6 167.9 1.40
Alabama 1941 Groundshelledcorn.... 1510 C.S.M........ 498.5 Corn Silage............. 3020 Steers.... 150 547.5 745.0 197.5 1.32
atAtmore 1942 Sweet potato meal...... 1510 C.S.M........ 498.5 Corn Silage............. 3020 Steers.... 150 562.5 813.0 250.5 1.67
1939 Corn cob meal......... 1725 C.S.M........ 345 Corn-Sorghum silage..... 1500 Steers.... 150 647 839 192 1.28
1940 Sweet potato meal...... 1552 C.S.M........ 517.5 Corn-Sorghumsilage..... 1500 Steers.... 150 649 861 212 1.41
West ----- -
Tennessee 1940 Corn cob meal......... 1250 C.S.M....... 250 Corn-Sorghumsilage..... 1200 Steers.... 120 524 752 228 1.90
at 1941 Sweet potato meal...... 1125 C.S.M....... 375 Corn-Sorghumsilage..... 1200 Steers.... 120 536 734 198 1.65
1941 Corn cob meal.......... 980 C.S.M....... 196 Corn-Sorghumsilage..... 1200 Steers.... 120 470 656 186 1.55
1942 Sweet potato meal...... 882 C.S.M....... 294 Corn-Sorghum silage..... 1200 Steers.... 120 470 666 196 1.63
Mississippi 1941 Ground shelled corn.... 1455 C.S.M....... 284 Sorghum silage......... 846.3 Calves... 142 418 743 325 2.29
at Johnson hay............ 284
State 1942 Sweet potato meal...... 1174 C.S.M........ 383.4 Sorghum silage.......... 842.0 Calves... 142 413 707 294 2.07
College Johnson hay............ 284
1941 Cracked shelled corn.... 1791 C.S.M........ 299 Cowpeahay............ 650 Steers.... 140 640 933 293 2.09
Georgia 1942 Sweet potato meal...... 1791 C.S.M........ 299 Cowpea hay. .......... 650 Steers.... 140 637 841 204 1.46
Tifton 1942 Crackedshelled corn.... 2112 C.S.M........ 352.8 Peanut hay ........... 581 Steers.... 140 678 984 306 2.18
1943 Sweet potato meal...... 2095 C.S.M........ 350.0 Peanut hay............. 581 Steers.... 140 678 991 313 2.23
Texas 1940 Ground shelled corn.... 1016.4 C.S.M........ 299.6 Alfalfa hay............ 152.6
at Prairiehay............ 428.4 Heifer.... 140 359.3 614 254.7 1.82
College 1941 Sweet potato meal...... 1002.4 C.S.M........ 295.4 Alfalfa hay............. 152.6 Calves... 140 360.4 613.9 253.5 1.81
Prairie hay ........... 421.4
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
and from 90 to 95% as efficient as ground shell corn as a fattening feed
to beef cattle.
Since 2.8 pounds of sweet potatoes produce 1 pound of sweet potato
meal, and assuming sweet potato meal to be 90% as efficient as shelled
corn, the following figures are computed: (See Table 8).
Sweet Potato Shelled Corn
Yield of Potatoes Green Weight Meal Equivalent
bushels pounds pounds bushels
66 .............................. 3,960 1414.2 22.7
100............................... 6,000 2142.8 34.4
150. .............................. 9,000 3214.2 51.6
200............................... 12,000 4285.6 68.9
300............................... 18,000 6428.4 103.3
400 ............................. 24,000 8575.2 137.7
From the above calculations can be seen the possibilities of producing
larger amounts of carbohydrate feeds per acre with sweet potatoes than
with corn. It costs, however, more to raise sweet potatoes than corn. The
ability, however, of the program of this kind is dependent upon one's ability
to produce large yields of sweet potatoes, economically.
Some ways of producing high yields of sweet potatoes are:
1. Select high yielding varieties.
2. Use only high quality seed which is certified to be disease free.
3. Bed seed early and treat same for seed-borne diseases before
4. Plant early, harvest late, or provide a long growing season of 200
to 240 days.
5. Select suitable soils or put on land that has never grown sweet
potatoes, or has not grown sweet potatoes for 3 years or more.
6. Space rows 31/2 feet, and vary planting space in the row from 8
inches to 15 inches, according to time of season. Begin setting immediately
after danger of frost. On the average put the plants about 10 to 12 inches
apart in the row.
7. Set plants on high ridges and maintain high beds throughout the
8. Use 400 to 800 pounds of fertilizer of high potash content per acre.
Thoroughly mix this fertilizer with the soil. Many growers will find it
96 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
advantageous to use up to 1,000 pounds of fertilizer per acre. The pro-
ducers should be sure their soils contain at least 50 pounds of actual
nitrogen, 50 pounds of phosphoric acid, and 60 pounds of potash per acre.
9. Cultivate often to control weeds.
10. Use pure certified stock for seed.
Dasheens, cassavas, and possibly other root crops are high yielders of
carbohydrates and have possibilities. Florida needs feeds high in carbohy-
drates to solve feed problems. It will be interesting to watch some crops
that will be developed to supply these energy feeds. Any feed which can
be grown economically should be pushed to solve the problem of increasing
quality taking place in livestock in this State, and feed is an indispensable
part of livestock improvement.
The composition of sweet potato meal varies on the different soil types
-muck vs sand, or vs clay. The composition of sweet potato meal and
cassava was furnished by the Florida State Department of Agriculture and
that for corn by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. For composition
see Table 9.
Shredded Shredded Airdried
Sweet Potato Cassava Corn
per cent per cent per cent
Water ................................ 8.75 11.10 12.9
Ash................................... 4.05 2.20 1.3
Crude Protein ......................... 3.16 3.70 9.3
Crude Fat ........................... 1.05 1.00 4.3
Crude Fiber ........................... 3.52 4.75 1.9
Nitrogen-free Extract ................... 79.47 77.25 70.3
100.00 100.00 100.00
Sweet potato meal, while not as palatable as corn, at the beginning of
the fattening period proves to be palatable enough to demonstrate its
value in comparison with corn when fed pound for pound for corn-cob
Feeding. Unshredded Root Crops, Fed Raw. Wherever starch con-
centrates, such as corn, can be purchased at a lower cost per unit of dry
matter, the value of root crops in livestock feeding is limited to feeding of
small quantities, such as 2 to 4 pounds raw root crops per 100 pounds li-ve
weight daily, as a source of succulence and to make the ration appetizing,
or substituting one-half to the full grain ration with the meal of the
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 97
Root crops are prized by exhibitors and breeders of pure-bred stock as
they are excellent conditioners. Roots are classed as highly diluted con-
centrates rather than as roughages; dried they may be classed as con-
Roots are deficient in protein, fat, lime, and phosphate, and with the
exception of carrots and sweet potatoes are relatively deficient in vitamin
A, although most roots are fair sources of vitamins. Leafy, green, or yellow
feeds are better sources of calcium (lime), and iron. Carbohydrates mainly
in the form of sugar are the principal nutrient of roots, and the sugar
content rises considerably during storage.
Preparation of Roots for Feeding. Roots are fed in the field where
grown, whole from storage, or cut into strips, chips, or squares. When the
roots are large, hard, and woody, old animals with poor teeth or young
animals are unable to eat them unless cut. Remove the dirt before putting
them into the cutter. Chopped roots may be mixed with meal and lighter
roughage, which will make them more palatable. Cooking or steaming is
of no benefit.
Root Crops for Cattle. With roots as cheap a source of dry matter as
grain, 20 to 50 pounds may be fed raw on the basis of their live weight.
A 1,000-pound steer will consume a ration of 30 to 40 pounds of roots, 1C
pounds of dry roughage (principally straw), and 5 to 6 pounds of con.
centrates, about half grain and half oil-mill by-products, for a fattening
period of three to four months.
Roots are especially valuable for cows giving milk.
SWEET POTATO VINE SILAGE AND HAYS
Under average conditions, the vines will weigh from 60%-100% as
much as the sweet potatoes grown on the same area; and sweet potato vine
silage is about equal to other good silages, and sweet potato vine hay is
about equal to the best good grass hays.
MAKING USE OF ROUGHAGE WITH MINIMUM USE OF
For economical and maximum use of roughage and minimum use of
grain and protein concentrate, and to offer feeders a wide choice of time
and method of sale, one may find the following suggestions popular,
especially when high protein concentrates and other concentrate feeds are
1. Good to choice feeder calves may be wintered by giving all of the
hay, silage, and other roughage they will eat-about 1 pound of protein
concentrate, or 2 pounds of oats or corn; or 2 pounds ground wheat or
barley; or 3 pounds of legume hay per head daily.
98 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
2. If small grain pasture is available, calves may need only some dry
3. If good native grass is available, feed about 1 pound daily of a
protein concentrate such as one of the high protein oil meals or cake.
4. When corn and velvet beans are interplanted and the corn has
been snapped, these calves may clean up the fields and then receive rough-
age and a protein concentrate. Of course a mineral mixture should be
available to the calves at all times.
Good to choice calves on the above feed should gain about 200 pounds
each and seldom these gains cost over $6 to $7 per hundred pounds, depend-
ing upon price of feed, etc.
The following are some of the advantages of wintering calves on the
1. They can be sold as yearling feeders.
2. They may go immediately into the drylot for full feeding.
3. They may be grazed on good spring or summer pastures and after
grazing may be sold as feeders, or for slaughter if they have had sufficient
feeding, or they may be full-fed for 80 days in a drylot for greater finish.
A program to obtain more roughage per acre should include:
(1) more legume seedlings;
(2) greater use of lime, phosphates and potash on these seedlings;
(3) more use of nitrogen and mixed fertilizer on hay and pasture sods;
(4) better use of farm manure;
(5) improved harvesting practices.
Pressed grapefruit and orange by-products in the manufacture of citrus
juices have quite a value as a cattle feed and no doubt more cattlemen in
the citrus belt will avail themselves of this feed in wintering cattle. This
citrus by-product may be fed fresh-pressed from nearby canners, or the
products may be dried and fed as citrus pulp. The fresh-pressed citrus
by-product, when put out in the open in large piles, seems to keep, and the
cattle do well on it in the winter.
During the 1942-43 season there were 17,000,000 field boxes of grape-
fruit and 3,500,000 boxes of oranges used for canned juices. This resulted
in the production of 450,000 tons of citrus rag or fresh pressed citrus by-
product. During the year 1945-46 the Florida Canners Association reports
that there were 21,824,795 field boxes of grapefruit and 18,662,537 field
boxes of oranges, or a total of 40,487,332 field boxes used for canning
purposes. This results in a considerable wet citrus by-product, much of
which is or can be made available to cattlemen. This amount now about