(no. 28) (wF 1q6-
j Bulletin No. 28 New Series July, 1929
IN FLORIDA A
JOHN M. SCOTT
T. J. APPLEYARD, INC., TALO HASSEE, FLORIDA
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
Z>t Ht 3
T. J. APPLEYRD, INC.3TALLAHASSE, FLORID
Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture.....................Tallahassee
T. J. Brooks, Ass't Commissioner of Agriculture.........Tallahassee
Phil. S. Taylor, Supervising Inspector...........................Tallahassee
John M. Scott, Agricultural Editor.............................................Gainesville
J Beef cattle in Florida to some people may seem out of place.
This is for the reason that a great many people are not familiar
with the livestock industry.
One of the troubles in the past has been that when the name
Florida was mentioned the average citizen thought of citrus
fruits and winter vegetables. It was quite natural that one's
thoughts would at once turn to these things. These lines of
agricultural work had been more widely advertised than has
the livestock work.
The livestock industry of the State has been growing for the
past thirty years. The growth was slow at first but during
the past few years the growth has been fairly satisfactory.
The next ten years will see a very decided and healthy growth
of the beef cattle industry of the State.
A bulletin on beef cattle would not be complete without some
mention being made of the feed and forage crops that may be
produced in the State which are desirable for feeding of all
classes of cattle. In the past, too many people have been of the
opinion that the necessary feed and forage could not be pro-
duced in Florida. It is possible, on the best land in the State,
to produce as many tons of forage on an acre as elsewhere.
-J. M. S.
Beef Cattle in Florida
BY JOHN M. SCOTT
T OURISTS and travelers from the Northern and Western
States generally look with wondering eye at Florida native
cattle,/ It is true that the native beef cattle of Florida are
small and rather cat-hammed. However, when the cost of pro-
ducing this type of cattle is taken into consideration, it has
been a profitable industry in the majority of cases. Of course,
this does not mean that everyone who has gone into the cattle
business in Florida has made a financial success; neither is
everyone successful in the cattle business in any other state.
All lines of business have their ups and downs. It is safe to
say, though, that Florida cattlemen as a class have been as
successful from a financial standpoint during the past twenty
years as almost any other agricultural class.
The quality of the beef cattle in Florida is far below the
quality of beef cattle found in many of the Northern States.
Nevertheless, when the conditions under which Florida cattle
have been raised in the past are studied and a careful study
made of the breeding and early ancestors of the cattle, one be-
gins to wonder how it is possible for the native Florida cattle
to be as good as they are.
It has been shown that when grazing conditions are im-
proved by the use of nutritious grasses, and the winter range
supplemented with forage so that the calves are kept growing
throughout their first and second winters, the native cattle
will develop considerable more size. Calves and young cattle
will not grow and develop into good quality livestock unless
they are kept growing for the first two or three years of their
Improving the grazing quality of the ranges of Florida is
one of the most important changes that can be made toward
improving the quality of the beef cattle of Florida. After
range improvement, a better class of breeding cows and sires
*The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in the spring
of 1908 selected fifteen native cows for an experiment. These
native cows were selected from quite a large herd of cattle
with the idea of selecting only animals that were as near the
average animal as possible. The fifteen native cows were then
Bulletin 110, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
divided into three lots. For convenience, the lots will be desig-
nated as Lots A, B, and C.
The cows in Lot A were bred to a native Florida bull; cows
in Lot B were bred to a Hereford bull; and cows in Lot C were
bred to a Shorthorn bull. From these fifteen cows, twelve
calves were raised.
At weaning time, October 28, 1909, when the calves were
about seven and a half months old, the calves by the native
bull averaged 305 pounds, the calves by the Hereford bull out
of native cows averaged 351 pounds, and the calves by the
Shorthorn bull out of native cows average 342 pounds.
When these calves were one year old, the natives averaged
447 pounds, the grade Herefords averaged 405 pounds, and the
grade Shorthorns averaged 447 pounds. At the age of two
years, the natives averaged 610 pounds, the grade Herefords
averaged 543 pounds, and the grade Shorthorns averaged 583
Some will wonder how it happened that these calves all made
such a good growth. From the time the cows were bred and
safe in calf until the calves were dropped, the cows were on
good pasture during the summer and during the winter they
were given enough extra feed composed of Japanese cane and
sorghum hay to keep them in fairly good condition. From the
time the calves were weaned they were supplied with some
additional feed other than pasture. This feed consisted of the
run of a field of Japanese cane and a few velvet beans in the
pod. In other words, they were fed enough to keep them
BELOW THE QUARANTINE LINE
Florida is below the quarantine line, which means that the
State is in the Texas fever tick territory. The presence of the
Texas fever tick has been one of the greatest handicaps the
livestock industry of Florida has had to face in the past.
Systematic tick eradication work, however, has been in oper-
ation in the State for several years, and considerable progress
has been made. Hamilton, Lafayette and Dixie counties, and
all counties west of these, are now tick free. Then at the ex-
treme southern end of the State, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward,
Dade and Monroe counties are all tick free. Tick eradication
is now in progress in Nassau, Duval, Clay, Bradford, Gilchrist
and Levy counties. This means that about 40 percent of the
counties of Florida are now tick free.
The work is still progressing satisfactorily, and if all goes well,
the entire State should be tick free by 1935.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
The reason the presence of the fever tick has been such a
handicap is due to the fact that the ticks carry the protozoa,
or the inoculation material, that causes cattle to have the dis-
ease known as tick fever. Calves under six months of age
usually recover from tick fever with comparatively little loss
of life. However, the loss of life with mature animals or ani-
mals over twelve months of age, may vary anywhere from 50
to 90 percent. Even when mature animals recover, they sel-
dom regain their normal condition. For that reason, it is not
advisable to take cattle that are over six months of age into
a tick infested territory. Even with calves under six months of
age, there is some risk.
The prospective cattleman coming to Florida should, before
shipping cattle into the State, make certain that his premises
are tick free; otherwise he should be prepared to take a rather
At the present time there is no specific cure for tick fever.
After an animal has had an attack of tick fever and has re-
covered, it is not likely to recur, although there have been
numerous instances of chronic tick fever. For more specific
information on Texas fever, write to the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., for bulletins on the
Since a large part of North and West Florida has been de-
clared tick free, a noticeable increase in the demand for good
beef cattle for that territory has taken place.
NATIVE CATTLE SMALL, DUE TO INSUFFICIENT FEED
A great many people are of the opinion that Florida cattle
are small because of our climatic conditions. Others are of the
opinion that the size is a characteristic of our Florida cattle.
Breeding, no doubt, has its influence, but we find that when
pure bred cattle are raised under the same conditions as our
native cattle, they, too, are small in size. Of course, a good
deal of inbreeding and breeding at an early age takes place
on the open range, both of which may have some influence in
reducing the size. However, the greatest factor in reducing
the size of our native cattle will be found to be the lack of
nutritious forage during the winter season.
VALUE OF NATIVE COWS
The value of the native cow as a foundation for the improve-
ment of our beef cattle has in many instances not been given
due consideration. Too many people have been of the opinion
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Fig. 1.-Native Florida cow (left) and nsr eleven months old calf on right. Calf sired by pure bred bull. A good illustration of the
improvement of cattle by the use of a good sire.-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Division.)
, f '*
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
that the native Florida cows were so small in both stature and
bone and inbred to such an extent that they were of little or no
value as foundation animals. It is not meant to infer that it
will not be necessary to do a good deal of culling to select a
herd of breeding cows. Culling must be practiced to the same
extent in Florida as should be done elsewhere.
The native Florida cow is of value because she is acclimated
to our conditions. Not only that, but what is of more impor-
tance, she is accustomed to the character of the range and the
character of the growth on the range. This is of more impor-
tance than one might be willing to admit if not acquainted with
the facts. Someone may say that grass is grass regardless of
where it grows. In one sense this may be true while in another
sense it may not give the same results.
For example, what would happen if a herd of cows nursing
calves were moved from a blue grass pasture in Kentucky to a
wire grass range anywhere in Florida? The results no doubt
would be a very marked loss in weight of both the cows and
the calves. The loss in weight might be sufficient, and it might
continue for a long enough time, to retard the growth and
development of the calves. With the cows, the changed condi-
tion might be sufficient to materially reduce the next year's
If, for instance, these same cows were brought to Florida and
placed on a good carpet grass pasture or, better still, a good
pasture composed of carpet, dallis, bermuda and lespedeza, re-
sults would be quite different.
Until such time as there are more acres of improved pastures
in Florida it is believed advisable to use the best of our native
cows as foundation for our beef herds. Those who already
have good pastures which are tick free can bring in well-bred
cattle with but little danger of any serious setback.
Figure 1 gives a good illustration of the improvement that
it is possible to expect from the first cross of a native cow and
a pure-bred bull.
When it is possible to secure such marked improvement in
the first cross it is enough encouragement to warrant using the
native cows for breeding animals until such time as conditions
will warrant a better class of breeding animals.
Those who do not have good pastures at this time should be-
gin to make plans for a better pasture at once.
There is another point which it is often necessary to con-
sider in the establishment of a herd-that is, the initial cost.
If one already has a herd of native cows it would by all means
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Fig.2.Fou, .n _tnc s e ....tid S'ta
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 11
be advisable to retain them and purchase a pure-bred bull of
your choice of the beef breeds. The next thing to be done
would be to cull the breeding herd.
CULLING THE NATIVE HERD
Since a large part of the State is now tick free and it is well
known that it is possible to have good pastures in Florida, it
is now time to give some attention toward improvement of the
The first thing to do toward culling the herd would be to dis-
pense with the services of the native bull. In place of the
native or scrub bull, get a pure-bred animal of your choice of
some one of the beef breeds.
The culling of the females in the herd is not as easy as cull-
ing the males. There are several points to take into considera-
tion in culling the females. Select those cows that have good
square rumps and level backs. A cow that does not raise a
calf every year is not a profitable cow and should not be re-
tained in the herd. A cow that is not a good milker (by that
is meant one that does not produce enough milk to raise a good
calf) should not be retained in the herd. Sometimes a cow
will produce a good flow of milk but at the same time will not
raise a good calf. Such cows should be culled from the breed-
ing herd. Some people are particular about the color markings
of the cows in the herd. They want them to all look alike.
This is desirable but I do not believe it advisable to pay much
attention to the color marks of the native herd. If the right
kind of a sire is used he will mark his offspring so that in a few
years the herd will be of a uniform color.
VALUE OF THE PURE-BRED
The best evidence of the value of the pure-bred beef animal
is the fact that the pure-bred animal always produces more
pounds of the higher priced cuts of meat than does the scrub
animal or animal of no particular breeding.
The Drovers Journal in a recent issue referred to the success
of the high grade steer on the market as follows: "It is suffi-
cient to know that the steer that tops the markets of today in
the Chicago Union Stockyards, or any other reputable stock-
yards of the country, is the direct production and owes his
superior value to the influence of the portion of pure blood
that surges through his veins.
"The great thing that renders a steer valuable is that the
animal possesses a class of meat that will command the best
price upon the market. The worth of the steer, other things
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Fig. 3.-A herd of Shorthorns brought to Florida from Texas in 1917.-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Division.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 13
being equal, depends on the proportion of the more valuable
cuts to the inferior priced meats. It should be the aim of the
breeder and feeder to choose those animals that give indica-
tions of producing the most valuable cuts."
Prof. F. B. Mumford, of Missouri, in an article on "Factors
in Profitable Beef Production, shows in a very clear and con-
cise way the difference in value of the pure-bred and scrub
Weight of Weight of terhouse and
Name of Breed All Cuts Porterhouse Sirloin to
and Sirloin to All Cuts
Shorthorn ..........- ....... 1,046 lbs. 127 lbs. 12.10
Hereford ................. 1,007 109 10.70
Angus ........................... 980 109 11.11
Scrub ....................... 824 82 9.10
"The above table is valuable in that it shows something of
the comparative difference in weight between porterhouse and
sirloin steaks cut from the pure-bred, and the scrub. The rela-
tive position of the pure-bred or high-grade animals would
possibly be reversed under another test, but the scrub's posi-
tion would always be just where it is now.
"The pure-bred animal has a somewhat greater weight than
the scrub, due largely to the fact that he placed his feed to a
better advantage all through his growing period. As it is,
the pure-bred has an advantage of 45 pounds of porterhouse and
sirloin over the scrub.
"The farmer must carry in mind that these are supposedly
typical animals, and because the scrub steer is dubbed 'scrub'
it is merely because he is inferior in breeding, and not from ill
health or deformity. We know of no better or quicker method
of improving the money-making capabilities of the herd than
by the careful and judicious use of a pure-bred sire of good
type and quality."
Fig. 4.-Shorthorns and Herefords at State Fair, Tampa, Florida, 1904.-(Courtesy T. T. Munroe.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 15
Improvement of Beef Cattle in Florida
T HE improvement in the quality of beef cattle in Florida
during the past few years has been little short of marvel-
ous. Florida is one of the oldest states in the Union, yet
up to a few years ago the livestock industry of the State was
far behind many of the other states.
SSeveral factors have tended to retard the development of the
beef cattle industry of Florida. The presence of the Texas
fever tick was perhaps the greatest drawback in the past. Then,
in the early days before much agricultural work had been done
by the Florida Experiment Station, the people of the State
knew little about the various crops which could be grown for
feeding beef cattle. As a result, no effort was put forth to
improve the quality of beef cattle in the State.
Ear history l s-thatduring--_-th .riod from 1830 to
50 many cattle were brought into Floridafrom north Caro-
ln South bColina Alabn-aadGQeorgia- At that time the
cattle must have been similar to our present so-called "native"
cattle, as it is said four- to six-year-old steers weighed only 350
to 500 pounds.
Probably the first efforts toward improving the beef cattle
of Florida took place around 1845. About this time a Mr.
McKinnon, who lived in what is now Walton county, imported
direct from Scotland a large Shorthorn bull. This bull did
good service for a number of years. The improvement of the
grade cattle over the native stock at that time was quite notice-
able. The size of the grade cattle was larger, four-year-old
steers often weighing from 450 to 750 pounds. The improve-
ment brought about by the use of this bull made an impression
on the cattle in that section of the State which was evident
for a number of years after the old bull was gone.
In 1903, Mr. S. H. Gaitskill, of McIntosh, Florida, went to
Kentucky and purchased a carload of Shorthorn cattle, con-
sisting of about 25 head of both male and female. Mr. Gait-
skill maintained his herd of Shorthorns on his farm until about
1924 or 1925. His herd increased in number until he had a
herd of something over a hundred head. In addition to the
increase of his own herd, he sold a number of bull calves to
farmers in all sections of Florida.
The late Mr. Z. C. Chambliss, of Ocala, Florida, shipped into
Florida from 1904 to 1907 several carloads of good beef cattle.
These cattle consisted of Herefords, Shorthorns and Angus.
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Fig. 5.-Some good pure breds and grades.-(Courtesy T. T. Munroe.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 17
Quite a number of these animals was disposed of at public
auction in Ocala from 1904 to 1907, but Mr. Chambliss also
maintained a herd of Shorthorn cattle on his farm up until the
time of his death.
In the spring of 1905, Mr. R. W. Storrs, of DeFuniak Springs,
purchased a Shorthorn cow and bull calf. Mr. Dan Hughes,
of Ponce De Leon, also purchased three or four head of Short-
horn cattle the same year.
Spring Park Stock Farm, located about eight miles north-
west of Gainesville, was established about 1901 or 1902. Here-
ford cattle were kept on the farm, although during the first
few years a small number of Shorthorns was also kept. The
foundation Herefords for this farm were purchased in Texas.
In 1904 the manager of the farm spent some time at the
World's Fair at St. Louis, at which time additional foundation
animals were purchased. Spring Park Stock Farm maintained
a splendid herd of Herefords a number of years; in fact, it was
one of the show herds of the Southeast.
Mr. A. L. Jackson, of Gainesville, Florida, began using pure-
bred Shorthorn bulls in 1898. In 1906 Mr. Jackson purchased
his first pure-bred Shorthorn cows, and since that time he has
increased the size of his Shorthorn herd by raising some of his
heifer calves, as well as the purchase of new blood from time
to time. He made a trip to Texas in 1917 and purchased three
or four Shorthorn bulls and ten or twelve cows and heifers.
Edward Brothers, of Ocala, Florida, brought Red Polls and
Aberdeen-Angus breeding stock into Marion county about 1904
or 1906, and also the same year Mr. S. T. Sistrunk, of Ocala,
purchased a number of Aberdeen-Angus cattle.
About 1908, or shortly thereafter, Mr. L. K. Edwards of
Irvine began breeding Angus cattle.
Mr. J. L. Mathews, of Alachua, Florida, purchased his first
Herefords in 1907 and has continued raising Herefords up to
the present time.
In 1903 the first Aberdeen-Angus and Shorthorn bulls were
shipped into the Kissimmee territory. It is reported that quite
a number of the bulls of this first shipment died. However, one
Shorthorn and two or three Aberdeen-Angus bulls lived. Mr.
J. M. Lee and Mr. C. C. Parsons, of Kissimmee, began using
Shorthorn bulls about 1905 or 1906.
From 1915 to 1920 there was a noticeable increase in the
number of cattlemen .who began using pure-bred bulls. In
addition to Shorthorns, Angus and Herefords, a number of
people tried Devons, Galloways and Brahma cattle.
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Fig. 6.-One of the first good Shorthorn herds In Florida.-(Courtesy T. T. Munroe.)
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Fig. 7.-One of the first Hereford herds in Florida.
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Fig, 8.-Two-year-old Angus steers, bred and raised in Florida.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
During 1917 between 2,000 and 3,000 good breeding cattle
were shipped into Florida from Texas. All of these may not
have been pure-bred, but they were all well bred and of good
beef type. They were distributed to all parts of Florida, and
there was very little loss from tick fever due to the fact that
they all came from tick infested territory in Texas.
About 1915 or 1916 the first Brahma bulls were brought into
Florida. However, the first lot of Brahma bulls purchased
were not of the best type. About two or three years later a
much better grade of Brahma bulls was introduced, and these
were pretty well scattered over the central and southern part
of Florida. The results obtained by the use of the better type
of Brahma has caused quite a number of the range cattlemen
to think well of this breed of cattle for a large part of the open
country, particularly in tick infested territory.
Brahma cattle seem to do better on the open range than
Angus, Herefords or Shorthorns. This is especially true on
ranges where the grazing is not always the best. Range cattle-
men report that the calves from native range cows sired by
Brahma bulls are more rugged and active than when sired by
other breeds, and by the time the calves are four to six months
of age they are larger and produce more pounds of beef at
the same age than do calves sired by any other breed. So far
little information is available as to the results which might be
expected with Brahma cattle kept in fenced pastures.
CHOICE OF LOCATION
So far as climate is concerned, beef cattle can be raised suc-
cessfully in any part of Florida. It is necessary of course, to
be located where grass and forage can be economically pro-
duced, which means that one must choose a suitable type of
soil for growing these crops. Another important factor is the
cost of the land, together with the cost of clearing, fencing
and putting it in shape for growing the feed crops.
The price of land varies greatly in different sections of the
State, depending upon the type of land, distance from trans-
portation, churches, schools, etc. In the intensive trucking
and citrus growing sections, land values are higher than in
other sections of Florida. Whether one should purchase the
higher priced or cheaper lands is a question that should receive
serious study by the cattleman before he makes a final decision.
Fiyg. 9.-A typical Brahma Bull.-(Courtesy Dr. P. H. Rolfs.)
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Fig. 10.-A typical Brahma Cow.-(Courtesy Dr. P. H. Rolfs.)
pig 1.- tpialBrlia ow.(Cures D PI-. ols.
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BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
As cattle can be raised in all sections of the State, it is large-
ly a matter of selecting a location where one may be sure of
growing an abundance of cheap grass and forage that is suit-
able for feeding livestock.
Up until ten years ago Florida cattle were generally kept on
the range until they were from three to six years of age. It
was not at all unusual to hear of a sale of four-year-old steers.
Yearlings and two-year-olds were seldom put on the market
except when the cattleman was in need of money.
Today a change has taken place in market demands. In-
stead of the best market being for three- and four-year-old
steers, the demand is turning to calves six to ten months of
age. In other words, a large part of the early spring crop of
calves is sold from August to November each year. The selling
of young calves rather than three- and four-year-old steers
has a number of advantages. First, there is a much smaller
loss from death, and, second, when the calves are sold each
fall, the cows will be in much better condition to produce a
calf crop each year.
More breeding cows can also be kept on the same pasture,
which means more calves can be raised and sold each year.
Then, too, when the calf crop is sold each summer and fall,
there are fewer cattle to carry through the winter season.
NUMBER OF BEEF CATTLE
The number off bh f little in t-.l : stt h.ath.jbfielecreeasing
each year for ast ehe ast yars his has een due to two or
" Te-dr-opiin price of beef cattle at the close of the World
War had its effect on beef production inForidafilch eame
as in most of the other states. Then when systematic tick
eradication work was started in Florida a number of cattle-
men had a feing thatdipping cattT-eeverytwo w seeiToffrom
six to ten months would be almost an impossibility, and many
of them thought they could buy the cattle back after tick
eradication had been completed. As a result, thousands of'
cattle were sold and shipped out of the State.
In those sections of the State where tick eradication has been
completed the price of beef cattle is considerably higher than
before tick eradication work started. A number of cattlemen
who sold their cattle are now buying them back at a premium.
The following table gives the number of beef cattle in Flor-
ida for each year since 1919.
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Fig. 12.-One of the first Shorthorn bulls brought into Florida nearly thirty years ago.-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
NUMBER OF BEEF CATTLE ON FLORIDA FARMS FROM
1919 TO 1928*
Jan. 1 Head Jan. 1 Head
1919 ............................................. 936,000 1925 .............. 586,000
1920 ........................................ 945,000 1926 ............................................ 556,000
1921 ......................................... 776,000 1927 ................. ............... 514,000
1922 ........................................ 774,000 1928 .................. ...............455,000
1923 .................. ......................774,000 1 92 9 ............................................ 40 6,000
1924 ......................................... 658,000
At the present time a large majority of the beef cattle are
running at large on the open range. Each man's cattle range,
as a rule, on areas of given boundaries. Of course, at certain
times of the year part of the stock may stray away to ranges
much farther from home.
Those who are improving their stock by the use of good bulls
are now keeping their cattle in fenced pastures.
With cattle running on the open range, there is very little
opportunity and no incentive to improve the quality of the
stock by the use of good bulls. This is due to the fact that the
man who has made no investment in a good bull stands just
as good a chance of getting the benefit as the man who pur-
chases the good sires. Then, too, on the open range there is
no way to control the number of females that may be served.
If the pure-bred sire is a young animal, his life of usefulness
may be very much shortened by excessive service.
With the breeding herd running on the open range there is
no way of controlling the season of the year when the calves
will be dropped. This is, or at least should be, an important
feature of the cattle business. By knowing when the first calf
will be dropped and also when the last calf will come in the
summer, plans can be made for the feeding of the dams if
necessary. Plans can also be made for weaning all of the
calves at a given time.
By weaning the calves at a given time is meant they should
be weaned early enough in the fall to give the cows a chance
to have 30 or 40 days of good grazing so as to put on a little
extra flesh before the winter season sets in.
Yearbooks of Agriculture.
*~; -- -
Fig. 13.-One of the early Shorthorn herds in Florida.-(Courtesy A. L. Jackson.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 29
WHEN CALVES SHOULD BE DROPPED
Just when the cows should freshen in the spring will depend
upon two or three main points. The first point to consider
would be the condition of the range during the winter season,
say from December 1st to February 15th, if the range is such
that the animals get fairly good grazing, or at least enough so
that they do not lose much weight during this time. If the
winter range is not sufficient to keep the animals in good condi-
tion some additional feed should be supplied. Second, how
early does new growth start in the spring?
If the cows go through the winter in good condition, then it
would be advisable to have the calves dropped about the time
that new grass has made a good start. If, on the other hand,
the cows do not come through the winter in good condition
then it would be advisable not to have the calves come until
the cows have had at least a month of good grazing in the
Someone is going to ask: How am I to tell a year in advance
what condition the cows will be in? Perhaps you cannot tell
exactly, but if you know your range and your cows also, with
average conditions, you can judge pretty well the condition of
the herd. You will know also whether you plan to supply the
herd with any additional feed during the winter season.
For a large part of Florida and for an average of a number
of years it would seem that from February 20 to April 1st is
about the best season of the year for calves to come.
The calf that is dropped early, other conditions being right,
makes the best growth and is in better condition to go through
the next winter than is the calf that is dropped in May or June.
Another advantage of the early calf is that if it is desired
to sell the calf crop for veal, the early calves will be ready for
market earlier in the season and at the same time they will
have made a more rapid growth and will be much heavier,
which means they will be worth more money.
There is no way of handling cattle on the open range to keep
the young heifers from breeding at a too young age. The
breeding of the females at a young age is one of the contribut-
ing causes of the small size of our native stock.
This fact alone should be an incentive to cattle raisers to
make an honest effort and see to it that the young females are
well grown before they have their first calf.
.LtM LAX A. .' ,. :. .k . . . .
Fig. 14.-Angus cattle in Central Florida. This farm has been raising Angus cattle like these for the past 12 years. Note the big
husky calf In the foreground.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
BREED OF CATTLE TO RAISE
During the past twenty years enough work has been done by
the various cattlemen of the State to demonstrate the fact that
it is not so much what breed of cattle one has in Florida as it
is the man who is actually raising the cattle. If the cattle are
of the proper type and will produce a good quality of beef,
there will be a market. But as long as a poor grade and low
quality of beef animal is produced, it will be much more diffi-
cult to find a market at a satisfactory price.
In other words, it is largely a matter of personal choice as
to the breed to select. Herefords have been tried in nearly
all parts of the State and are still being raised. Shorthorns
likewise have been raised in many parts of the State. They,
too, have their admirers. The Aberdeen-Angus have their
advocates. They have been tried in all parts of the State and
today are perhaps more popular than any of the other beef
VEAL AND BABY BEEF
An excellent opportunity is open in Florida for the produc-
tion of veal and baby beef. The mild winter climate of Florida
makes it possible to keep the breeding herd in good condition
during the winter so that the calves may be dropped early in
the spring. These early calves make an excellent quality of
veal, which always sells for a higher price on the market than
beef. Calves dropped the last of'February or early in March
should be ready to veal in May, June and July. If the calves
are not sold by this time they may be put on the market any
time up to October or November. The calves dropped during
April or May should be ready to market any time from Septem-
ber to November. The important point to keep in mind in mar-
keting the calf crop is to put them on the market in the fall
before they begin to lose flesh. However, under present condi-
tions, it is generally more profitable for the Florida cattleman
to dispose of his calf crop before October each year.
To produce the best quality of veal or baby beef, it is neces-
sary to have cows that produce a good flow of milk. Calves
that get an insufficient supply of milk will not produce the
best quality of veal, mainly because they do not fatten rapidly
enough to make the best grade of veal.
Another important consideration is to have cows that are
regular breeders so that a calf is produced each year. Cows
that produce calves only every other year will not be found
profitable to keep in the herd.
- : r~l
-~ C -. ~
Fig. 15.-One of the good Angus herds in the State.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
MARKETING AT AN EARLY AGE
During the last forty years there has been a tendency in the
United States to market beef cattle at a younger age than
formerly. Prior to that time a large percentage of the cattle
slaughtered for beef was steers that were from four to five
years of age. Today there are very few steers that go to mar-
ket that are over three years of age. This change is due
largely to the fact that today a much better quality of beef
cattle is being produced. The breeding animals have been
selected for early maturity.
Formerly heavy cattle brought a better price on the market.
However, during the last few years younger well fattened
animals have sold as well on the markets as the best heavy
cattle. As a rule, the market for younger cattle has been more
stable and the returns have been just as satisfactory as for
any other class of fat cattle.
Farmers and cattlemen have found from experience that as a
rule there is more profit in selling cattle at a young age.
Some of the advantages of selling the calf crop each year
1. A quicker return on the investment. This is often an im-
portant consideration, especially if it becomes necessary to
borrow money to carry on the work.
2. More cows can be carried on the same range when the
calf crop is disposed of each summer or fall.
3. More profit per animal is obtained by selling calves than
by selling two-or three-year-old animals. The cost of raising a
calf while nursing is comparatively small compared with the
cost of caring for an animal from six months of age to two
years old or older.
4. With only the breeding herd to feed through the winter,
it will not only reduce the cost of feeding the herd but it will
also reduce the amount of forage necessary to plan for each
5. It has been the experience of a number of Florida cattle
raisers that they could obtain almost as much per head for
calves, when from six to seven months of age, as for them when
two years old.
6. When calves are weaned during the summer a large per-
centage of the cows will drop calves every year. They will
also produce better calves because the breeding herd will be
in much better condition.
*, .' ^^ I
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f. A,;# part a, er ke de n r n
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,- .. m .';,''-, :.v '" }
., ,.,, ,', . ., : ,f' ,*. :' .- .... : .
; ' : ', , .. ) '; . ,, .
' -' Ji' : ; '~ "' ..~ .:" .t '*
;. ._M ., ., ;. /} ".."; .'. ',.. .. : . r
Fig 16 -- par of a odAnu ed nedepI rss In ~Floid.U.C I
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 35
The part climatic conditions play over most of the State is
that the winter temperature never goes low enough to make it
necessary to supply sheds or barns to protect the animals from
cold. This one item reduces the cost of beef production quite
materially and is an item well worth taking into consideration.
A large part of our soil is sandy, and sandy loams furnish
ideal conditions for grazing off crops with livestock. With a
sandy loam soil there is no danger of cattle injuring the soil
by trampling when wet. Great care must be exercised in graz-
ing off crops growing on a clay soil. A clay soil is very easily
puddled by cattle trampling, when wet.
There is still another advantage when the crop is grazed off
in the field by the stock in that all refuse or waste feed is left
in the fields as well as all manure. This reduces the expense
of hauling out manure. The soil gets the benefit of all the
That it is possible to produce good beef in Florida with cattle
raised in the State is shown in the following tables. Another
rather important fact is that these good results were obtained
by the use of Florida-grown feeds.
It is true that there are not so many cattle fattened for the
market by dry-lot feeding as in many other states. This is due
largely to the fact that our climatic conditions make it possible
to do most o'f the fattening by grazing in the field. In other
words, it is more economical to have the cattle do the harvest-
ing of the crops.
There are comparatively few actual dry-lot feeding experi-
ments with beef cattle to draw conclusions from, but the few
that are available are encouraging and show that it is possible
with Florida-grown feeds to fatten beef cattle in Florida. The
daily gains that can be produced are satisfactory and the quali-
ty of the beef produced is as good as that produced in any
other section of the United States.
Data compiled from Fla. Exp. Station Bulletin No. 96.
- ` --z~at.,r.
r -?.. "C".'r n !
-n ,' " ". .... .
Fig. 17.-Some nice type Herefords raised In Florida.
'," ~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ " -; ''.r, -,..,
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. .. r . .. ., : -
Fi., 17. -om nice* tyeHrfrsrde nFoi
_ ~ 1
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
In January, 1908, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion started a feeding experiment with sixteen steers. These
steers were all out of native Florida cows by a Shorthorn bull.
The purpose of the experiment was to secure information on:
1. What combination of Florida feeds will give the best results
for beef production?
2. How many pounds of feed will be required to produce a
pound of gain?
3. What average daily gain in weight might be expected
under Florida conditions?
4. How long would it be necessary to feed cattle to fatten
them for market ?
This one test answered most of these questions in a fairly
In regard to what combination of Florida feeds would give
good results in beef production, that is best answered by giving
the results of the combination of corn, velvet beans in the pod
and cottonseed hulls. The above feeds were fed mixed as
follows: shelled corn 8, velvet beans in the pod 12, and cotton-
seed hulls 10 pounds. It is believed that any other forage would
have given as good results as did the cottonseed hulls.
The four steers fed the above ration made an average daily
gain per 1,000 pounds live weight of 4.14 pounds in a feeding
period that continued for 84 days. It required 9.6 pounds of
feed to make one pound of gain in weight. At the close of the
84 days feeding period the steers were in excellent condition.
They had made a good rapid gain and they were fat enough to
be classed by the local dealers as prime beef.
The four steers fed a ration composed of shelled corn 6, cot-
tonseed meal 5, sorghum silage 20, and cottonseed hulls 14
pounds made an average daily gain per 1,000 pounds live
weight of 3.71 pounds. The feed required to produce one pound
of gain was 15.8 pounds. This shows a marked decrease in the
daily gain and a 60 percent increase in the amount of feed re-
quired to make one pound of gain in weight.
The four steers fed a ration composed of shelled corn 10.5,
cottonseed meal 3.75, crab-grass hay 13.5 pounds made an
average daily gain per 1,000 pounds live weight of 3.53 pounds.
Feed required to make one pound gain in weight, 10.21 pounds.
The four steers fed a ration composed of cottonseed meal
6.50 and cottonseed hulls 25 pounds made a rather poor show-
ing compared with the other lots of steers. The average daily
gain per 1,000 pounds live weight was only 2.57 pounds. It re-
quired 13.1 pounds of feed to make one pound gain in weight.
38 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
To sum up the results of this one experiment, it is evident
that a combination of Florida feeds such as corn, velvet beans
in the pod afd cottonseed hulls will produce good daily gains,
that the amount of feed required to produce a pound of gain in
weight is no greater in Florida than in other states. The length
of the feeding period in Florida is shorter than in many other
"In December, 1918, an arrangement was made with L. K.
Edwards of Irvine, Florida, whereby a cooperative cattle feed-
ing experiment was conducted during the past winter.
"Ten grade Angus steers were used in this experiment. These
were steers that were bred and raised by Mr. Edwards. They
were out of native cows by a pure-bred Angus bull, all were
about 18 months old when the experiment began. They were
divided into two lots of five steers each.
.'#i'^ ^ *" .., --. ,.
Fig. 18.-A car load of Angus steers being fattened for the market.
-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Division.)
"From December 20 to March 4, the steers in Lot 1 were fed
10 pounds shelled corn, 4 pounds velvet bean feed and 20
pounds silage, daily. Those in Lot 2 were each fed 10 pounds
shelled corn, 4 pounds peanut meal feed, and 20 pounds
silage, daily. From March 4 to April 19 the animals in
Lot 1 were fed 121/, pounds shelled corn, 5 pounds velvet
Press Bulletin No. 307, Fla. Agri. Exp. Station.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
bean feed, and 16 pounds silage, each, daily. Those in Lot 2
were each fed 121/2 pounds shelled corn, 5 pounds peanut meal
feed, and 16 pounds silage, daily. By velvet bean feed and
peanut meal feed is meant that the velvet bean hulls and pea-
nut hulls are ground up with the beans and peanuts. As soon
as the steers were on full feed, they were fed in the proportion
of one pound of velvet bean feed and peanut meal feed re-
spectively to each two and a half pounds of shelled corn.
WEIGHTS AND GAINS
"At the beginning of the experiment the steers in Lot 1
averaged 599 pounds and those in Lot 2, 593 pounds.
"At the close of the experiment the steers in Lot 1 averaged
857 pounds and those in Lot 2, 854 pounds. In 120 days, the
4 ", ..
Fig. 19.-Three good fat steers bred, raised and fed in Florida.
-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension Division.)
length of the experiment, steers in Lot 1 had gained 258 pounds
per head or an average daily gain of 2.15 pounds. Those in
Lot 2 had gained 261 pounds each, or an average daily gain
of 2.17 pounds.
"This shows practically no difference in the gain produced
by feeding velvet bean feed or peanut meal feed.
"At the close of the experiment, the steers were sold to Ar-
mour & Company, Jacksonville, and were classed as the best
finished cattle ever received in that market. Not only were
they the best finished cattle, but the carcasses in the cooler pre-
sented the best appearance of anything the company had
IN a'. ,. a .. .. . ., l '. r, ,
-;0 1 V',*L 'a, .:.
Fig. 20.-Yearling heifers, the foundation for a good Angus herd. An oak tree, such as the one in the background, makes a wonderful
shade for livestock.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
slaughtered in Jacksonville. The slaughter test showed no
difference in the percentage of dressed weight of the two lots.
They averaged 56.4 percent.
"The farmers of Florida are well acquainted with the value
of velvet beans for beef production, but the peanut meal has
been used but little, if any, for this purpose. The results of
this experiment would indicate that peanut meal is equal to
velvet bean meal for beef production."
The average daily gain per head as indicated in the above
figures, if figured on the basis of 1,000 pounds live weight,
would make a much better showing. The average daily gain
per 1,000 pounds live weight for Lot 1 would be 3.59 and for
Lot 2, 3.66 pounds.
DEMAND FOR FEEDER CATTLE
With the long grazing season in Florida, there is no reason
why the State should not produce a good grade of cattle suit-
able to go into the feed lots in the Central States where a large
percentage of cattle are finished for market from November to
May each year.
Conditions are such in the corn belt states that a compara-
tively small percentage of the cattle fed during the winter are
produced in that section. In the past, cattle for the feed lots
have been produced in Texas and the Rocky Mountain states.
If Florida cattlemen will use the right kind of bulls so as to
produce the class of feeder cattle wanted, they should be in a
position to compete with other sections of the United States
that are now producing feeder cattle.
SOME OF THE ESSENTIALS V
The successful production of beef cattle in Florida is prac-
tically the same as for any other section of the United States.
One of the essentials is an abundanceof nutritious
feed. The term fee is used here in its broadest meaning; that
is, is means grass, forage crops and grain when necessary.
It is possible, however, to raise good cattle in Florida with
very little actual grain feed. This is due to the fact that our
winter season is short and mild.
Another essential in the production of beef cattle in Florida
is the establishment and maintenance of a good permanent pas-
ture that will furnish good grazing for eight to ten months
out of the year. This is not impossible; neither is it expensive.
A third essential would be the supplying of an abundance
of forage during the time of year when pastures do not supply
., y -L~' )?l C ~~X
I**~' .C- '
~~;I -:t'~!;~--I ~Ch-y
- ~ ~ .j-'-** .J
Fig. 21.-Aberdeen Angus steers and bulls raised in Central Flor;da.-(Courtesy L. K. Edwards.)
k* --- :" .. i
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 43
There are a number of good forage crops that can be grown
to advantage that are very desirable. In fact there is hardly
any other state in the United States that can produce the
tonnage per acre that can be produced with some of the im-
portant forage crops now grown in the State.
In the past nearly all Florida beef cattle have been raised on
the open range, no feed of any kind being supplied during the
winter season. In other words, the cattle obtained their living
from the range in winter just the same as in the spring and
summer. The range seldom supplies much grazing from De-
cember to March, and consequently the cattle became very
emaciated during this time. As a result, the calves and year-
lings became stunted, which is one of the chief reasons the
native range cattle are so small.
No other way of handling beef cattle was available in the
past, as land values were low, the value of cattle per head was
low, and under average conditions it required from five to
ten acres to graze one animal per year. Under such conditions
the cattle owner was not justified in going to the expense of
cultivating land and harvesting crops with which to feed his
cattle during the winter months.
Conditions, however, have been changing during the past
few years. Land values are much higher in most sections of the
State than formerly. Tick eradication work has progressed
far enough to warrant raising a better type of beef animal.
More information is also available regarding forage crops that
can be grown for feeding cattle, as well as information regard-
ing desirable pasture grasses. Then, too, there are more people
in the State today who understand handling cattle under pas-
ture conditions and who desire to raise a better type of beef
cattle than the so-called "native" stock.
Good pastures are essential i.-economical-beef--production.
Conditions now are fast shaping up whereby good permanent
pastures can be advantageously established in Florida. Readers
who are interested in getting information on permanent pastures
in Florida should write to the State Department of Agriculture,
Tallahassee, Florida, for a copy of Bulletin No. 27, New Series,
"Permanent Pastures for Florida." This bulletin tells what
grasses to use and how to establish and care for a good pasture.
A. __* ,4W'''
Fig. 22.-Cattle pasturing Japanese cane In January in Florida.- (Courtesy Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.)
- 0 1i
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
Japanese cane is one of the best yielding forage crops in the
Bulletin 129 of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
reports the following yield per acre of green material from
eight different plots of Japanese cane grown during the sum-
mer of 1915.
These particular plots had grown Japanese cane continu-
ously for six years previous to 1915. In the spring of 1915 the
old Japanese cane stubble was plowed up and the cane re-
planted. The new cane was replanted in the same row where
the cane had grown before. Each plot was fertilized the same
as in previous years.
The following table gives the yield in tons of green material
per acre for the year 1915:*
P lot I ................... ................................................... ........... .............. 2 9.5
P lot II ......................................................... ................ .... . ...................... 3 1 .9
P lot III .............. ........................................... .................... ......... 18.0
P lot IV ............................................................ .............. ... . ....................... 2 4 .2
Plot V ........................................ .......................... 29.7
P lo t V I ....... .................................................................. ............................ 2 4 .9
P lot V II .................... ........... ....................... . ................. 27 .3
P lo t V II I ........................................ ............................................. 2 2 .5
A v e r a g e ............................................................................ ......................... 2 6 .0
The Japanese cane in the above test was fertilized as follows:
TABLE I-JAPANESE CANE FERTILIZER TEST, 1909 TO 1914
Fertilizers, Pounds Per Acre
Fertilizer Plot Plot Plot Plot Plot Plot Plot Plot
I II III IV V VI I VII VIII
Dried blood .......-...- .. 112 ...... 112 ...... 112 ...... 112 112
Sulph. of ammonia .- .. -.....-- .... ....... 72 ...... 72 ..... ...
Muriate of potash ........ 4 4 84 ..-- 84 84 ... 4
Sulphate of potash .. .. ....... 84 84 84
Acid phosphate .............. .. 224 224 224 224 224 224 I 224
Ground limestone --. ...... ..... ..-.. ..... --.. ...... ... .. j2000
Ground limestone was applied in 1909, 1911 and 1913.
The dried blood contained 16 percent of ammonia.
The sulphate of ammonia contained 25 percent of ammonia.
Florida Experiment Station Bulletin 129, p. 43.
VA'; A V"
Fig. 23.-Napier grass a good soiling crop, or it can be used as silage or dry forage. A yield of 15 to 50 tons green material an acre
Is not unusual.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
The annual report of the Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station, 1924, page 27R, gives the following report on the yield
of Japanese cane and Napier grass for the year 1923:
Crop Sewage Irrigation No Irrigation
Japanese cane ............................. 34.97 tons 21.78 tons
Napier grass ....................................42.43 tons 21.61 tons
The Napier grass was cut twice during the year for silage,
once in July and again in November. The Japanese cane was
cut for silage only once during the year, in November.
The annual report of the Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station for the year 1924, page 27R, has the following to say
about the yield of some silage crops:
"From the year's results, comparing the yield of sorghum,
corn, Japanese cane and Napier grass as silage crops, the data
indicate that Napier grass, unfertilized, out-yielded the highest-
yielding variety of sorghum in the sorghum variety test by
14.98 tons to the acre. It also out-yielded the highest-yielding
corn on the Station's corn silage field by 16.61 tons to the acre,
and yielded only .17 tons to the acre less than the highest yield
of Japanese cane as cut for silage on the Experiment Station
farm. The corn and sorghum were liberally fertilized, while
the Japanese cane and Napier grass received no fertilizer."
Corn is a crop grown in all parts of the State except the
citrus area and to some extent even there. It is quite true that
the acre yield is low but this is due very largely to the method
of planting and the character of the soil upon which much of
the corn is grown. When corn is grown on the better types
of soil and good crop production methods are used, yields per
acre obtained are much higher than the average.
The best corn growers in the State have found by experience
that they produce the best crop if the corn is planted from
March 1 to March 20. However, all of the corn is not planted
during this period. Quite frequently corn is planted as late
as April 15. This is especially true when it follows some spring
Many farmers are now getting a yield of from 30 to 40
bushels to the acre. Many of the club boys in-their club work
make an average of 40 to 50 bushels to the acre and several
Xd 4 ~~~~~~ .s')t Q t.'.
Fig. 24.-This corn field is in Central Florida. It has been estimated that it will yield 15 tons of silage or 75 bushels of grain per acre.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 49
have made yields of 75 to 100 bushels. One club boy in the
State for three consecutive years averaged 100 bushels to the
The yield for corn for silage varies much the same as the
yield of corn in bushels per acre.
A yield of seven to ten tons of corn silage may be expected
from much of our corn land. The very best corn land will
often produce much larger yields. In some cases twelve to
fifteen tons have been reported.
Sorghum is one of the -,i...1 forage crops for Florida. It is
well adapted to the soil and climatic conditions in the State.
Under ordinary conditions it will as a rule produce a larger
yield of silage or forage than will corn. This is especially true
on the lighter sandy soils. There is a large number of varieties
to choose from, such as Orange, Sumac, Early Amber, Texas
Seeded Ribbon Cane, Honey and Shallu.
The annual report of the Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station for the year 1924, page 28R, has the following to say
about sorghum as a forage crop:
SORGHUm VARIETY TEST
"The results of the sorghum variety test this year, which in-
cluded twenty-two varieties of sorghum, confirm the test of
last year, in that large, late maturing varieties continue to give
"It seems that on Norfolk sandy soil good varieties of
sorghum will out-yield corn, and that sunflowers do not yield
enough to be considered a possible silage crop under conditions
of the test. Honey sorghum, a sweet variety, was the highest
To the reader who wishes more detailed information re-
garding the growing of sorghum, we recommend that he write
the State Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, Florida, for
a copy of Bulletin No. 7, New Series, "Sorghum for Silage and
Forage in Florida."
The velvet bean is one of the good winter grazing crops. The
velvet bean differs from many other forage crops in that it
furnishes both grain and forage.
Velvet beans are seldom ever used for grazing until the crop
is mature and the foliage has been killed by frost. After a
Fig. 25.-Sorghum Is a good forage crop in Florida.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 51
frost the vines and leaves all fall to the ground. The tangled
mass of vines holds the leaves in place so that they are not
blown away by the wind. This is quite an important feature
and an advantage. The leaves are the best part of the plant
so far as feeding value is concerned.
The velvet bean is an easy crop to grow. It will grow in al-
most any kind of soil except those soils that are poorly drained.
It requires only a small amount of seed to plant an acre. Only
a limited amount of cultivation is required. Two or three
cultivations will produce a good crop.
From one to two acres of good velvet beans will graze a
mature cow for from three to six weeks.
Cowpeas are one of the good legume crops for Florida. They
mature in a comparatively short time-60 to 90 days. This
fact alone is of importance, because it means that when neces-
sary they may be planted as a catch crop following a late
spring vegetable crop or a crop of oats.
Cowpeas grow in all parts of the State and on a variety of
soils. The seed may be planted in rows or sown broadcast.
The yield of hay produced on the better types of land is quite
satisfactory. Cowpea hay is not as easy to cure as some other
kinds, but when cut at the proper stage of maturity and well
cured the feeding value is excellent.
There are a large number of varieties to choose from that
will grow well, but the two best varieties to grow are Brabham
Cowpeas may be planted alone or in combination with almost
any forage crop grown. When grown with corn, the cowpeas
may be planted at the time of the last cultivation of the corn.
Plant a row of cowpeas between each two rows of corn.
The soy bean is another legume crop that is now being grown
Sin a number of sections of the State. Their culture is about
the same as for cowpeas. However, they will not grow as satis-
factorily on light sandy land as will cowpeas. On the heavy
loam soils or where the clay comes near the surface, good re-
sults are secured. Some of the best varieties are: Biloxi,
Laredo, Otootan and Mammoth Yellow.
Best results will be secured by planting soy beans in rows
and giving some cultivation. It will be found necessary to
inoculate the seed before planting, otherwise the results may
eof S D .
Fig. 26,--Velvet beans planted with corn produce a heavy tonnage of feed and forage.-(Qourtesy U. S. D. A.
. ...- . .^
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-6 s i
I3 ,.. e ., ., .:. L. :., .-" : ''',: --'-;- ',, ' : .' m,"
,,' -' -. -_ .,,. 6 --_- :: -. ." :r t -i : _T ,-'.. ,- -
F~.27-Cttegazn ele easinJnar nFlrd.-(orts loia giulua EprmetSato.
' ",r '4i 1- .
.5 ,. S
I ~~............'. ..4' !*
A; ~ .i
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rm m H-~
Fig. 28 Cowpeas following corn. The above method of harv, a corn is not advocate
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 55
Like velvet beans and cowpeas, soy beans may be planted
by themselves or they may be planted in combination with
corn, sorghum, sudan grass or almost any other forage crop
that will mature in about the same length of time.
Every livestock farm needs a certain amount of equipment
to handle and care for the livestock on the farm to best ad-
One of the first things needed for handling livestock of all
kinds is a good rope. A half-inch rope 50 to 60 feet long will
be found useful in handling either cattle or horses.
Every farmer who handles livestock soon finds that a stock
or chute is very essential. It comes in handy in catching ani-
mals that are not accustomed to being handled. It is often
possible to treat small wounds by confining an animal.in a chute.
The chute is also an advantage at dehorning time and also
when branding or marking animals.
Posts should be set in the ground to a depth of 21/2 to .3
feet and braced at the bottom so as to make them perfectly
solid and secure. The width of the chute or the distance be-
tween the row of posts for the first 10 or 12 feet should not
be more than 24 or 30 inches. As the length of the chute in-
creases the width should increase also. Nail 2x6 timbers on
the inside of each row of posts. If 2x6 timbers are not avail-
able, pine saplings about 3 inches in diameter can be used to
good advantage. Make the walls of the chute about 6 or 7 feet
high so as to prevent animals from jumping over.
Three or four round saplings should be inserted ahead and
behind the animals so as to confine the animal.
A blanket is useful on many occasions. More especially
when an animal is sick. A good blanket can be made from
gunny sacks. Three or four thicknesses of gunny sacks made
about four and a half feet long by six feet wide will be large
enough for an average-sized animal.
Before making the blanket, clean the sacks of all feed and
dust, rip up the seam, then wash and hang up to dry. When
dry, lay the sacks together and cut to the proper size. Sew
together with a large sack needle. Sew together around edges
to prevent traveling, then stitch down the middle and as much
more as necessary to make the blanket handle easily.
56 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1- ; g '
Fig. 29.-Soy beans and sorghum make a fine combination as a forage
Crop.-(Courtesy U. S. D. A.)
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 57
BARNS AND SHEDS
The mild winter climate of Florida reduces the cost of build-
ing barns and sheds to the minimum. In fact, there is hardly
any need for a barn or shed for beef cattle. A good windbreak
of timber makes one of the best shelters to be had. If a good
timber windbreak is not already available on the farm, trees
may be planted that in from three to five years will furnish
An abundant supply of good fresh water is one of the prime
requisites in the successful handling of beef cattle. Some may
wonder why a water supply is so essential in Florida where
the annual rainfall is around 50 inches a year. A great many
people are content to allow their cattle to obtain water from
ponds and small lakes where the water is not always of good
quality, but it is always more satisfactory to have a supply of
pure water available. In fact, such supply is necessary if the
cattle are to give best results.
By using a silo and growing desirable silage crops, feed in
the most economical form can be supplied to carry cattle
through the winter season. A number of crops are grown in
Florida which produce large yields of green forage suitable for
silage. The best of these crops are corn, sorghum, Napier
grass and Japanese cane. In addition to the above, cowpeas,
soy beans, beggarweed, velvet beans and all good legumes may
be grown and mixed with any of the above crops when put in
the silo. When a legume is mixed with one of the silage crops,
the feeding value of the silage is materially increased.
The yield of silage crops will depend entirely on the charac-
ter of the land upon which they are grown. Corn will yield
anywhere from four to ten tons per acre on the average, al-
though there are many instances where the yield has been
much more. Sorghum will, under most conditions, produce a
heavier yield of green material per acre than corn. Japanese
cane will yield from 8 or 10 tons up to 20 or more tons per
acre; a yield of 30 tons per acre is not unusual on the best
lands where a liberal application of fertilizer has been applied.
Napier grass is another heavy yielding silage or forage crop,
and on muck soils it is not unusual for it to yield 30 or 40 tons
of green material per acre.
Fig. 30.-Metal silo that has
been In use In Florida for the
past ten years. (Courtesy
Florida Agricultural Exten-
Fig. 31.-Triple wall cypress silo put up twelve years
ago.-(Courtesy Florida Agricultural Extension
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 59
There is no question about the value of the silo in Florida.
They have been in use in this State for the past thirty years so
there is sufficient evidence that the silo is practical in all parts
of the State. There are at this time silos in nearly all sections
of the State from Pensacola to Miami and from Jacksonville
to Fort Myers.
All types and makes of silos are t'o be found, such as glazed
tile, concrete block, monolithic, brick, metal and wood.
I-,.- -. t *t~z~-* -
Fig. 32.-Concrete silos on the lower East Coast of Florida.-(Courtesy Florida
Agricultural Extension Division.)
Fig. 33.-Three stave silos. Silos of this type can be constructed very quickly
and are cheap. The life of the stave silo is short compared with that of
the concrete silo.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
HOW TO THROW AN ANIMAL
Put a halter or lead rope on the animal. Then take an ordi-
nary half-inch or three-quarter-inch rope; make a loop at one
end and pass it over the animal's head and fit it around the
neck like a collar; bring the rope to the left side, put it over
the back just behind the shoulders, bring it underneath the
chest, make a half hitch, pass the rope back and throw it over
the loin and bring it up underneath the belly close to the flank;
make another half hitch, get directly behind the animal and
tighten up on the two loops around the animal's body. Two
or three men on the loose end of the rope, if they stay directly
behind the animal, can throw the largest animal with little
difficulty and without danger of injuring the animal.
Do not use this method on pregnant cows.
A rope used for this purpose should be 50 to 60 feet in length.
Fig. 34.-Showing how to arrange rope to throw an animal.
62 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Feeding Beef Cattle in Florida*
ONE of the most important problems in connection with
the beef cattle industry in Florida is the feeding of the
various classes of cattle in the herd. More attention will
have to be given to this in the future, because better cattle are
being introduced, which means better care and management
must be given them. More intensified farming will be resorted
to and to be successful the cattle must be of good quality, a
larger percentage of feed must be grown on the farm, and the
farmer himself must have a fair knowledge of the feeding of
different classes of cattle.
The farmer hears and reads a great deal of protein, carbo-
hydrates and fat and balanced rations, but very few know how
to combine various feeds to get the proper proportion to make
a desirable ration. A knowledge of the uses and functions of
different foods to the animal body will be of much assistance
in determining the proper feed for different animals.
Feed, as everyone knows, satisfies the cravings of a hungry
animal, but is of no use to the animal until it has become
digested in the different organs of the alimentary canal, ab-
sorbed by the absorbent vessels in the stomach and intestines
and distributed by means of the blood throughout the entire
body. The body utilizes the feed in two ways: first, for con-
structive purposes, such as renewing worn tissues and building
new tissue or the making of milk, and, second, for heat and
It is important for the feeder to know that he must supply
a good amount of protein to his animals. The muscles, tendons,
ligaments, skin, hair and the digestive organs,in fact all cellu-
lar tissues, are made up largely of proteids. The importance,
then, of supplying the necessary amounts of protein for the
development of the above organs can not be over-emphasized.
The younger the animals, the more protein will be required
because of the large amount needed for the development of
muscle, organs and other tissue, as compared with older ani-
mals nearing maturity.
Fla. Agri. Extension Bulletin 26.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
The function of carbohydrates is that of supplying heat and
energy to the animal. Every movement the animal makes, such
as walking, eating, digesting, breathing, etc., requires energy.
This energy comes from the oxidation of the carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates are also used in fat formation.
Fats are similar to carbohydrates in use to the body. They
are used as fuel, heat and energy and assist in fat formation.
The amount of fat in the feed is much less than carbohydrates,
but the fuel value is much higher. Carbohydrates have to
undergo a change before they are of use as a fat former, where-
as fats taken in by the animal may be deposited without change.
RATIONS AND NUTRITIVE RATIOS
A "ration" is the amount of feed given to an animal in 24
hours. A "standard ration" is understood to be for a 1,000-
pound animal, or for 1,000 pounds weight as in case of sheep
and hogs. A "balanced ration" is a ration that will give the
best results in work, meat or milk production, for a specific
animal under conditions then prevailing. It will vary accord-
ing to age, species and condition of the animal. A balanced
ration is not necessarily the most economical.
By "nutritive ratio" is meant the ratio of the protein to the
combined carbohydrates and fats present in a given ration. It
has been determined that one pound of fat is equal in heat pro-
duction to 2.25 pounds of carbohydrates. The fat is brought
to a carbohydrate basis by multiplying by 2.25. It is then
added to the carbohydrates and the ratio of the protein to the
DRY MATTER AND DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS
As rations should vary according to age of animal, the species
and condition of animal, and upon the production sought after,
it is necessary to have some idea of what is approximately the
correct number of pounds to feed daily. It has been deter-
mined by experiments that the 1,000-pound beef animal re-
quires from 15 to 30 pounds of dry matter, from 2 to 31/3
pounds of protein, from 121/2 to 15 pounds of carbohydrates
and from a half to 11/2 pounds of fat daily, depending upon the
object of the feeding. Generally speaking, the younger ani-
mal the more protein is needed in proportion to the carbo-
hydrates and fat. In other words, the younger the animal the
narrower the ration should be.
64 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
TABLE II-DRY MATTER AND DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS IN 100
POUNDS OF FEED
SDigestible Nutrients in 100
S Lbs. Feed*
Feeding Stuff m
a) CIS _
Alfalfa (green) ........................-- 25.3 3.3 10.4 0.4 1: 3.4
Alfalfa hay ........................... 91.4 10.6 39.0 0.9 1: 3.9
Beggarweed hay ......................-... 91.0 11.6 36.2 0.7 1: 3.3
Beggarweed (green) .......... ....-- 27.1 3.1 11.6 0.2 1: 3.9
Bermuda grass ...........-....-..... 33.2 1.4 17.0 0.5 1:12.9
Bermuda hay .......................-.... 90.3 3.7 37.9 0.8 1:10.7
Corn (dent) ......... .......- ..........- 89.5 7.5 67.8 4.6 1:10.4
Corn (flint) .... ....- ........ ....... 87.8 7.7 66.1 4.6 1: 9.9
Corn and cob meal ...... ......... ....... 89.6 6.1 63.7 3.7 1:11.8
Corn fodder ............-........... ... 81.7 3.0 47.3 1.5 1:16.9
Corn silage ..........- ................--. 26.3 1.1 15.0 0.7 1:15.1
Corn stover .... ..... ....-- ... .... 90.6 2.2 47.8 1.0 1:22.7
Cottonseed meal .--......................... 92.5 37.0 21.8 8.6 1: 1.1
Cottonseed hulls .............................. 90.3 47.6 23.7 8.0 1: 0.9
Cowpeas (grain) ......... .......... ....... 88.4 19.4 54.5 1.1 1: 2.9
Cowpea hay -.......- .....-......... 90.3 13.1 33.7 1.0 1: 2.7
Cowpeas (green) ....-............. 16.3 2.3 8.0 0.3 1: 3.8
Cowpeas and corn (green) .................- 20.0 1.3 11.4 0.3 1: 9.3
Cowpeas and sorghum (green) ............ 18.7 0.7 10.0 0.3 1:15.3
Cowpeas and sorghum silage ............ 32.3 0.9 16.6 0.6 1:20
Cowpea silage ............................... ..... 22.0 1.8 10.1 0.6 1: 6.4
Crab grass ................... ......... ----..... 30.9 1.3 14.2 0.5 1:11.8
Crab grass hay ... ........... .............. 90.5 3.5 40.0 1.0 1:12
Japanese cane silage .............................. 22.4 0.6 11.2 0,3 1:19.8
Japanese cane fodder .......................... 93.2 0.5 55.0 1.2 1:11.5
Johnson grass .....-.............-.........-- 29.1 1.2 14.7 0.5 1:13.2
Johnson grass hay .....-...-... ..--- ....-- 89.9 2.9 45.0 1.0 1:16.3
Kaffir fodder ..................-.....-- ....... 91.0 4.1 45.0 1.7 1:11.9
Kudzu vine (green) .. ......................... 30.6 42 13.9 0.5 1: 3.6
Lespedeza (green) ............... ........... 36.6 4.5 | 17.1 0.6 | 1: 4.1
Lespedeza hay ....... ....................... 88.2 8.6 41.1 1.1 1: 5.1
Linseed meal ...... ........... ........-..... 90.4 31.7 37.9 2.8 1:4
Millet hay -......... ......... ............. ... 86.5 5.1 40.5 0.8 1: 8.3
Milo fodder (dry) ............................. 88.9 1.9 36.3 2.8 1:22.4
Milo fodder (green) .............................. 22.7 0.8 12.7 0.3 1:16.8
Molasses (blackstrap) ..... ............ 74.2 1.0 58.2 . 1:58.2
Natal grass hay -...................................- 90.2 3.7 37.9 0.8 1:10.7
Natal and cowpea hay .......................... 90.2 8.4 35.8 0.9 1: 4.5
Oats (grain) ......... ....... ... 90.8 9.7 52.1 3.8 1: 6.3
Oats (hay) ...................... ... ... ........... 88.0 4.5 38.1 1.7 1: 9.3
Para grass .......... .............- ...-- ..- 27.2 0.8 14.0 0.3 1:18.4
Para hay -.................... ...... .............. 90.2 2.3 38.7 0.4 1:17.2
Peanut with hull ............ ........... ......... 93.5 18.4 15.3 32.6 1: 4.8
Peanut meal with hull ........................ 93.5 28.4 27.0 5.0 1: 1.48
Peanut meal without hull ............... 89.3 47.6 | 23.7 8.0 1: 0.9
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 65
TABLE II-DRY MATTER AND DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS IN 100
POUNDS OF FEED-(Continued)
Digestible Nutrients in 100
S Lbs. Feed*
Feeding Stuff C )
0 I zi 9
_________h Z I 1 I
Peanut hay without nuts ....--..............---
Peanut hay with nuts .............---......---
Rape (green) .................. -----
Rhodes grass hay .---....................--
Rye (grain) .........---- ..-- .---- ..---
Rye (green) ......... ... ..... ....
Sorghum (green) ....-.....................
Sorghum fodder ............... --- ...
Sorghum silage ..........................-....
Soudan hay ..-............................. ....
Soy bean (grain) .. ........................--
Soy bean meal ........................- .. ..
Soy bean hay ...--.......--.--........ ........-
Soy bean (green) -...................... ....
Soy bean silage ..............................
Soy bean and corn silage ......................
Teosinte (green) ..................................
Teosinte hay ...........-...........-----------...
Velvet beans (green) ............................
Velvet beans and pod ...........................
Velvet bean hay .....................................
Vetch, hairy (green) -------------........ .....
Vetch, hairy, hay .......-------------........ ....
Wheat grain --.......- .........
Wheat bran .--........ ........
Wheat middlings -...........-- .................
15.7 52.8 |
3.0 1: 6.6
8.3 1: 6.1
0.3 1: 4.1
1.2 1: 7.2
0.5 1: 6.3
2.6 1: 9.6
14.4 1: 1.8
1.2 1: 3.6
0.5 1: 3.5
0.7 1: 4.8
0.8 1: 9.8
0.9 1: 7.5
5.3 1: 3.5
1.4 1: 3.6
0.4 1: 2.6
1.9 1: 2.6
1.5 1: 7.7
3.0 1: 3.9
The above analyses were taken in a large part from Henry and
Morrison's "Feeds and Feeding."
t Very often with commercial feeds the percentage of ammonia is
given in place of protein. In this case the protein can be determined
by multiplying the ammonia by 5.15. A feed having 7 percent am-
monia would have 7X5.15 or 36.05 percent protein.
66 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FIGURING A RATION
Just how can the farmer figure out a ration that will be ap-
proximately correct? He can do this only by knowing the
percentage of the digestible nutrients in his feeds. Table II
gives the total amount of dry matter and digestible nutrients
in 100 pounds of various feeds used in beef cattle feeding in
Florida. A daily ration that gave very good results in Florida
for 84 days of feeding during the winter of 1918 and 1919 was
Thirty-five pounds of corn silage, 5.6 pounds of Natal and
cowpea hay (mixed half and half), and 2.4 pounds of cotton-
seed meal. These steers averaged about 600 pounds at the be-
ginning of the feeding period. In determining the total dry
matter and digestible nutrients in this ration, reference must
be made to Table II.
Table III shows pounds of dry matter and nutrients in 100
pounds of feed as taken from Table II.
TABLE III-POUNDS OF DRY MATTER AND DIGESTIBLE NUTRI-
ENTS IN 100 POUNDS OF FEED
Feed Matter Protein hydrates Fat
Corn silage -................. ........ 26.3 1.1 15.0 0.7
Natal and cowpea hay ............. 90.2 8.4 35.8 0.9
Cottonseed meal ....................... 92.5 37.0 21.8 8.6
To get the pounds of dry matter and digestible nutrients in
the ration given above, by looking at Table II it is seen that
there are 26.3 pounds of dry matter in 100 pounds of corn
silage. Then there will be 9.2 pounds of dry matter in 35
pounds of corn silage. (26.3X35--100=9.2.) Likewise there
are 37 pounds of digestible protein in 100 pounds of cottonseed
meal. Then in 2.4 pounds of cottonseed meal there will be .88
pounds of protein. (37X2.4-100=.88 pounds.)
TABLE IV-DRY MATTER AND DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS FOR
EACH FEED IN RATION MENTIONED ABOVE
Total Lbs. Digestible Nutrients, Pounds
Matter Protein hydrates Fat
Corn silage, 35 .-.................. 9.20 .385 5.25 .245
C. S. Meal, 2.4 ..................... 2.22 .888 .52 .206
Hay, 5.6 ................................. 5.05 .470 2.00 .050
Total -...-..................... ... 16.47 1.743 7.77 .501
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
To find the nutritive ratio, as previously stated, multiply the
total fat by 2.25, then add to combined carbohydrates and di-
vide by the total protein.
By referring to the totals in Table IV, the total fat sums up
to .50 pound. Multiply this by 2.25 and add to the total carbo-
hydrates (7.77 pounds), which gives 8.89 pounds of combined
carbohydrates. Divide this by the total amount of protein
(1.74 pounds) and we get the ration of one pound of protein to
5 pounds of combined carbohydrates and fat, or the "nutritive
ratio" of 1:5.
Many feeding standards have been devised, but in a definite
way, no standard will apply to all animals. Practically all
standards have been based on 1,000-pound weight. This means
that the 1,000-pound animal should consume twice as much feed
as the 500-pound animal. The necessary amount of nutrients
can not be fixed for each class, as there is a big variation in
digestibility of nutrients, depending upon their source. The
individuality of the animal often makes it necessary to modify
the ration. Young growing animals require a frequent change
of rations. It is best not to follow any fixed standard in
FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN THE SELECTION AND COM-
POUNDING OF RATIONS
Make the ration as nearly balanced as possible, being practi-
cal and consistent as to the price of feeds.
Even though a ration of 1:6 might be termed a balanced
ration for a 1,000-pound steer, the feeds on hand might make
the proposition more business-like and practical to feed a ration
of 1:8. The ration making the greatest gain does not always
net the greatest profit; it might be scientifically or theoretically
right but practically wrong. The feeding business is in reality
a commercial proposition, the feed is the raw material and the
animal is the finished product. The price of feeds therefore is
a very important factor.
MAKE THE RATION PALATABLE
The ration must be composed of feeds that are relished by
the animal. If an animal does not like its feed it will not eat
enough for maintenance and good gains in addition. A ration
composed of good corn silage, cottonseed meal, a little blackstrap
molasses to sweeten up the feeds and bright beggarweed hay
68 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
would be far more palatable than a ration of over-ripe corn
stover, cottonseed hulls and velvet bean meal. Variety of
feeds usually adds to palatability.
SELECT FEEDS ADAPTABLE TO THE NEEDS OF
Young growing animals require a more highly concentrated
ration than do matured animals. The young animals should
be supplied with feeds rich in protein, such as milk, cottonseed
meal, peanut meal, velvet beans, soy beans or wheat bran and
leguminous hays, such as cowpea, peanut or beggarweed.
Matured animals will thrive and fatten well on rations which
are largely carbohydrates, such as corn and corn silage, or
chops and grass hay.
The eye of the feeder and the merits of the animal should
play a very important part in the selection of feeds and the
compounding of rations.
USE HOME GROWN FEEDS
Economy must never be overlooked in making up rations.
Home grown feeds are usually the more economical. Legumi-
nous hays should be grown and utilized on the farm. Condi-
tions might warrant the selling of corn and buying of cotton-
seed meal or peanut meal. Velvet beans should be grown at
home by all means. If enough corn or sorghum can be grown
to furnish sufficient silage for the bulk of feed, and velvet beans
and leguminous hays grown to furnish the protein, as a supple-
ment, the buying of high-priced concentrated and commercial
feeds can be overlooked.
BE ECONOMICAL IN PREPARATION OF FEEDS
Expensive machinery for grinding feed for cattle for beef is
not good economy. It has been proved quite conclusively that
grinding feed for fattening cattle is not profitable. With aged
breeding animals and the dairy cow, the grinding of real hard
grain is sometimes advisable.
Experiments of the last ten years have shown that it does not
pay to grind velvet beans for fattening steers, as whole beans
have made greater gains and also more economical gains. The
soaking of beans for cattle has proved profitable but with any
other feed the profitableness from such a practice is question-
able. Shredding or cutting up coarse fodders such as corn,
sorghum, Japanese cane, Napier or Merker grass is good prac-
tice when these crops are not put into a silo.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
FEEDING IN THE DRY LOT FOR MARKET
This phase of the beef cattle industry has been but little
practiced in Florida for the following reasons: Sufficient feeds
for dry lot feeding have not been produced; the cattle man
has made a nice profit by utilizing the free range and market-
ing his surplus off of grass; the cattle have not possessed the
quality and conformation to warrant dry lot feeding and the
cattle man has not felt justified in undertaking the finishing of
steers in the dry lot, on high-priced feeds.
The cattle industry is now changing in many respects. Better
cattle are taking the place of the scrubs, more feed is being pro-
duced, the large ranges are rapidly disappearing and more in-
tensive farming methods are inevitable. With these conditions
progressing as they are the practice of marketing crops in the
form of beef is certain to become popular a few years hence.
PROFIT-THE CONTROLLING FACTOR IN FEEDING
CATTLE FOR MARKET
This will depend upon the economy of gain, the rate of gain
and upon the buying and selling price.
The rate and economy of gain will depend upon the age of
the animal. The younger the animal the greater and cheaper
the gains. The younger animal makes better use of his feed.
Records kept on rate of gains from birth, bear out the fact that
younger animals make cheaper and more rapid gains.
The mature steer, though, will make a more rapid gain in
the feed lot for a short feeding period.
Economy and rate of gain depend a great deal on the indi-
viduality of the animal. The animal must be capable of eating
large quantities of feed and at the same time making use of
that feed in the way of laying on flesh in the valuable parts.
He must show signs of early maturity and have good constitu-
tion and conformation.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS CONCERNING RATIONS
Table V shows rations that should produce good results in
feeding for the market.
Silage should be used in rations wherever possible, especially
with cattle two years of age or over. Older cattle will utilize
coarser and rougher and necessarily cheaper feeds.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
TABLE V-SUGGESTED RATIONS FOR STEER FEEDING
6 / Digestible Nutrients
S) Average Daily I in Ration (Pounds)
Weight and Class -,c Ration per
of Cattle. Period in
Pounds. o, Z Cd
(1) 900-1,150 lbs., beans, 10;
Fattening steers 90 crab grass
hay, 5 ............ 23.82 2.1 13.17 .71 1:7
Silage, 35; |
(2) 700-1,000 lbs. beans, 8;
Fattening steers 120 crab grass
hay, 3 .---......... 19.00 1.68 10.58 .58 1:7
Ear corn, 10;
(3) 600-900 lbs. velvet beans,
Fattening steers 150 6; cowpea
hay, 4 ... ..--......... 17.82 2.031 10.80 .65 1:6
| Ear corn, 12;
(4) 600-1,000 Ibs. C. S. meal, 3;
Baby beeves 180 cowpea hay, 5;
molasses, 2 .. 19.50 2.5 11.00 .75 1:5
Younger cattle require rations of a narrower ratio, hence
more concentrated food will have to be supplied in proportion
to their weight. The amount of velvet beans in a ration could
be substituted by one-half that amount of cottonseed meal, and
vice versa. That is, 10 pounds of velvet beans in pods could be
substituted for 5 pounds of cottonseed meal and 3 pounds of
cottonseed meal could be replaced by 6 pounds of velvet beans.
Peanut meal of good quality is nearly equal to cottonseed
meal, pound for pound. The choice between peanut meal, cot-
tonseed meal and velvet beans should be determined largely
by price and availability.
The weights of cattle given in Table V are for initial and
final weights. For instance, in ration No. 1 the cattle are con-
sidered to weigh 900 pounds at the beginning and 1,150 pounds
at the end of the 90-day feeding period. The length of feed-
ing period should vary with the age and condition of the
Mature feeders should be fed three to four months; two-year-
olds, five to seven months; yearlings, eight to ten months, and
calves ten to twelve months.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
GETTING STEERS ON FULL FEED
The daily ration given in Table IV does not mean that the
cattle were fed the amount stated, every day alike, but means
the average for the feeding period. One pound of meal was
fed per day for the first week and gradually increased until 3
pounds were reached, the average being 2.4 pounds for the
entire period of 84 days.
Feeds fed daily per steer were as follows:
Pounds Corn Pounds Cotton-
Silage Pounds Hay seed Meal
First 28 days ..-............... 30 5.8 1.2
Second 28 days ......................... 38 6.7 3.0
Last 28 days .............-.. .... 38 4.5 3.0
Average daily ration ............ 35 5.6 2.4
Getting steers on full feed requires careful observation on
the part of the cattle feeder. The rate by which the feed should
be increased is dependent upon the age of cattle, the length of
the feeding period and upon the composition of the feeds used.
Keep the cattle a little hungry so that they will be looking
for their feed at feeding time. Feed should not be found in
the troughs two hours after feeding. When an oversupply of
feed is left before the cattle, they become tired of it and less
feed will be eaten than when the cattle clean up their ration
quickly and still remain a trifle hungry.
Increasing the concentrates deserves more attention than the
bulk of the ration. Too much hay, or any roughage will not
hurt an animal. On the other hand, an overfeeding of some
nitrogenous concentrate such as cottonseed meal will some-
times cause such a severe case of scours that the animal will
never again get back in good feeding condition.
The more mature the animal, the quicker it can be put on full
feed. The amount of time to be taken in getting steers up to
full eating capacity should be determined largely by the length
of time they are to be fed.
Mature steers, three years or over, if going to be fed from
90 to 120 days, should be on full feed in 30 days from the be-
ginning. With younger stuff such as yearlings, 45 days should
Table VI shows the ration and just how the feeds were in-
creased during the last 84 days of the feeding of the fat Aber-
deen-Angus yearlings that won grand championship in car-
load fat cattle, grand championship first three steers, and grand
champion Florida fat steer, at the 1919 Florida State Fair.
72 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
TABLE VI-FEEDS GIVEN FLORIDA PRIZE WINNING YEARLINGS
Pounds of Feed Daily Per Animal
First Month Second Month Third Month
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
WVk. Wk. Wk. Wk Wk. Wk. Wkk. Wk. Wk. Wk. Wk.
Ear corn with
husks, ground 6 8 9 10 10 11 12 12 10 10 10 10
meal ..--------.........1/ 1 11/2 2 2 2 2% 3 3 3 4 4
Cowpea hay 3 3 31/2 4 4 4% 5 5 5 4 3 3
molasses --.1/2 3/ 1 1 1 1% 11% 2 2 2 3 3
Oats ............ --... ...... -.. 3 4 5 5
Water and salt before cattle at all times.
THE PRODUCTION OF BABY BEEF
Just what are "baby beeves"? Baby beeves are young cattle
of good quality that have been crowded or well fed from birth
until marketed, which is usually when they are from 12 to 20
months of age. To be baby beeves they must have the quality,
breeding and conditions that will make them grade as prime.
They might weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and still be baby
This quality of beef can not be made on the range. As calves
they should have plenty of milk, and before weaning should be
eating a grain ration such as corn and peanut meal and some
legume hay. Starting on grain before weaning is quite essen-
tial, in order to prevent any shrinkage or loss of milk fat
during the process.
To produce calves that will make this class of beef requires
good pure-bred bulls of the beef breeds and pure-bred or grade
cows. As they must grade as prime on the market when fin-
ished, it would be impossible to produce calves of such con-
formation, quality and condition, that would come up to this
standard, without having behind them good blood of the beef
breeds in both parents.
Florida is not yet ready for baby beef production. The
feeder lacks experience, and desirable cattle are not yet in
sufficient numbers to warrant this class of feeding to any
FEEDING THE BREEDING HERD OF BEEF CATTLE
In all feeding the object sought is to produce the greatest
results with the least cost. The use of cheap raw materials is
the key to successful feeding.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
For summer there is nothing that will take the place of good
pasture. If this can be supplied by carpet, Bermuda or Para
grass, the summer feeding is solved. The making of a good
pasture of one of these grasses is not an impossibility for any
section of Florida. If wire grasses are depended upon for pas-
ture, additional roughage, such as silage, hay or stover or soil-
ing crops such as cane, sorghum, Napier or Merker grasses
should be supplied. Wire grass is good for only a short period
in the spring, and additional feed is absolutely necessary for a
breeding herd after the wire grass becomes dry and woody.
There are certain places in the State where broom sedge and
maiden cane furnish sufficient pasture for the greater part of
By all means have a good pasture, even if it does take money
and labor to get it. Once a good permanent pasture is estab-
lished it will be good for years, and at the same time furnish
the most economical feed that can be produced. Good pasture
furnishes a ration which is nearly balanced for breeding cattle.
FEEDING HERD BULLS
Plenty of good pasture should make up the bulk of roughage
during the summer. If best results are expected, bulls should
receive some feed in addition to the pasture, no matter how
good it may be. This is, of course, an impossibility on the large
ranges during the summer months. But where conditions do
make it possible, bulls should receive during the breeding sea-
son a grain ration and some legume hay such as peanut, cowpea
or beggarweed. The grain ration should be fairly high in pro-
tein and ash.
The following grain mixtures should give good results:
(1) Corn, bran and oats, equal parts by measure.
(2) Corn, 3 parts; oats, 2 parts; peanut meal, 1 part.
(3) Corn, 3 parts; oats, 2 parts; velvet beans, 2 parts.
(4) Corn, 3 parts; oats, 2 parts; cottonseed meal, 1 part.
Hay should be limited in amount. One to one and a quarter
pounds for each 100 pounds live weight is a liberal allowance.
(A 1,000-pound bull then should have 10 to 121/ pounds daily.)
From 1 to 11 pounds of the above grain mixtures should be
a reasonable amount. Some of the best breeders allow all the
grain mixture the bull will clean up in three feeds per day.
When the breeding season is over in the summer, a third
to a half of the grain ration is sufficient. Easy keeping bulls
while not in service will do well on good pasture alone. During
winter use some grain ration, but increase the legume hay.
74 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FEEDING PREGNANT COWS AND HEIFERS
It should be borne in mind that pregnant cows require food
for the production of the foetus, in addition to food for their
maintenance and for extra energy involved in carrying and
developing the foetus.
Good pasture will usually be sufficient for summer, but in the
fall and winter grain and roughage should be supplied.
Corn or sorghum silage is a very good roughage for breeding
cattle. Well cured fodders are very good but not so valuable
as the legume hays. Twenty-five to thirty pounds of good
silage and one pound of cottonseed or peanut meal, or two
pounds of velvet beans and five pounds of cowpea hay should
be a good daily winter ration for a 1,000-pound cow.
Corn, bran and oats, equal parts by measure, make a very
good grain mixture for any breeding animal. Usually five or
six pounds of a grain mixture per 1,000 pounds weight is suffi-
Heifers should receive a more liberal ration of both grain
and roughage. Their ration should be narrower than that of
the mature cow, because they are growing, which necessitates
more protein for flesh building.
FEEDING YOUNG STOCK IN THE BREEDING HERD
Young stock to be developed as breeders should be crowded
by liberal feeding from birth, so that such qualities as early
maturing, thick fleshing and feeding can be brought out at an
early age and the inferior animals discarded as a market class.
As superior breeding animals bring very high prices, it is
advisable and profitable to give them more expensive feed and
For the first two weeks, unless weather conditions are very
favorable, calves should not run out with their mother, but
should be allowed to nurse three or four times a day. After
two or three weeks, allow the calf to go out in a small pasture
with the cows. Do not start the calf to eating grains until
four weeks old. Ground corn, oats and bran, equal parts by
weight, make an ideal feed for young calves. Some of this
feed should be placed in a feed box in a lot where calves can
get access, but where the cows can not go. The young calves
will'soon begin to eat of this, and more quickly if some older
calves already accustomed to eating grain are put in with them.
Calves should be allowed all of the mixture that they will clean
up three times a day.
The calves should be allowed to run with the mother at all
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA 75
times or kept in a separate pasture and allowed to nurse night
and morning. If the latter method is followed more attention
will be given the herd and the calves will be more likely to get
their grain mixture. A little legume hay should be accessible
to the young stuff at all times.
FEEDING BULL CALVES
Bull calves should be separated from the heifers when four
or five months of age, and given a separate pasture and allowed
to nurse night and morning. They should be allowed all the
grain mixture (corn, bran and oats) they will eat twice a day,
and all the cowpea, beggarweed or peanut hay they will eat in
addition to this pasture. Young bulls should be taught to steal
milk from cows not their mothers, as it is necessary to dry up
the mothers when they have nursed six to eight months. The
young bulls should then be placed on nurse cows, and, if taught
before this to steal milk, there will be no difficulty when taken
from their mothers. Young bulls should nurse cows until they
are 12 to 14 months old and, if to be fitted for show purposes,
should be allowed milk until 18 or 20 months old. There is no
feed that will make such rapid and satisfactory gains as whole
The grain ration, up to 10 months, should be of the same
mixture as previously mentioned. It is not necessary to grind
the feed after they begin to eat it well. Allow them all the
legume hay they will eat.
FEEDING HEIFER CALVES
Heifer calves may be allowed to run with their dams until
weaned, which should be when they are seven to eight months
old. They should receive a light grain ration of the same mix-
ture as that used by the young bulls, but should not be crowded
as rapidly as bulls. If pushed too rapidly there is danger of
impairing their breeding value. From the time heifers begin
eating grain and until they are weaned, a half pound of grain
for 100 pounds weight is sufficient. After weaning and during
the fall the same rate of feeding is sufficient if they are on
good pasture. It might be necessary to increase the grain
ration to three-fourths of a pound per 100 pounds weight as
winter comes on.
The grain ration and good roughage will bring the heifers
out nice in the spring. Silage is valuable as roughage for this
class of stock during the winter. In the spring reduce rough-
age and grain ration as pasture comes in, but continue feeding
a fourth pound of grain ration for 100 pounds weight during
summer and fall. Handle through the second winter as before.
76 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FEEDING YOUNG STOCK IN THE MARKET HERD
While the young animals in the market herd are not so valu-
able as those of pure-bred herds, their handling is a more im-
portant problem in Florida today. At least 90 percent of prac-
tically all of the herds of cattle in this State at this time are
kept to furnish beef for the market and not as breeding stock.
In the grade or market herd, the males are castrated and sold
as steers, the inferior heifers are fattened and sold on the mar-
ket and the choicest retained for breeding purposes.
In beef herds, cows should be bred so as to drop calves in
early spring. By the time pastures are good the calves will be
old enough to eat grass.
The calves should be weaned when from six to eight months
old. A little grain and legume hay, in addition to good pasture,
will make better calves, but under the present conditions with
a great scarcity of grain, it would seem more advisable to keep
the grain and hay until winter. Winter is the trying time on
cattle in Florida, and young stock should not be stunted by
starvation, but should receive enough feed to keep in a good
The silo furnishes the cheapest and most practical way to
winter cattle. If silage is available, 10 to 15 pounds, with 1
pound of cottonseed meal or 2 pounds of whole beans and 21/2
to 3 pounds of legume hay, would be a good winter ration for
young calves 10 months old.
During the second winter when the young stock are around
20 months of age, 20 to 30 pounds of silage, 1 pound of cotton-
seed meal or 2 pounds of beans and 5 pounds of good hay will
bring them through the winter in good shape.
Where feed is cheap and pastures good and plentiful, the
steers or other surplus should be kept until two or three years
of age. Where lands and feeds are high in price the quicker
the cattle are gotten into marketable condition the more profit-
able will be the industry.
The cattle may be marketed off of grass in the fall or finished
on higher priced feeds during the winter.
With average steers in Florida more profit will result in
marketing off of grass. Steers of good quality and breeding
should pay for their feed in the dry lot, providing the bulk of
feed is raised at home.
If silage and velvet beans can be raised on the farm, there
should be no hesitancy in finishing good quality steers in the
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
Any of the rations given in Table 4 should give good results
in winter feeding.
Steers may be finished economically on grass by supplement-
ing the pasture with some concentrate in a cake form. Cotton-
seed cake fed on the grass is being used very extensively in
many sections of the United States with very good results and
should be a good practice in Florida.
Finishing steers by pasturing in corn and bean fields is more
or less of an experiment. It is a well known fact that cattle
will often eat more than is good for them, and for this reason
it is very questionable whether the self-feeder and the hogging-
down system of feeding will ever be as popular with cattle as
it is with hogs.
78 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Current Trend of World Cattle Production*
FEAR of an approaching world shortage of beef has re-
cently aroused a great deal of international discussion.
A series of articles by Sir William Haldane on this sub-
ject, published in the London Times, has been quoted widely
in all of the commercial beef producing countries of the world.
The direct cause of apprehension has been the observation
that from 1920 to 1928 there has been a sharp downward trend
in the cattle population of the principal nations contributing
to the international beef trade. A marked similarity seems to
CATTLE PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES AND ARGENTINA
COMPARED WITH THE GENERAL LEVEL OF
ALL PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES
EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES OF 1909-13 AVERAGES -
,,5 -------------------- --- Ir ^ Ir
\175 175s ,t l (U -s w
"- I \ .-. U.5. -
'wrTTt PRICES(UNITED STATES)
1909-13 194.-1920 92349-26 1927 I09
be characterizing the trends of the cattle population in the
United States and other beef producing countries such as Ar-
gentina and Australia. This similarity suggests that a common
cause must have led to the likeness of change. After an analy-
sis of other possible causes, the conclusion has been reached
that the relatively low level of world beef prices from 1921 to
1926 was responsible for the decline in the cattle population
Monthly letter to Animal Husbandmen, Armour's Livestock Bu-
reau, July, 1929.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
during this period. If this reasoning is sound, then the recent
downward movement of the world's cattle numbers will prove
only a temporary adjustment, for world beef prices are now
established on a definitely higher level.
I. WORLD CATTLE PRICE MOVEMENTS
The volume of cattle production, like the volume of manu-
facturing, tends to move with the price level of cattle. A sus-
tained high level of cattle prices stimulates the producer to
breed more calves. Conversely, a sustained drop in the level
of cattle prices causes a slowing down in breeding activity.
Beef, like gold and wool, is a world commodity, and is of
commercial value in most civilized nations. For this reason,
the prices of beef in different nations may be expected to bear
a more or less constant relationship to each other. Barring the
effect of tariff walls, the differential in beef cattle prices be-
tween two countries should not be greater than the cost of
transporting cattle from one country to the other. Tracing
the changes in cattle prices in the United States and in Argen-
tina from the period just before the Great War up to the pres-
ent time, a marked similarity of movement is noted. (Figure
In both countries cattle prices moved up sharply during the
war period, as a result of the war demand for beef. Then the
post-war period witnessed a reaction with the downswing car-
rying prices almost back to .the pre-war level. Both countries
showed an advancing level of prices in 1927 which continued
upward through 1928.
Another outstanding feature of the price movements indi-
cated in Figure 35 is the relationship of cattle prices to the
general level of all prices in the United States. During the
war period (1914-1920) the movement of cattle prices was much
the same as the movement of the general price level. During
the post-war period (four-year average, 1923-1926), however,
cattle prices fell to a point sharply below the general price level.
At the present time, cattle prices have advanced to a point
well above the general price level and there is no immediate
prospect that this position will be markedly disturbed.
What changes in the world cattle population would be ex-
pected to accompany a movement of prices such as outlined
above? The following general movements are suggested:
(1) A marked expansion in cattle numbers during the war.
(2) A sharp reduction of the cattle population following the
war, due to the unfavorable position of cattle prices in relation
to the general price level from 1920 to 1926.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
(3) An upward movement in the cattle population of the
world following the price advances in 1927 and 1928.
As will be noted in the following discussion, the first two
movements have already been realized, and now we are appar-
ently just passing from the last stages of the post-war decline
into the first stages of the upward movement of cattle popula-
tion resulting from the price developments in 1927 and 1928.
II. WORLD CATTLE POPULATION MOVEMENTS
The following countries were leaders in beef exports during
1927, according to the preliminary figures just published by
the United States Department of Agriculture.
1 A r g en tin a ............................................................ .............. ...........
2 U ru g u ay .................................................................... .. . ........
3. Australia* :................ ..........
4 N ew Z ealan d ........................... ..... ........... ..................
5 U n ited S states ......................................................... ...................
6 N eth erlan d s ................................................................ ...............
7 C a n a d a ................................................. ..........................................
~ear ending June 30.
OFTHE PRINCIPAL BEEF EXPORTING COUNTRIES
PRE-WAR POPULATION (AVERAGE FOR 1909-13)= 100 PERCENT
01o 10----- ---Bo
160 .... ~ ~ .' -ZE5lAtAND _~ ~"~~ ___
HO -- --- ---------- 10
I10 ____ 20
,"0 AMSRAIA 100
90.- .. 18
I#9VA n -we
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
It is only natural to suppose that in all of these countries the
changes in cattle population would be affected by the move-
ments of world beef prices. As shown in Figure 36, there actu-
ally has been a striking similarity in the movements of cattle
numbers in all of these countries for which figures are avail-
able. Without exception, cattle production moved upward
sharply from the pre-war to the post-war period in each of
these countries. This is one of the results which was' antici-
pated on the basis of the analysis of price changes shown in
Figure 35. Although cattle prices were not far out of line
with the general price level during this period from just before
the war until just after the war, still cattle production might
have been expected to increase just as the general level of pro-
duction moved upward in those countries for which data are
shown in Figure 36. New Zealand, however, was an exception.
In 1927 the trend of production was downward in all of these
countries with the exception of Canada.
CATTLE POPULATION OF CERTAIN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
PET PRE-WAR POPULATION (AVERAGE FOR 1909-13) =100 PERCENT Pe
no0*1 ---2-------1------------------------ n
IDS --------------- -------IDS
ut w leO
C100 OREA r -8R 1-N
-r ..-b.n -n-'-- ic- -l l---------- --------t--90
SO------------ ------------------------- 80RACI
1no -3 i92l-2 1i26 192?
*RMWOU*I /WtSTO (N/flAlO
These movements in 1926 and 1927 are also in line with the
results which were anticipated from the post-war decline in
beef prices. In relating the movements of beef prices and
cattle population, however, the point should be kept in mind
that the production of cattle is a long-time operation in com-
parison with the production of hogs and sheep. Cattle must
be much older when marketed for slaughter and the period of
gestation is also much longer. For this reason, changes in
cattle population must be expected to lag from one to three
years behind changes in the price level of beef and live cattle.
Because of the long-time nature of cattle breeding and raising,
the producer will not decrease the size of his herd immediately
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
following a price decline. He is in the business on a permanent
basis and wishes to make sure that the change in price repre-
sents more than a temporary fluctuation before he adjusts his
scale of production correspondingly.
The rise in the world cattle prices in 1927 and 1928, and
which is being maintained in 1929, should only now be making
itself felt in the world level of cattle production. On the basis
of theory, 1929 should witness only a moderate upturn in world
cattle production with a more'important movement coming in
The United States was the only one of the beef-exporting
nations which showed a lower level of cattle production in 1927
than for the period 1909-1913. With respect to the European
nations in the war zone, however, a different situation pre-
vailed. As shown by Figure 37, the cattle herds of both France
and Germany were depleted by the ravages of war. From
1921-1925, cattle production in both of these countries was far
below the pre-war level. In both countries the recovery in
cattle numbers has apparently been very gradual.
In Great Britain the level of cattle numbers has apparently
maintained a slight upward trend during this period, and is
now well above the 1913 level of production.
The normal cattle cycle in the United States covers from
fourteen to sixteen years, moving upward seven or eight years
and downward for a like period of time. On this basis the up-
ward movement of cattle numbers in the United States which
was slightly noticeable in the population figures as of January
1, 1929, will probably continue for six or seven years.
In New Zealand, South America, Australia and South Africa,
the span of the cattle cycle is probably two or three years
longer because of greater age at slaughter and perhaps greater
average age at inception of breeding.
Changes in the level of cattle population are significant to
the extent that they indicate changes in the number of cattle
available for slaughter. It is for this reason that no mention
has been made of cattle population changes in countries which
do not produce a type of cattle which would be suitable for the
international beef trade. India, for example, has a cattle popu-
lation much greater than the total number of cattle either in
North or South America. Yet the number of cattle in India
has no relation to the international level of beef prices. In
like manner, Soviet Russia has a cattle population which is
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
substantially greater than that of the United States, but Rus-
sian beef is of no importance in the international beef trade.
As shown in Figure 38, cattle numbers in both of these coun-
tries have been increasing steadily over the past few years in
spite of the low level of post-war world beef prices. As might
be expected, cattle production in countries which have never
imported or exported beef, have not participated in the down-
ward trend of cattle population during the past few years.
As cattle population changes tend to lag behind the changes
in beef prices, so changes in the volume of cattle slaughter tend
to lay behind the changes in cattle population. When the pro-
ducers are increasing their herds, both she-stock and young
stock are withheld from slaughter. This means that the num-
ber of cattle slaughtered is likely either to remain stationary
CATTLE POPULATION CHANGES IN INDIA,RUSSIA
AND THE UNITED STATES-
PRE-WAR POPULATION AVERAGEE 1909-13)- 100 PERCENT
or tend downward for a year or two after the cattle popula-
tion starts moving up. For example, the cattle population of
us------- ------ ------- --IS
the United States on January 1, 1929, was slightly above the
January 1, 1928, figure, yet the slaughter figures have con-
tinued to decrease during the first part of 1929. In like man-
ner, in 1913 when the cattle population started moving upward,
the slaughter figures showed no upturn until 1915.
Comparing the annual Argentine cattle slaughter with the
annual cattle slaughter in the United States, a further simi-
larity of trend is noted. As shown by Figure 39, the post-war
84 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
peak of Argentine slaughter was even higher than for the
United States. The higher relative cattle slaughter in the
Argentine during 1927 was probably due to competitive slaugh-
tering conditions in the Argentine which diverted the volume
of slaughter from its normal trend.
For the first four months of 1929, Argentina has shown a
greater reduction than the United States in the volume of cattle
slaughter relative to the 1928 level. The Argentine slaughter
for January-April has been about 8 percent under correspond-
ing months of 1928, while in the United States the decrease has
amounted to only 21/2 percent.
IN THE UNITED STATES AND ARGENTINA
EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES OF 1921-25 AVERAGES
the human population. During the pre-war period, 1909-13,
0 AR---N--A--- ---
Thcreased to 995, the human andof cattle population as of thesult of theun-
watries being almospparent from comparison of the cattle population with
60there were,. on the average, 933 cattle per thousand human60
However, in the post-war period, 1920-25, this figure had in-
creased to 995, the human and cattle populations of these coun-
tries being almost of equal number.
BEEF CATTLE IN FLORIDA
NUMBER CATTLE PER THOUSAND HUMAN
G reat B ritain ................... ............................. ............. 263 253
G erm an y ....................................................................... . .... 285 280
F ran ce ............................................................................ . .... 3 87 34 6
R u ssia ............................................................................. . .... 2 8 3 3 3 5
All Others ....................................... .......... 152 113
Total E urope .................. ............... ................ 242 217
United States .............. ..... ............. ................ 638 619
C an ad a ......................................................................... . ..... 90 9 1,0 93
A rgen tin a ......... ..... ..................................................... 3,460 4,260
A ustralia ................................................. ................. 2,532 2,536
New Zealand ......................................... ............. 1,886 2,543
Total W western Countries ................................. 933 995
In Europe the per capital cattle population figures show the
effects of the war's drain on its cattle reserves. Before the
war there were 242 cattle per thousand human beings, while
after the war this figure had diminished to 217.
Although current figures are not now available, it seems prob-
able that the present combined per capital cattle population of
leading countries is somewhat below the 1913 figures. This
result would be expected from the opposite trends in western
countries of the human and cattle populations.
A decrease in the world's per capital cattle production, how-
ever, does not necessarily mean a lessened supply of beef for
each individual. With the improvement in the type of cattle
raised and the earlier maturity of slaughter cattle in compari-
son with the past, much more beef can be secured from each
unit of cattle population than formerly. For this reason it will
not be surprising if the per capital cattle population figures
show a gradual trend downward in future years.
From this discussion the following conclusions concerning
the present status of world beef production seem tenable:
(1) Changes in the trend of world cattle production can be
explained by changes in the level of world beef prices.
86 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
(2) The per capital cattle population of important producing
countries was abnormally high from 1920-25, but is probably
now somewhat below normal.
(3) There is a marked similarity in the percentage changes
in cattle slaughter in the United States and in Argentina dur-
ing the past few years.
(4) Five years ago the world appeared-tp be facing a world
shortage of sheep just as it now appears to be facing a world
shortage of cattle.
(5) The sharp downward trend of the world's cattle popula-
tion during the past few years is only a temporary movement
The movement represents an adjustment from the over-pre-
duction of cattle due to the war.