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Livestock & Pets : Cattle : General

The articles below cover an amazing number of topics about cattle health and cattle farming. There are more articles in the Cattle Behaviour, Calves and Calving, Cattle Handling and The Basics sections too. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you.  If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!

Cattle need teeth. But don't ever look in the mouth of a ruminant and worry that it has lost all its top incisors: it never had them.

The cattle tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) is well established in New Zealand.

There have been some alarming recent cases of bulls causing injuries and even deaths to humans. 

Suspect neosporosis if any of your cows aborts or is infertile.  Neosporosis is the most common cause of abortion in cows in this country. 

BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhoea) is a complicated viral disease of cattle that causes big financial losses in herds across New Zealand.  .

The phrase "Crop Ear" relates to a genetic fault in Highland cattle that affects the ear shape.

Highland cattle tend to evoke many emotions in people. 

In New Zealand, Highland Cattle have traditionally been a breed that has been embraced by lifestylers.

calveshighlandwThe Highland Cattle industry in New Zealand uses a grading system to denote what level of Highland genetics (or 'bloodlines') each animal enjoys.  

Research now 60 years old showed that poorly-reared young stock will carry this burden into later life. 

cowdairywTo find your grazers, this might need a couple of adverts in the local paper during April or May, or a few phone calls to local dairy farmers and word of mouth.

cattleeatingwIf you have not reared your yearlings you will have to organise time to buy from the market or a reputable calf rearing enterprise.

cattleyoungwIf you have not reared your weaners you will have to organise time to buy from the market or a reputable calf rearing enterprise.

calffeedingwA look at what is involved in rearing calves to weaning.


cattlefamilywOnce you start looking at cattle you need to choose the option to go for. Here are some things to take into consideration:

bullnoseringwFarming bulls for beef is a major business. It provides lean export beef (grinding beef) for the USA hamburger trade.

conditioncowSimple Condition Scoring for cows - learn these seven points to feel on the cow.


skinnycoww“Condition Scoring” (CS) cows was developed many years ago to help farmers specify how skinny or fat their cows were.

meatwUnderstanding the beef schedule.

Primitive cattle needed horns to fight off predators and to sort out social ranking within the herd. Bulls needed them in their death fights for the 'king' bull status.

meatboardwWith such a high emphasis on Quality in our export markets, it's vital that farmers recognise this in the paddock because this is where Quality starts. 

cowteethwBloat in cattle is caused when grass is growing rapidly and clovers are coming away, as these feeds contain natural foaming agents that generate stable foam in the rumen.


heiferWell-grown heifer calves are capable of becoming pregnant from about 6 months of age. Bull calves can be fertile from about the same age.

cowwCows will start to cycle about 6 weeks after calving when they’ll should show the typical heat signs.

headbailA design for a simple, cheap and effective headbail for cattle.

milkingwEverything you need to know about having a house cow.

meatboardwWhen to sell your beef cattle depends on many things, but the two most common reasons are to maximise returns, or cut losses by quitting stock.

bullnoseringwWhen bulls start to become territorial and difficult to handle it’s tempting to assume that putting a ring in their nose will solve the problem.

bullnoseringwThere are many reason to try to do without a bull on your block. They are generally expensive to buy - if you buy a decent one.

bullwArtificial Breeding (AB) and Artificial Insemination (AI) are the same thing. The term AB is only used in New Zealand and Australia. The rest of the world uses AI.

cowandcalfwThese are breeds that provide both meat and milk.

cowlyingwCows with low magnesium run the risk of loss of production, going down at calving with “grass staggers” and death, at a time when you can least afford these losses. 

syringewAlways give intramuscular injections in the neck of cattle. Your veterinarian should know about this meat industry requirement.

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