There is nothing better than living life on the ranch; a good workout on a horse, the sunrise over green pastures and working with cattle on a daily basis. Ranch life is hard work but totally worth it. Days spent on the ranch give me a lot of time to ruminate over current issues, new production methods, and hot topics in agriculture. Read this blog for the latest Ranch Ruminations.
Quality Beef Begins with Quality Animal Care
Apr 20, 2011
If you have been following along with my posts, you’ll know we are in the middle of Spring Vaccinations. We are gathering each herd of cattle, administering vaccinations, and rotating each herd through pastures of fresh, green grass. I just watched another video depicting unacceptable treatment of calves, and I thought it would be a good time to explain how we handle animals on our place.
The animal treatment in that video is no depiction of acceptable animal management. Throughout the winter, I took you along for the events of Calving Season, and how I cared for newborn calves and their mothers through snow, severe cold, and later mud. Raising cattle is definitely an around the clock job and real producers have a passion for their job and care for their animals.
On our ranch, we practice management along the guidelines of the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. The BQA outlines handling and management for cattle not only to produce quality, safe beef for consumers, but also to provide a healthy, lower stress lifespan for the livestock under our care.
Cattle Producers, like ourselves and other respectable producers throughout the nation, take pride in our livestock and do everything in our power to provide quality care for them. Here is a Producer Code of Cattle Care from BQA that we try to follow closely.
Provide necessary food, water and care to protect the health and well-being of animals.
Provide disease prevention practices to protect herd health, including access to veterinary care.
Provide facilities that allow safe, humane, and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.
Use appropriate methods to humanely euthanize terminally sick or injured livestock and dispose of them properly.
Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle and care for cattle.
Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met.
Minimize stress when transporting cattle.
Keep updated on advancements and changes in the industry to make decisions based upon sound production practices and consideration for animal well-being.
- Persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.
View more explanation on these guidelines and more on the BQA program here. Many of the ideals outlined in this program are and have been common practice by livestock producers for many, many years. Any one on our operation (or any of those on which I have worked on from Wyoming ranches to Texas Feedyards) must adhere to this type of animal handling and any mistreatment at all is never acceptable.
Are you a livestock producer? If so, share a link where you tell about livestock care around your place.
Are you a concerned consumer? If so, ask me any questions about livestock care. If I am not qualified to answer your question, we’ll find someone who is.
Check out my Agriculture Proud blog and Facebook page for great links to others farmers and ranchers who care about Animal Welfare