Cattle for milking and meat were brought by the European settlers. Herds of cattle were in Canada by 1824. Today, cattle farming is a big part of the economy in Saskatchewan.
A herd of cattle is a group of cows.
Cattle are raised on land that is not suitable for growing crops on. They graze the land and provide us with nutritious food. The farmer moves them from one pasture to another to prevent over-grazing, which is excessive grazing that will cause damage to the grassland.
This bull and cow are grazing in a pasture.
The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle is followed in Canada. These science-based guidelines help to make sure the cattle receive proper care and handling. The farmer makes clean water and nutritious food available for the cattle. Cattle get sick just like humans, and antibiotics are given to cattle to prevent and control diseases.
Ranchers want to ensure their cattle are well taken care of.
Cattle are very special animals that eat grass, hay, low-quality grains, and other plant products that people cannot eat. A pasture is a field of grasses and other types of plants that is grown to feed animals. When cattle eat grass, it is called grazing. Cattle graze on land that can’t be used for other food production because it is too steep or hilly, or too dry or too rocky for growing crops. Cattle’s grazing helps keep the weeds from growing. Keeping this land in grass or pasture helps prevent soil from washing away.
Ranchers are out checking their herd of cows to make sure they are all happy and healthy.
All cattle must have an ear tag which contains a unique number to tell the cows apart and to keep track of each animal’s history. Farmers also keep track of when the cow was born, how many calves they may have had, and if they were sick and needed to be treated. This number is used for food safety and traceability if needed.
This ear tag has a unique number to track data about this specific calf.
Lots of new technology is being used in the ranching industry including self-driving functions in some tractors and cameras on machinery to give better vantage points while operating it. Some farm equipment has digital thermometers to take temperatures of grain and hay. Some ranchers are using cameras in barns to monitor cattle and drones to track cattle while they are in the pasture.
The use of drones is taking off on ranches!