The average beef herd manager must take care of around 40 head of cattle, but many livestock managers oversee operations with more than 100 cattle. Cattle operations include cow-calf operations, in which a herd is kept to birth and raise calves, and cattle feedlots, which are used for finishing beef cattle. Whichever type of operation a manager is running, efficient herd management is important for animal health and profitability.
There is a variety of options when it comes to beef cattle nutrition. Cattle can be fed on a combination of roughages (hay and grass), grains, oilseeds, and byproducts. It is very important for cattle to receive essential vitamins and minerals in their rations, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and selenium. Deficiencies in these and other nutrients will lead to poor health problems and a reduced quality of life for the animal. Many beef producers are moving towards grass-fed beef because there is a high demand for it in the market. Rations should be formulated depending on the class of cattle and the requirements of the producer, but must contain protein, energy, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.