Cattle is a major industry throughout North America, and understandably so considering the many uses we have for cattle. We eat the meat, drink the milk, and use the hide for clothing and material. Cattle can be used for labour, and their by products are used in several other ways as well.
However, cattle require many supplies to ensure they are well cared for while being raised, no matter what purpose they are being raised for. Below are the eight best cattle supplies that every farmer should have:
1. Cattle Feeders & Waterers
Your cattle needs to eat and drink regularly in order to maintain a healthy condition. The best way to ensure your feeding process goes smoothly is by installing cattle feeders and waterers on your farm. These feeders and waterers are specially designed equipment to help you maintain livestock in an easy, efficient manner. Using these cattle supplies, your livestock will be kept well-fed and hydrated without much hassle.
In climates where it gets very cold in the wintertime, make sure that you include heating in your cattle waterers. One of the main causes of dehydration in cattle during the winter is because the water is too cold and icy for them to comfortably drink. A heated cattle waterer ensures that the water remains at a reasonable temperature, even when it is very cold outside.
2. Heat Lamp
A heat lamp, too, is a good cattle supply for certain uses in cold winters. It is most commonly used for newborn cattle, or cattle that are ill or wet. For the most part though, cattle do not require much extra heating because they develop a thick winter coat that is intended to keep them warm.
In fact, cows that have acclimated to the weather can overheat, sweat, and become ill if they are put in too warm of an environment. This is why, for the most part, heat lamps are only used for specific situations when it comes to cattle.
3. Cattle Tattoo & Tag Applicator
Cattle farmers tattoo their animals with numbers and letters in order to be able to identify them. This is a permanent tattoo that labels the animal. Good luck getting a cow to sit for the type of tattoos humans sit for, though! Instead, a special unit exists for this purpose.
It consists of tattoo pliers that have space to insert letters and numbers made of needles. The appropriate combination of letters and numbers is placed into the machine, and the ink is rubbed directly onto the animal’s ear both before and after the punch is made with the pliers.
Tags are another way to identify cattle, and often are used in tandem with tattoos because they are easier to see, but may fall off. This way, the farmers can easily see the cattle numbers, but in the event that the tag falls off the tattoo is there. There is a special tag application machine which the tag is attached to, then a single needle is used to insert and attach the tag to the animal’s ear.
4. Colostrum Supplies
Colostrum is a substance that is naturally produced by new mothers – it’s actually produced in humans, but also in cattle because they are also mammals. The new mothers produce colostrum before producing milk, and the substance contains important antibodies and nutrients that are important for the newborn to remain healthy.
In cattle, the mother’s colostrum may need to be supplemented or completely replaced by a store-bought version to ensure the newborn is receiving adequate nutrients.
5. Halter Supplies
A halter is used to restrain the animal. The halter is placed behind the ears of the animal and comes around under the muzzle. There are specific halters for cattle, and it is important to use these – instead of halters designed for other animals like horses – for safety reasons.
Most of the time, a rope halter can be used for cattle, but when animals are entered into shows, there are specific show halters that are used instead.
6. Shampoo Supplies
Used mostly for show cattle, shampoo can be purchased to help clean them up. It makes their coats extra shiny, white, and clean looking. There is also medicated shampoo which can be used for cattle with skin problems or insect problems. These often come with natural ingredients like tea tree oil or eucalyptus and help restore and repair the cattle’s skin.
7. Cattle Vaccines
There are several different types of vaccines for cattle, and it is important to consult a veterinarian for recommendations on which to use. Just like humans, cattle are susceptible to illness.
Regardless of whether the cattle are for personal use or are being bred for their dairy, meat, or other reasons, it is important to vaccinate them to keep them from getting sick, both so they live longer and so that any product they produce – like meat or dairy – is healthy for consumption.
8. Gloves & Sleeves
When it comes to calving, the farmer has to get their hands… and their arms dirty a lot of the time. OB sleeves are gloves that go all the way up to the shoulder, so that if the farmer has to reach inside of the cow to help her in the birth of her calf, that the skin is protected. This is a clean and safe way to assist the cow during the calving process.