Facilities Information and Resources
Handling facilities offer the opportunity for added value by carrying out practices that are economically important, such as checking for pregnancy, applying health practices, controlling both internal and external parasites, implanting calf crop with growth stimulants, castrating, and dehorning. Without handling facilities these practices and others are not done. All of these contribute to the returns of a cow-calf operation by improving performance as well as reducing labor costs.
An efficient cattle-handling facility includes several critical factors that should be evaluated. One of the keys to maximizing returns from a commercial cow-calf enterprise is the timely application of basic management practices. Many of these practices require that the cattle be worked several times a year. Without adequate cattle-handling facilities, these practices are either delayed or completely neglected.
A good handling facility allows for the treatment of animals, reduces the possibility of injury to both animal and producer and makes cattle handling much easier. Cattle producers need good handling facilities if they are to perform recommended management practices including: vaccinating, identifying, castrating, dehorning, implanting, deworming, and checking for pregnancy.
Many innovations have occurred in the fencing industry in recent years, giving producers an array of options for fences to confine and protect livestock. Whether used as permanent, periphery boundaries, temporary pasture dividers or to encircle a house, fences need careful planning and construction for efficient usefulness, long life and low maintenance.
Rotational grazing allows forage crops to renew energy reserves, rebuild plant vigor and give long-term maximum production. With a rotational grazing system, larger pastures are subdivided into smaller paddocks with temporary fencing materials, and livestock are moved from one paddock to another on a prearranged schedule based on forage availability, stocking rate and livestock nutrition needs.
Several options are available to producers when choosing a livestock watering system. These systems can be divided into three basic types: direct access, gravity flow and pressure systems. The best system type for a particular producer will depend on many factors, including site layout, water requirement, availability and cost of utility water and electricity, as well as water source type and location. This publication provides basic descriptions of some livestock watering system alternatives, and discusses some of the positive and negative aspects of each.
Producers considering the purchase of a commercial squeeze chute have a number of factors to consider before making the nal decision. A squeeze chute is a sizable investment for most producers.