Beef Cattle

The Life of a Beef Cow
  • A calf weighs about 80 pounds at birth. The calf drinks mother's milk and eats grass for the first six months, until it is weaned from its mother. It weighs about 400 pounds at this time.
  • From then on the calf eats grass and hay in the field until it is a year old, when it weighs around 700 to 800 pounds.
  • A cow's diet is mainly grass and hay, with some feed supplements. Ruminate animals like cows and deer have a complex three or four part stomach that allows them to digest grass. They "chew the cud", which means they re-chew the food they've already chewed slightly and swallowed. 
  • Yearlings are usually sold at a sale barn and trucked to feedlots. They are fed grain and hay in the feedlot, then sold to a packing house when they weigh around 1000 to 1100 pounds. 
  • A cow that weighs 1000 pounds will make a carcass weighing about 615 pounds. The carcass makes about 432 pounds of meat.

Want to hear a the sound a cow makes?

  As you can see on the map to your left, Ontario was the 4th highest producer of Canadian beef based on information from Stats Canada.  More interesting facts can be found on the Ontario Cattlemen's Association Website. 

Useful links about Beef Cattle:

Wikipedia - on Beef Cattle

View a video on Beef Cattle from a past Agricultural Education Day
(1.33 Mb, MPEG Format, click here if you have problems)

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