Calving Season Inquiry ProjectPresentation Transcript
Cattle By: Kristen Schmitt EDUC 373 Inquiry Project #1 September 22, 2009
I have lived on a grain and cattle farm all of my life. My family raises feeder steers, grows sweet corn, white and yellow corn, soybeans, and wheat. Throughout the past three years, I have helped my fiancé, Andy, on his family farm. Though he grows the same crops that I am accustom to, his family raises show calves, not feeder steers. Throughout my inquiry, I will briefly explain the similarities and differences between these two types of operations.
What is a difference between a feeder steer and a show calvf?
How are they treated differently?
What is the probable outcome of each?
How do they interact with the environment around them?
Indiana State Standards
4.4.4 : Observe and describe that some source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.
4.4.9 : Explain that food provides energy and materials for growth and repair of body parts. Recognize that vitamins and minerals, present in small amounts in foods, are essential to keep everything working well. Further understand that as people grow up, the amounts and kinds of food and exercise needed by the body may change.
4.2.1 : Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities, such as length, area, volume, weight, or time, are reasonable.
What is a feeder steer?
A feeder steer is exactly what is sounds like. It is a steer (male calf that is now not able to produce semen) that is fed until it is ready to go to market. Feeder steers normally start out in a pasture, and end up in the feedlot once they have reached a certain age.
This is produce you would get at your local meat market. According to essortment.com, a two year old feeder steer will weight around 1,100 pounds. The steers market weight will depend on it’s frame or size of the calf.
Feeder steer cont.
When the steer is butchered, it carcass will then get graded. This is how you get the various grades of meat. The better the carcass, the more expensive it’s meat is. An example would be that a dairy cow’s carcass would grade less than a beef cow. Therefore their carcass’s meat would cost less.
Can you tell the difference?
Picture 2 has a better grade of carcass. It has less marbling (the white), the fat, than picture 1.
Picture 1 Picture 2
What is a show calf?
A show calf can be any type of calf. What does this mean you say? It means that you can show a bull (intact male), Steer (unattached male), cow (female that has calved a calf), heifer (female that has not had a calf). People show cattle and other animals to illustrate the best cattle (animals) from their herd.
Show calves are normally bathed on a weekly if not daily basis. They are fed and watered separately than the other cows. They are halter broke and know how to walk with someone holding their halter with out being scared of the person. They are always given more special attention than the others (better foods, more hay).
How are these calves treated differently?
Feeder Steers are: fed in a feed lot with lots of other calves. They never get bathed and are rarely halter broke. Normally they do not graze on grass once they have been introduced to the concrete feedlot.
Show Calves are: Fed with a small group of calves. Graze on grass or are in the barn most of the time. Get bathed on a regular basis. Can be pretty tame.
What is the probable outcome of each?
Feeder steers will be butchered when they reach the appropriate weight. For show calves, it depends on the kind of calf it is. The following is the job each calf will soon have: bull-make semen/bread cows, steer-be butchered, cow-have more calves, heifer-have calves.
How do these calves act with the environment around them?
The feeder steers do not know any other way of living. For the most part, all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. All cows know when it is time to eat. Just like people they get hungry around the same time everyday. Feeder steers eat about every 12 hours. Show calves are no different. They want to eat on a normal schedule also.
However, if show calves are grazing in the pasture they can eat whenever they want. These calves learn to use the shade and shelter that the barn or mother nature provides them. All cows interact well with the other cows. Cows do not make to many noises unless they are hungry or are out in a storm.