Cattle rearing is an essential part of agriculture in Nigeria and since there is a minute number of exclusive vegetarians in the country, most people consume a few pieces of meat daily because it provides them with protein and other nutrients required by their body. This livestock has over 1000 recognised breeds worldwide; previously they were used by their owners to help out with farm work, however, they are currently reared for the production of either beef or dairy(milk) and their other parts are used to produce cheese, leather, jewellery, china wares, manure for farmlands, and more.
Beef vs Dairy Cattle
If you are not a player in the industry, discerning between dairy and beef cattle could cause a bit of confusion especially when both animals aren’t standing close to each other. Let’s help you relate better to this farm animal and give you some hints on how to differentiate them. Botanically referred to as Bos taurus, cattle are either male or female; the male cattle are bulls but would be referred to as steers if they are castrated and they are usually used for beef production since they can’t produce milk. Female cattle are heifers when they are young and haven’t reproduced, they become cows immediately they are adults or have a calf. The interesting thing about female cattle is that they produce both beef and milk, furthermore, those dedicated to the production of milk are capable of producing about 8 gallons of milk and they eat approximately 50 pounds of feed daily.
With their conspicuous attributes, it will be quite easy to point out the physical differences in beef and dairy cattle. Some basic attributes of a dairy cow include the following but are not limited to their long and thin neck, bonny legs, angular body with an obvious spine. However, beef cattle are usually muscular with round leg bones, short neck, thick back without any visible spine.
To be successful at cattle rearing, you need to be sure you have a large grazing area, sufficient feed, water, restricted shelter to prevent the animals from wandering and the environment must be void of insects and flies. The amount of meat or milk the cattle will produce is usually dependent on their feeding, shelter, and climate.
In conclusion, one must not assume that a certain type of cattle is more useful than the other because they both have different market values and are consumed by a wide range of people. In Nigeria, people consume beef cattle during ceremonies, at restaurants, and in their homes while dairy cattle is used to produce milk for various companies who focus on the production of butter, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products consumed by various people including lacto-vegetarians. You definitely should check out our last article on maize crop pests.