cattle rearing and types

CATTLE REARING, Cattle belong to the group of animals known as Bovidae.

They are ruminants, having hollow horns and hoofs with an even number of toes. Cattle are reared for their meat, milk, hide and skin, manure and as draught animals for work on the farm.

Cattle rearing, also known as cattle farming or ranching, involves the raising and breeding of cattle for various purposes, such as meat production (beef cattle), milk production (dairy cattle), and even for work or as pets in some cases.

Cattle rearing has been practised for centuries and plays a significant role in the agricultural industry worldwide.

Here are some key aspects of cattle rearing:

Breeds: There are various breeds of cattle, each with its specific characteristics and suitability for different purposes.

Common beef cattle breeds include Angus, Hereford, and Charolais, while popular dairy cattle breeds include Holstein, Jersey, and Guernsey.

Housing and Facilities: Cattle require suitable housing and facilities to ensure their well-being. This includes barns or sheds for shelter, clean water supply, and feeding areas.

Adequate space is essential to allow cattle to move comfortably and engage in natural behaviours.

Feeding: Cattle have different nutritional requirements depending on their purpose. Beef cattle are typically fed a combination of grass, hay, and grain to promote growth and meat quality.

Dairy cattle require a well-balanced diet to support milk production. Cattle farmers may also utilize pasture grazing or a combination of grazing and supplemental feeding.

Health Care: Cattle rearing involves regular health monitoring and veterinary care. This includes vaccinations, deworming, and preventive measures against common diseases.

Farmers should also provide proper sanitation and hygiene practices to minimize the risk of illnesses spreading among cattle.

Breeding and Reproduction: Cattle farmers selectively breed their animals to improve desirable traits such as growth rate, milk production, or meat quality.

Artificial insemination (AI) and natural mating are commonly used methods. Reproduction management involves monitoring the estrus cycle, managing pregnancies, and ensuring the well-being of both cows and calves.

Marketing and Sales: Cattle farmers may sell their cattle for various purposes. Beef cattle can be sold to slaughterhouses or directly to consumers.

Dairy farmers usually sell milk to processing plants or produce value-added dairy products. Some cattle farmers also participate in livestock auctions or establish direct marketing channels to sell their products.

Environmental Considerations: Cattle rearing can have environmental impacts, particularly related to land use, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable practices, such as rotational grazing, efficient water management, and manure management, can help minimize these impacts and promote environmentally friendly cattle farming.

It\’s important to note that cattle rearing practices can vary depending on the region, farming system, and specific goals of the farmer.

Government regulations, animal welfare considerations, and market demands also influence how cattle are raised in different parts of the world.



below are some of the cattle that are mainly reared as a farm animal

(i) Azawal
(ii) Sokoto Gudali (iii) Wadara (Shuwa)
(iv) White Fulani
(v) Red Bororo (vi) Muturu

(vii) N’dama
(viii) Keketu Borgu)
(ix) Kuri
(x) Brown Swiss
(xi) Holstein
(xii) Jersey



The breeds of cattle can also be categorized into three groups. These groups are:

(a) Beef Cattle: Beef cattle are the cattle which have the ability to produce meat. Examples are: (i) N’dama (ii) Red Bororo (iii) Sokoto Gudali (iv) Keteku (Borgu) (v) Kuri (vi) Brown Swiss (vii) Rahaji

(b) Dairy Cattle: These are cattle which are reared mainly to produce milk. Examples are: (i) White Fulani (ii) Jersey (iii) Redpoll (iv) Kerry (v) Guernsey (vi) Dexter (vii) Holstein / Friesian (viii) Ayshere (ix) South Devon

(x) Dairy short born.
(c) Dual Purpose Cattle: These are cattle capable of producing milk and meat. Examples are: (i) Azawal (ii) Muturu (iii) Biu (iv) Wadara (shuwa).



when it comes to cattle rearing, the following are the various breeds of cattle terminologies used to describe them

Bull An adult male cattle
Cow An adult female cattle
Calf A young or baby cattle
Heifer A growing female up to first calving
Bull calf A young male cattle
Heifer calf A young female cattle
Steer A castrated male cattle

Ox A castrated adult male
Vealer A castrated female cattle
Serving Act of mating in cattle
Calving Act of giving birth (Parturition)
Beef Meat of cattle
Dairy cattle Cattle kept for milk production
Beef cattle Cattle reared for meat production
Herd A group of cattle

Polled Cattle without horns
Horned Cattle with horns
Humped Cattle with humps
Humpless Cattle without hump


Cattle Farming. Cattle rearing involves the rearing and management of two types of animals- one group for food requirements like milk and another for labour purposes like ploughing, irrigation, etc. 

 Animals which provide milk are called milch/dairy animals. For example, goats, buffalo, cows, etc. Animals which are used for labour are called draught animals.

Since dairy animals are cared for and bred for milk, we need to improve milk production to meet the requirements.

The period after the birth of a calf, when a cow starts to produce milk, is called the lactation period. We can enhance milk production by increasing this lactation period.

But along with milk production, quality must also meet. Dairy farm management is the management of the milch animals with the goal of enhancing the quantity and quality of the milk produced.

For this reason, high-yielding and disease-resistant breeds are developed

Characteristics of West African Breeds of Cattle

(i) Very hardy (ii) Have greater tolerance to heat and humidity (iii) Tolerant to diseases e.g. trypanosomiasis (iv) Withstand stress and travel long distances without water.

(v) maturing (vi) Having a compact/blocky-shaped body. (vii) Are mostly of purpose (produce meat and milk) (Generally long-legged animals.

(ix) Some are humped (x) Powerful shoulder for use as draught animals Loose, thin and pigmented skin (xii) Low milk yields/small udder (xiii) S growth rate (xiv) Small body weight.


as a general concept, cattle rearing provides the following advantages

(i) Cattle provide meat and milk for man
(ii) Some cattle help to pull ploughs and work as draught animals.
(iii) They provide hides and skin
(iv) They provide blood meal and bone meal for farm animals as feed
(v) Fertilizers can be obtained from blood, bones and offals of cattle

(vi) Cattle dung (faeces) is a very good source of manure
(vii) Cattle provide employment and income to people
(viii) Cattle are also a source of revenue to some countries
(ix) Cattle are also used for religious purposes as well as festivals in some places
(x) Cattle are used for research work or work educational purposes


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