Animal 3

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Animal Agriculture Process
The process for producing and caring for animals varies greatly depending on the type of animals, location, facilities and overall producer goals.
Producers must decide
Goal of production and purpose of animals
The type of breeding system to use based on how they elect to produce the animals.
How to market the animals
Beef Cattle Production
Beef cattle producers may specialize in one type of cattle operation or combine various types
Cow-Calf Producers
a herd of cows are bred each year to produce calves. These calves are often sold sometime after weaning (6 months to 1 year old animals)
Seedstock
Also known as purebred breeders.
Keeps herds of purebred breeding animals and provide replacement bulls for cow-calf operations .
These operations focus more specifically on genetic improvements within a given breed
Cattle Feeders
Purchase calves from a cow-calf producer and care for them for approximately 5 months (12 months to 17 months of age).
Feedlot
Raises large numbers of animals in a more confined area.
Animals are fed to a "finished" market weight and then sent to be processed between 18-22 months of age.
Feedlot animals are purchased from stockers or cow-calf producers through one of the various types of livestock markets.
Feedlots sell animals to packing plants (slaughter houses)
Most packing facilities process animals into primal cuts and sub primal cuts. These products are sold to retailers and foodservice companies.
Some packing facilities sell subprimals to meat processors who create value added products such as pre-cooked items, sandwich meat, etc.
The amount of time involved in producing beef cattle is significantly longer compared to swine and poultry
Most beef cattle are grown independently
Intensive Dairy Production
Animals are raised in a more confined setting such as an open lot or tie stall barn.
Pasture Dairy Production
Cattle are turned out on pasture continuously or for portions of the day
Calves are removed from the cow 1-2 days after being born.
A. Male calves are typically used for veal or are raised as slaughter steers.
B.Heifers are either kept to become replacements or are used for meat
C. Replacement heifers are typically raised in feedlot or pasture settings until they are ready to be moved in with the dairy herd
Replacement heifers are bred around 15 months of age and begin producing milk 9 months later (2 years of age)
During the lactating cycle, cows are re-bred.
Approximately 60 days before they give birth again, they are "dried off" (quit producing milk) in preparation for their next calf to born
The average production cycle of dairy cattle is 5-7 years. Animals are then processed for their meat.
Milk is collected into large tanks at the farm and then transported to processing facilities.
The fluid milk is separated and then re-blended to make skim,2%, whole milk, etc.
Fluid milk is pasteurized and homogenized
Swine Production
Most swine are grown through vertical integration contracts
Vertical Integration Example
A corporation such as Smithfield Foods, Inc. purchases feeder hogs from a producer and then raises the animals to a market weight in their company owned finishing house. Then they transport animals to the slaughter house that is also owned bySmithfield, Inc.
Commercially produced swine are typically raised in confinement type houses.
Wow
Maintains sows for breeding, gestation and farrowing. Manages piglets until they are weaned at approximately 21 days.
Nursery
Manages piglets after they are weaned until approximately 10 weeks or 50lbs.
Grow-Finish
Manages barrows and gilts until they are ready for market.
Farrow-to-Finish
Manages a group of breeding sows and maintains piglets to market weights. Also known as complete sow and litter operation.
Processing Pork Products
Finishing operations send animals to processing facilities. In many cases the finishing operation and the slaughterhouse are vertically integrated.
Pork is processed into primal cuts and subprime cuts. These products are sold to retailers and food service companies
Some packing facilities sell subprimals to meat processors who create value added products such as ham, bacon, pre-cooked items, sandwich meat, etc.
Poultry Production
Most poultry in the US is produced through vertical integration contract with large commercial operations
Egg Production
Laying hens are typically confined to cages or a floor-pen system.
Eggs are cleaned, graded and packed at the farm.
The laying hens produce eggs for approximately 72 weeks and then they are then sold for meat once their production cycle is complete.
Over 1/2 of laying hens are raised through vertical integration contracts.
Poultry are fed high quality feed to maximize growth
Hormones cannot be added according to USDA standards
Broilers are processed into cuts of meat and also value added products such as sandwich meat,per-cooked products , etc.
Approximately 99%of broilers are raised through vertical integration contracts.
Various breeding systems exist due to the various types of livestock operations.
The size of the herd, amount of money available and goals of the producer are all factors that determine the types of suspects
Some farms use more than one type of mating system.
In general, cattle use all types of breeding systems while swine and poultry tend to utilize crossbreeding to develop industry owned hybrids.
Straightbreeding
Mating animals of the same breed:
Pure-breeding
Inbreeding
Grading Up
Purebred Breeding
Mating registered purebred male and female of the same breed.
Animals are eligible for registry with a purebred association .
Example: Angus x Angus
Inbreeding
Mating closely related animals. Increased the genetic purity of the stock produced, but is not used as often by the typical producer
Grading Up
Mating purebred males (sires) to grade or unregistered or crossbred females (dams) to improve the herd
Crossbreeding
Mating a male and female of different breeds. Usually results in improved traits of the offspring which is referred to as
Terminal sire
Replacement females are bred to a sire and all offspring are sold.
Rotational
Uses a two, three or four breeds to rotate between sires and females.
Terminal Markets
Central markets on public stockyards where livestock are consigned to a commission firm to bargain with purchasers or buyers for a certain fee
Auction
Public bidding with the animals selling to the buyer who bids the highest.
Direct Selling
Farmer sells straight to buyer with no middle person or firm receiving commissions or fees
Electronic Marketing
Auctions online using computers
Futures Market and Hedging
Legal documents calling for delivery in the future, locking in a future delivery price
VIC
Animals are produced as well as marketed as a part of the vertical integration enterprise.
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