Beef cattle management and production course
This course has a very practical slant. It has been developed on the idea of "experiential" learning (learning through actual "hands on" experience).
Quite obviously, we can't send cattle through the mail; but a lot of "experiential learning" ideas have been tested, proven, and incorporated into this and our other courses over the decades the course has been running. It is continually reviewed, and through a combination of world class tutors and a tried and tested study program, this course lays a foundation for understanding beef cattle husbandry; giving you a capacity to adapt and grow your knowledge and skills as long as you are involved in the industry.
100 hours (nominal duration)
This course is broken up into ten lessons (listed below), with an assignment to be submitted for comment at the end of each lesson
- Introduction to Beef Production and Beef Cattle Breeds - The role of beef cattle in agriculture; Scientific classification; Examples of breeds worldwide; British Beef breeds - angus, hereford, South devon, Sussex, Red poll; U.S. Developed Beef breeds - Santa gertrudis, American brahman, Amerifax, Beefmaster; European Beef breeds - Salers, Charolais, Simmental, Gelbvieh; Australian Beef breeds - Braford, Beefmaster, Droughtmaster, Murray Grey, Australian Lowline; South African Beef Breeds - Salorn, Tswana, Tuli, Afrikander; Breed selection considerations - horned vs poll, colour, gestation length, birth weight, mothering ability, post weaning growth, meat quality etc
- Beef Cattle Production Systems - Various systems of production - extensive, intensive, semi-intensive; Choosing a suitable system - considerations include size, climate, soils, transport, markets etc; Cattle handling facilities; Materials used in cattle handling; Cattle identification - branding, ear marking, tattooing, ear tags; De-horning - chemical and mechanical; Castration, dips and dipping, and injecting cattle
- Beef Cattle Breeding - Heritability, performance testing, progeny testing, selection; Pure versus cross breeding - advantages and disadvantages; Calving percentage; Management factors to improve calving percentage; Weaning Calves; Factors affecting calf weaning; The anatomy of the male reproductive system; The physiology of the male reproductive system; Fertility problems in the male; The anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system; Fertility problems; Pregnancy and partuition; The structure of the mammary glands; Secretion of milk; Growth and development; Post natal growth; Compensatory growth
- Diseases in Beef Cattle (Viral and Bacterial) - Determining health status of the animal; Signs of a healthy animal; Causes of ill-health; Injury, poor nutrition, poisoning, parasites, hereditary conditions etc; Preventing ill-health; Correct feed and nutrition, insect control, parasite control, vaccinations, control stress etc
- Diseases in Beef Cattle (Parasites, etc.) - Some parasitic diseases; Other ailments of cattle - actinobacillosis, anaplasmosis, arthritis, beef measles; Poisoning, Pink eye, Milk fever, bloat etc
- Nutrition for Beef Cattle - Feed type - roughages and concentrates; Carbohydrates, protein, fats; Grass or grain feeding; Rations for beef cattle - maintenance or production rations; Maintenance rations; Procedure for calculating a ration; Supplementary feeding of protein; Lot Feeding; Minerals; Common macro-mineral deficiencies; Common trace mineral deficiencies; Diagnosis of trace mineral deficiencies; Vitamins; Water for farm animals; Protein
- Commercial Herd Management - The breeding herd; Production systems; Cow-calf herd; Beef production systems using dairy stock
- Feed Lot Management - Lot feeding - types of feedlot; Managing cattle in a feedlot; Feedlot Records; Article on pen feeding in South Africa
- Stud Herd Management - Time of calving; Feeding; Fertility; Indicators of fertility in bulls; Indicators of fertility in cows
- Management, Economics and Marketing - Profitability; Factors affecting gross output; Factors affecting variable costs
EXAMPLES OF COURSE SET TASKS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Visit or contact a range of enterprises - which may include farms, agricultural shows, and suppliers of farm products in order to research, photograph, describe and specify facilities in the places visited as a basis, or part basis, of assignment questions (For students unable to visit real farms, it can be acceptable to undertake virtual visits on the internet or video).
Identify beef cuts on a labeled diagram of a steer's body;
Judge a beef animal according to commonly recognised commercial standards;
Choose two breeds suitable for beef production in specified climates;
Observe and report on common cattle husbandry tasks, including dehorning, castration, dipping, vaccination, and drenching;
Explain methods that are used to control beef cattle movements;
Prepare a production schedule or timetable of husbandry practices for a typical beef cattle property in your locality for a period of 12 months;
Attempt to determine the nature and scope of beef cattle breeding in your region or country;
Explain the differences between and advantages of pure breeding and cross breeding;
Describe and explain management and other factors that can affect calving percentage and calf weaning;
Visit a supplier of health care treatments for cattle to determine what products (e.g. dips, medicines etc) are available;
Describe a significant viral disease, including its identification, symptoms and control;
Interview someone working in the industry to determine the significance and nature of disease problems in beef cattle;
List parasites and related organisms that are significant to beef cattle in your region;
Report on the preferred food requirements for beef cattle
Explain common health problems affecting animals, including the circumstances under which animals contract health problems, and methods used to prevent the development of ill health.
Analyse physical indicator symptoms of ill health in animals.
Explain the diagnostic characteristics of the main types of animal pathogenic microorganisms.
Explain the methods used in the treatment of pests and diseases in beef cattle.
Explain the role of inflammation, including it's symptoms and causes;
Determine the taxonomic class of animal pests and diseases.
Explain the biological processes which affect and control the immune system
Explain the biological processes which affect and control tissue repair in animals.
Determine procedures for the management of wounds to animals.
Explain the processes involved in cellular change in animals.
Diagnose simple health problems in beef.
Develop guidelines for assessing general signs of ill health in beef cattle. These guidelines should consider diseases and nutritional factors;
List minimum equipment required to run a commercial beef cattle property.
Distinguish between bulls, heifers and calves;
Describe diseases affecting feedlot cattle;
List criteria for selecting cattle for a feedlot and state what characteristics of the cattle should be considered.
Compare the management of beef cattle in feedlot with the management in a paddock;
Explain the management of a stud beef herd on a property you visited;
Explain the legal requirements and regulations concerning beef cattle;
Distinguish the following terms of grades of beef: prime, choice, good, standard, utility.
Why Choose This Course
- Course notes and materials are unique (written by our staff) and up to date (most revised annually) –our graduates are more up to date with what they learn than many other institutions.
- We don’t just present you with information; we also work to help you understand and remember it, develop an ability to apply it in the real world, and build networks with others who work in this field.
- Start any time, study at your own pace, study from anywhere
- Don’t waste time and money traveling to and from classes
- More choices in your assignment work –courses are written to allow you more options to focus on parts of the subject that are of more interest to you.
- Tutors more accessible than many colleges – academics are hard at work in both the UK and Australia, 5 days a week, 16 hours a day, and answering individual queries from students are top priority and always attended to within a day –often within an hour.
- Be treated like an individual –don’t get lost in a crowd of other students. Our tutors interact with you one to one.
- Extra help at no extra cost where needed.. If you find a task you can’t do, we will help you through it or give you another option.
- Support after graduation –We will advise on getting work, starting a business, putting a CV together. We will promote students and their businesses through our extensive profile on the internet. Any graduate who asks will be helped.
How You Study
- When you enroll, we send you an email that explains it all.
- You are given a short orientation video to watch, where our principal introduces you to how the course works, and how you can access all sorts of support services
- You are either given access to your course online, or sent a CD or course materials through the mail (or by courier).
- You work through lessons one by one. Each lesson has at least four parts:
- An aim -which tells you what you should be achieving in the lesson
- Reading -notes written and regularly revised by our academic staff
- Set Task(s) -These are practicals, research or other experiential learning tasks that strengthen and add to what you have been reading
- Assignment -By answering questions, submitting them to a tutor, then getting feedback from the tutor, you confirm that you are on the right track, but more than that, you are guided to consider what you have been studying in different ways, broadening your perspective and reinforcing what you are learning about
- Other - Your work in a course rarely stops at just the above four parts. Different courses and different students will need further learning experiences. Your set task or assignment may lead to other things, interacting with tutors or people in industry, reviewing additional reference materials or something else. We treat every student as an individual and supplement their learning needs as the occasion requires.
- You are given access to and encouraged to use a range of supplementary services including an online student room, including online library; student bookshop, newsletters, social media etc.
- You are provided with a "student manual" which you can refer to if and when needed. It provides a quick solution to most problems that might occur (some people never need to use this; but if you are studying late at night & have a problem, the manual provides a first port of call that can often get you moving again).
- ACS is known and highly respected internationally: by employers and academics alike:
- Recognised by International Accreditation and Recognition Council
- ACS has been training people around the world since 1979
- Over 100,000 have now studied ACS courses, across more than 150 countries
- Formal affiliations with colleges in five countries
- A faculty of over 40 internationally renowned academics –books written by our staff used by universities and colleges around the world.
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