Beef Cattle Production and Management

A special issue of Ruminants (ISSN 2673-933X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2024 | Viewed by 8025

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC), Oregon State University, Burns, OR 97720, USA
Interests: nutrition; health and welfare; production management; precision technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Interests: bovine physiology; ruminant nutrition; health and welfare; reproductive management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce “Beef Cattle Production and Management” a Special Issue of Ruminants journal.

Beef production is a major component of agricultural systems worldwide, present every single continent except for Antarctica. Beef cattle production plays an essential and direct role in human nutrition, growth, and health, while being a major component of economic, political, and social aspects of societies. Globally, the ultimate goal of beef cattle production is to produce highly nutritious food for human consumption. Beef cattle can easily convert low-quality feedstuffs into high-quality protein and highly bioavailable essential minerals and vitamins in diets of humans. Due to the wide geography distribution of beef cattle production, different production and management practices have been adopted worldwide over the years to better serve different production environments. Accordingly, efficiency, sustainability, and the environmental impacts of production are also vastly different due to geographical regions and the adoption of different management practices in each operation.

This Special Issue “Beef Cattle Production and Management” aims to present state of the art information on beef cattle production and management across the globe, highlighting the  differences in global beef cattle production and management practices while highlighting the strengths and values of different production systems.

In this Special Issue, “Beef Cattle Production and Management” original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Alternative feeding;
  • Behavior and cognition;
  • Breeding, selection, genetics;
  • Confined production systems;
  • Disease prevention and management;
  • Economics and enterprise budget;
  • Environmental impact and mitigation strategies;
  • Extensive production systems;
  • Forage systems;
  • Feeds and feeding;
  • Feeding strategies;
  • Fetal programing;
  • Genomics;
  • Health and welfare;  
  • Nutrient requirements and management;
  • Precision technology;
  • Product quality;
  • Reproduction technology and management;
  • Water requirements and management.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Animals.

Dr. Juliana Ranches
Dr. Alice P. Brandao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Ruminants is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • beef cattle
  • efficiency
  • environment
  • global
  • practices
  • production
  • management
  • sustainability

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 2319 KiB  
Article
Drinking Behaviour of Beef Cattle Subject to Water Medication in Various Environmental Conditions
by Eliéder Prates Romanzini, Vivienne McCollum, Sarah Mcilveen, Kawane Dias da Silva, William Luiz de Souza, Priscila Arrigucci Bernardes and Diogo Fleury Azevedo Costa
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 213-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020015 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of water medication technology on beef cattle behaviour and performance in tropical conditions. Experiment 1 involved 30 Droughtmaster yearling steers monitored over seven days in a controlled environment. Feed and water consumptions were monitored with [...] Read more.
Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of water medication technology on beef cattle behaviour and performance in tropical conditions. Experiment 1 involved 30 Droughtmaster yearling steers monitored over seven days in a controlled environment. Feed and water consumptions were monitored with Smart Feed Pro® systems, with three water treatments administered via uDOSE® technology. The results indicated an average water intake of 13.6 L/head/d. Experiment 2 had 120 yearling steers from four genetic groups grazing on an extensive pasture system. Throughout four 24-day periods, forage availability and chemical composition were measured once monthly. Experiment 2 revealed a variation in water intake, ranging from 16.2 L/head/d down to 4.75 L/head/d. Notably, the lower intake coincided with a rainfall event documented during the fourth experimental period. Overall, results from both experiments indicated that water medication did not alter cattle water preference. There was no preference for treated water sources in Experiment 1, while differences in Experiment 2 appeared to be influenced by external factors like weather and prior habits. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of water medication for beef cattle without disruption of their natural behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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9 pages, 773 KiB  
Article
Hot Iron Branding of Beef Cattle: Process Characterization, Implications for Animal Welfare, and Its Efficiency for Cattle Individual Identification
by Jaira de Oliveira, Joseph Kaled Grajales-Cedeño, Mariana Parra Cerezo, Tiago S. Valente and Mateus J. R. Paranhos da Costa
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 192-200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020013 - 9 Apr 2024
Viewed by 635
Abstract
This study aimed to characterize the hot iron branding (HIB) procedure by assessing its implications for animal welfare and its efficiency for cattle identification. The study was carried out in two stages: First, with 37 Nellore calves, by measuring the skin temperatures in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to characterize the hot iron branding (HIB) procedure by assessing its implications for animal welfare and its efficiency for cattle identification. The study was carried out in two stages: First, with 37 Nellore calves, by measuring the skin temperatures in the place of HIB application (ONB) and 10 cm above it (OFFB) immediately after its application and during four consecutive days, the time required for application of each HIB digit and the occurrences of rebranding; second, with two batches of cows (N = 97 and N = 94, respectively, by measuring the time spent to read cattle ID and comparing the efficiency of HIB vs. EET (electronic ear tag) and visual ear tags (VET) vs. EET. Skin temperature was significantly affected by the interaction between the place where the skin temperatures were taken (on and 10 cm above the HIB) and assessment day, with temperatures in ONB on days d0 and d2 being higher than in OFFB (p < 0.05), and 86% of the calves required at least one rebranding. EET reading was faster than HIB and VET (p < 0.001), and fewer errors were made when reading EET than HIB (1/97 vs. 17/97) and VET (2/94 vs. 12/94). We concluded that HIB potentially compromises cattle welfare and has a lower efficiency for cattle identification than EET and VET. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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22 pages, 8958 KiB  
Article
The Use of Interactive Visualizations for Tracking Haplotypic Inheritance in Livestock
by Alana Selli, Stephen P. Miller and Ricardo V. Ventura
Ruminants 2024, 4(1), 90-111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4010006 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Our objective was to harness the power of interactive visualizations by utilizing open-source tools to develop an efficient strategy for visualizing Single Nucleotide Polymorphism data within a livestock population, focusing on tracking the transmission of haplotypes. To achieve this, we simulated a realistic [...] Read more.
Our objective was to harness the power of interactive visualizations by utilizing open-source tools to develop an efficient strategy for visualizing Single Nucleotide Polymorphism data within a livestock population, focusing on tracking the transmission of haplotypes. To achieve this, we simulated a realistic beef cattle population in order to obtain phased haplotypes and generate the necessary inputs for creating our visualizations. The visualization tool was built using Python and the Plotly library, which enables interactivity. We set out to explore three scenarios: trio comparison, visualization of grandparents, and half-sibling evaluation. These scenarios enabled us to trace the inheritance of genetic segments, identify crossover events, and uncover common regions within related and unrelated animals. The potential applications of this approach are significant, particularly for improving genomic selection in smaller breeding programs and farms, and it provides valuable insights for guiding more in-depth genomic region analysis. Beyond its practical applications, we believe this strategy can be a valuable educational tool, helping educators clarify complex concepts like Mendelian sampling and haplotypic diversity. Furthermore, we hope it will encourage livestock producers to adopt advanced technologies like genotyping and genomic selection, thereby contributing to the advancement of livestock genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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32 pages, 2781 KiB  
Article
Evaluation and Development of a Nutrition Model to Predict Intake and Growth of Suckling Calves
by Geovana Camila Baldin, Caleb Hildebrand, Robert L. Larson and Phillip A. Lancaster
Ruminants 2024, 4(1), 47-78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4010004 - 28 Jan 2024
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate and develop equations to predict forage intake and growth of calves throughout the suckling period of beef calves grazing on forage or dairy calves fed harvested forage. Milk and forage intake and body weight data [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate and develop equations to predict forage intake and growth of calves throughout the suckling period of beef calves grazing on forage or dairy calves fed harvested forage. Milk and forage intake and body weight data for individual animals were collected from published theses (one using bottle-fed dairy calves and one using suckling beef calves). A nutrition model was constructed using milk and forage intake equations and growth equations. Additional datasets were compiled from the literature to develop equations to adjust the original nutrition model for forage digestibility, milk composition, and growth. In general, the original nutrition model predicted the forage intake and body weight of dairy calves with moderate-to-high precision (CCC = 0.234 to 0.929) and poor accuracy (MB = −341.16 to −1.58%). Additionally, the original nutrition model predicted forage intake and body weight in beef calves with poor-to-moderate precision (CCC = 0.348 to 0.766) and accuracy (MB = 6.39 to 57.67%). Adjusted nutrition models performed better with the best model precisely (CCC = 0.914) predicting forage intake and precisely (CCC = 0.978) and accurately (MB = 2.83%) predicting body weight in dairy calves. The best adjusted nutrition model predicted forage intake and body weight with high precision (CCC = 0.882 and 0.935) and moderate accuracy (MB = −7.01 and −7.34) in beef calves. Nutrition models were able to adequately predict the forage intake and growth of calves with adjustments made to standard milk energy concentrations and growth equations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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12 pages, 562 KiB  
Article
Farm-Scale Effectiveness of Feed Additives Supplied through a Mineral Mix for Beef Cattle Grazing Tropical Pastures
by Ricardo Cazerta Duarte Goulart, Diogo Fleury Azevedo Costa, Tiago Alves Corrêa Carvalho da Silva, Guilhermo Francklin de Souza Congio, Rodrigo da Silva Marques and Moacyr Corsi
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 483-494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040039 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 960
Abstract
The effectiveness of feed additives delivered through free-choice mineral mixtures (MMs) to grazing cattle remains unclear. Two farm-scale and one in vitro experiment (Exp.) were conducted to investigate the effects of salinomycin and virginiamycin, delivered through an MM, on growing bulls grazing tropical [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of feed additives delivered through free-choice mineral mixtures (MMs) to grazing cattle remains unclear. Two farm-scale and one in vitro experiment (Exp.) were conducted to investigate the effects of salinomycin and virginiamycin, delivered through an MM, on growing bulls grazing tropical pastures. In Exp. 1, 316 zebu (Bos indicus) Nellore bulls (225 ± 26.7 kg liveweight (LW)) were randomly allocated to four treatments: (1) MM no additives (CON), (2) MM with salinomycin at 1950 mg/kg (SLI), (3) MM with salinomycin at 780 mg/kg (SHI), and (4) MM with virginiamycin at 1950 mg/kg (VGN). Over 123 days, these bulls grazed tropical grasses on pastures of guinea grass, palisade grass, or Bermuda grass. No significant treatment effects were observed for oocyst eggs or ruminal parameters. Bulls fed VGN had higher average daily gain (ADG) compared to CON (p = 0.02) and SLI (p = 0.03) but similar compared to SHI (p = 0.07). In Exp. 2, 308 zebu cross bulls (237 ± 23.0 kg LW) grazed Bermuda grass paddocks and were allocated into two treatments: (1) MM with no additives (CON) and (2) MM containing virginiamycin at 2522 mg/kg (VGN). Cattle fed VGN had a significantly higher ADG (p = 0.007). Exp. 3 tested salinomycin’s effectiveness in vitro at different exposure times to MM, revealing no impact of exposure time on short-chain fatty acid production. In conclusion, virginiamycin delivered through free-choice MM can increase grazing beef bulls’ ADG by 12% compared with CON, with no clear link to rumen fermentation or coccidiostat effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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11 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Effect of Creep Feeding Supplementation on Growth Performance and Metabolic Characteristics of Nellore Heifers
by Robert T. da Paixão, Edenio Detmann, Marcos I. Marcondes, Jarbas M. da Silva Júnior and Claudia B. Sampaio
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 457-467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040037 - 4 Dec 2023
Viewed by 836
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effects of creep feeding supplementation during the preweaning phase on the growth performance and metabolic characteristics of Nellore heifers. Forty-two female Nellore calves (age = 100 ± 25 d; initial body weight (BW) = [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effects of creep feeding supplementation during the preweaning phase on the growth performance and metabolic characteristics of Nellore heifers. Forty-two female Nellore calves (age = 100 ± 25 d; initial body weight (BW) = 113.4 ± 16.6 kg) were randomly assigned to the following treatments: control, where calves received mineral mix supplementation (n = 21); supplemented in creep feeding, where calves received 6 g/kg BW of a concentrate supplement (n = 21) during a period of 140 d. In the postweaning phase, all heifers received 6 g/kg BW of a concentrate supplement during a period of 210 d. Supplemented heifers had a greater average daily gain (ADG) than control heifers during the preweaning phase and, consequently, were heavier at weaning and at the end of the growing phase (p < 0.05). However, preweaning supplementation did not influence (p > 0.05) the body measurements or BW at the end of the growing period. Greater (p < 0.05) rib fat was observed in supplemented heifers. Concentrations of metabolites were not affected by preweaning supplementation (p > 0.05). Thus, supplementing heifers in the preweaning phase improved growth performance of weaning and body adiposity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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13 pages, 1228 KiB  
Article
Effects of Feeding 60% Dried Corn Distillers’ Grains or the Equivalent Sulfur as CaSO4 on DNA Integrity and Gene Expression in Yearling Angus Bull Sperm
by Cierrah J. Kassetas, Tom W. Geary, Abby L. Zezeski, Joel S. Caton, James D. Kirsch, Sheri T. Dorsam, Wellison J. S. Diniz, Kacie L. McCarthy, Matthew S. Crouse, Kevin K. Sedivec, Bryan W. Neville and Carl R. Dahlen
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 286-298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040026 - 1 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
We evaluated the effects of feeding 60% dried corn distillers’ grains plus solubles (DDGS) or the equivalent sulfur as CaSO4 on sperm characteristics and transcript abundance. Thirty-six half-sibling Angus bulls (256 ± 8.5 d; initial BW = 320 ± 2.7 kg) were [...] Read more.
We evaluated the effects of feeding 60% dried corn distillers’ grains plus solubles (DDGS) or the equivalent sulfur as CaSO4 on sperm characteristics and transcript abundance. Thirty-six half-sibling Angus bulls (256 ± 8.5 d; initial BW = 320 ± 2.7 kg) were assigned to one of three treatments: (1) 60% concentrate as corn (CON); (2) 60% DDGS as corn replacement (60DDGS); and (3) CON diet + equivalent sulfur of 60DDGS added as CaSO4 (SULF). The acrosome/cell membrane integrity, mitochondrial energy potential, oxidation status, DNA integrity, and zinc signatures were analyzed via flow cytometry. Sperm-specific gene expression was assessed via RNA sequencing. The flow cytometry data were analyzed using PROC MIXED in SAS to determine the effects of treatment. Pairwise comparisons based on edgeR were used to identify differentially expressed genes. The percentage of polarized mitochondria tended to be greater (p = 0.08) for SULF compared with CON and 60DDGS. Protamine 1 was upregulated (p < 0.01; FDR = 0.10) in 60DDGS compared to CON. Zinc signature 1 in 60DDGS and SULF was reduced (p = 0.03) compared to CON. This study suggests that feeding bulls diets containing 60% DDGS had little effect on DNA integrity and gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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13 pages, 1577 KiB  
Article
A Novel Direct-Fed Microbial for Beef Cattle Has a Supportive Effect against Clostridium perfringens In Vitro and In Vivo
by Octavio Guimaraes, Bruno I. Cappellozza, Lena C. Capern, Jennifer S. Schutz, Charley A. Cull, Oscar Queiroz and Giuseppe Copani
Ruminants 2023, 3(3), 189-201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3030018 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo effects of a novel direct-fed microbial (DFM) containing Lactobacillus animalis LA-51, Propionibacterium freudenreichii PF-24, Bacillus licheniformis CH-200, and Bacillus subtilis King (BOVAMINE DEFEND® Plus) against Clostridium perfringens pathogenic strains. In [...] Read more.
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo effects of a novel direct-fed microbial (DFM) containing Lactobacillus animalis LA-51, Propionibacterium freudenreichii PF-24, Bacillus licheniformis CH-200, and Bacillus subtilis King (BOVAMINE DEFEND® Plus) against Clostridium perfringens pathogenic strains. In Experiment 1 (in vitro), an agar diffusion assay was performed to qualitatively evaluate the in vitro inhibitory effects of the DFM against C. perfringens types A and C. Including the DFM in the tested yielded inhibition zones with greater than three ring diameters in a 96-well plate. In Experiment 2 (in vivo), twenty 1-day-old beef calves were allocated to control (n = 10) or DFM (n = 10) for 21 days. All calves were orally challenged with 1.0 × 108 colony forming units of C. perfringens type A strain S-107 per head. The procedures such as general health scores, body weight, and fecal sample collections were performed following the C. perfringens challenge. Daily feeding of DFM significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhea while improving general impression and appearance scores of calves. Overall, these results highlight the ability of the DFM containing L. animalis LA-51, P. freudenreichii PF-24, B. licheniformis CH-200, and B. subtilis (BOVAMINE DEFEND® Plus) to inhibit C. perfringens types A and C under different experimental settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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Review

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14 pages, 305 KiB  
Review
Stressors Inherent to Beef Cattle Management in the United States of America and the Resulting Impacts on Production Sustainability: A Review
by Toriann Summer Winton, Molly Christine Nicodemus and Kelsey Margaret Harvey
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 227-240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020016 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Stressors are directly related to major events throughout the beef cattle production cycle. Understanding the impact stressors have on productive outcomes is critical for the efficient implementation of management strategies. Such stressors include environmental extremes, nutritional deprivation, and common management procedures. Environmental extremes [...] Read more.
Stressors are directly related to major events throughout the beef cattle production cycle. Understanding the impact stressors have on productive outcomes is critical for the efficient implementation of management strategies. Such stressors include environmental extremes, nutritional deprivation, and common management procedures. Environmental extremes such as thermal stress can disturb gestating cows’ normal physiological responses, hindering reproductive efficiency. Thermal stress during the breeding season can affect embryo development causing a decrease in conception rates, although adjusting the scheduling of breeding activities can minimize losses. Additionally, suboptimal nutrition may negatively impact reproductive performance if management strategies including modifying seasonal grazing practices are not implemented. As gestation progresses, nutrient requirements increase; thus, without appropriate dietary management, poor calf performance, the loss of the body condition score, and reduced reproductive performance may result. While weaning is a common management procedure, this event is another major stress within the production system. Applying efficient strategies such as creep feeding or two-step weaning to mitigate weaning stress can maximize production efficiency. This review will explore in-depth the stressors associated with production events in the beef cattle industry and give insight into researched management strategies targeting these stressors that will improve the sustainability of the production system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
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