Cattle Books Best Sellers

Boy was I ever surprised when I decided to go to the book department best sellers area on Amazon and search for cattle. Shown below are the top 10 best sellers at the time I did my research. It will surely change, no way I can believe they will stay in top 10 very long.

Click on arrow and the books will rotate around the carrousel. Click on the book cover to go direct to the book on Amazon for more information. Also see short blurb about each item below.

Update:
Less than 24 hours after I first uploaded this webpage I discovered this Cattle Books site that is nothing but cattle books and there are hundreds of titles available. I highly recommend you check it out now, just click this Cattle Books link.


1.  The Story of Ferdinand

"Ferdinand" is one of the best-loved children's books of all time, and with good reason. This timeless tale of a little bull in Spain who doesn't mind being different from the rest of the herd strikes an instant chord in youngsters and oldsters alike. Ferdinand is a gentle creature who would rather sit around and smell the flowers than butt his way through life; but when he planks himself down one day on a bumblebee, he gets a jolt that propels him into the bullring in Madrid. The story is funny and endearing, and the illustrations are hilarious. Generations of preschoolers have loved this book, and it looks good for generations to come.

2.  Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game

Put bluntly; killing and butchering animals is not a pleasant business. Anyone who has hunted or helped slaughter on a farm can attest to this. You just have to jump in and do it.

Ironically, or perhaps most fittingly, this book was written by a veterinarian. I had a couple of chuckles about that fact.

This is a very "how to" book, so is really not meant to be casually read. The information provided is practical and well presented to make the process easier.

The author handles what some may consider a sensitive subject with honesty and straight-forward thinking. He also provides numerous tips and how-tos when it comes to handling and butchering several different kinds of animals.

While every hunter may not need this book, it sure provides a lot of help and suggestions. If you are going to be butchering a wide variety of animals (pigs, cows, deer, etc.), this is definitely the book for you.

3.  Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Click, Clack, Moo recently won the Caldecott award, and is very deserving of that honor. I enthusiastically endorse it for your children aged from 2 through 6. This book will be considered a classic children's tale within five years.

Many great children's books start from the point of view of role reversals. You take objects or animals and make them be like humans. But no one could have developed a funnier idea along those lines than having typing cows who lead a general strike on a farm.

"Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type."
"All day long he hears. Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety clack, moo."
"At first, he couldn't believe his ears."

But it gets worse. One day he receives a typewritten note that says:

"Dear Farmer Brown,
The barn is very cold at night. We'd like some electric blankets.
Sincerely,
The Cows"

Farmer Brown makes the mistake of treating the cows like cows. He tells them, "No way." They type up a note and put it on the barn door. "Sorry. We're closed. No milk today."

The next day, another note appeared.

"Dear Farmer Brown,
The hens are cold too. They'd like electric blankets.
Sincerely,
The Cows"

The negotiations continue toward a hilarious conclusion.

Each of these letters to Farmer Brown cannot help but inspire gales of uncontrollable laughter among your tykesters. The ending may actually cause laughter-induced pain because it is so hilarious.

The illustrations are particularly appealing. Ms. Lewin has drawn them to be large in features, vivid, bold, and colorful. They make the story more intense by capturing both a sense of movement and the personality of the characters. This is one of the best illustrated stories I have ever seen for preschoolers. That is important, because the illustrations carry a heavy burden as you first read this story to your child. No one has ever seen a typing cow, so the illustrations help fill in the gaps. Naturally, you will see opportunities to handle side issues like "how would a cow type, if a cow could type?"

Interestingly, Ms. Cronin is an attorney who also collects antique typewriters. Anyone who has ever been part of a labor negotiation will quickly recognize the universal truths around which she has structured this delightful story. I suspect that she has been part of one or two.

After you and your child become familiar with the story, I suggest that you think together about what is the right thing to do with regard to animals who do not send you typewritten letters. It is never too early for children to learn about each person's responsibility to live in harmony with our fellow creatures and to properly care for them.

4.  You Can Farm

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise

In YOU CAN FARM, Joel Salatin describes just how he runs his farm and why. By sticking to the example of his own experience and his own farm, he paints a vivid, detailed, and obviously accurate picture of how he makes his living from farming, and how you can, too.

Most of the farm activities he recommends require little up-front investment or experience. One can start small and expand as one learns the ropes.

We've used many of Salatin's ideas on our farm in Oregon, and they've worked very well for us, and we know a lot of other people who've put them to work as well.

Other writers focus too much on the romance and political correctness of ecologically responsible farming. But romance and political correctness don't pay the bills. "Sustainable agriculture" has to sustain the farmer as well as the land, or it's nothing but a snare and a delusion. Salatin shows a proven path to success and profitability.

5.  Barnyard in Your Backyard

A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cattle

Excellent book for someone starting to raise livestock either for the first time or after a long absence. Basic information presented in an easy to read and understand format. Gives a good basic understanding of what is needed for the various types of livestock covered. Though I personally would have wished perhaps a bit more depth in some areas overall I found it to be an excellent read and well worth it as an reference book.

You can't get all-inclusive with this many species in one book, but this book comes awfully close. An amazing introduction to basic animal care. Definitely check this out before you bring home those cute chicks, or rabbits, or goats! Also excellent for cattle (beef and dairy) and more!

Very thorough, very easy to read. Covers a wide range of animals that you might like to consider keeping. Both high level and detailed information in one volume to suit the kind of inquiry you may be making. Excellent.

6.  Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle

This book really packs a wallop. So much valuable information packed into one book that could only be written by someone who has "seen it all". Not only is purely technical information given, but Thomas gives great insight into cattle psychology which is a great boon in helping a cattleman to work safely around these large animals. Thomas has left no stone unturned and this book should be well read and dog-eared by every beef cattle farmer.

I am a novice rancher who bought 37 calves at an auction. At one point I had 15 sick calves on my hands, primitive corrals, and the whole town laughing at me. Tonight, I can honestly say the worst is past. My brother and I doctored ten bad eyes, saved a bloat case, doctored a footrot immediately and effectively, and saved at least five extremely ill pneumonic calves, while vaccinating, branding, and eartaging the whole bunch. Without this book and the thorough, intelligent, and courageous instructions it gives to the cattleman, I would have lost a good part of my herd, all my joy for ranching along with them. As it is, the town isn't laughing anymore and starting to wonder where we came up with all those good ideas they're seeing popping up on our place.

When we started raising beef cattle a couple of years ago, we had a difficult time finding information on the subject. This book has been an invaluable reference, covering a variety of subjects from breeding and feed to healthcare and handling. The book is well-written and well-organized, and it's clear that the author has years of real experience to draw upon.

7.  Grass-Fed Cattle

I've read everything on raising grass-fed cattle from Allan Nation and Jim Garrish to Joel Salatin and I have to say, this is the most comprehensive guide to setting up a grass-fed beef business I've found.

You can only fully appreciate this book if you are actually trying to raise grass-fed animals. Each time I run into a difficulty with my herd or the land my cattle are grazing, I find sound guidance to the problem in this book. For instance, the section on managing the calving season on pasture (a topic I haven't seen mentioned in other books) seems particularly brilliant to me after having spent a day looking for a hidden calf.

If you are just setting up a grass-fed business this is the book to have. Julius Ruechel guides you in putting the pieces of land, vegetation, water, animals, and seasons together with human management to create a system that reflects and capitalizes on the synergistic complexity of nature while fully respecting all of her living components.

The only caution I would add is that it is a big continent, and no book can fully reflect the variations in climate, terrain, and scale found here. So you will need to adapt some of the advice to reflect your local conditions.

I respectfully disagree with the above reviewer that suggests that only other cattle owners can appreciate this book. Personally, I found it fascinating, and I don't have any animal larger than a dog. 'Grass-Fed Cattle' is comprehensive and thorough, explaining not just how to raise cattle on grass (all year round!) but WHY-- which is what makes it a worthwhile read for anyone interested in ecology, human and animal health, and/ or the way we eat. I picked this up just after reading Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore's Dilemma', which talks quite a bit about grass-fed versus corn-fed beef.

There are many aspects to the book that a non-farmer can appreciate. The compexity of such an operation, for one; the level of respect the author has for cows, for another. If you are not already eating grass-fed beef, this book will certainly be a push in that direction. The business perspective is interesting, too; I never realized that it was possible to rent grazing lands or that the cattle market had a 10-12 year price cycle.

Oh, and the few pages on picking out fertile cows and bulls is unintentionally hilarious if you're willing to step back and apply the same criteria to oneself...

8.  How to Build Animal Housing

60 Plans for Coops, Hutches, Barns, Sheds, Pens, Nestboxes, Feeders, Stanchions, and Much More

Cows and horses, donkeys and mules, sheep and goats, pigs and fowl, even llamas are living on small farms and in backyard barnyards throughout the United States. But how and where are these critters being housed?

Author Carol Ekarius knows. In How to Build Animal Housing, she provides dozens of plans--with illustrated, step-by-step instructions--for species-specific shelters that are well ventilated, safe, appropriate for the animals, appealing, convenient, and a solid value for their owners.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in animal health and welfare. It includes complete plans and step-by-step, illustrated instructions for sheds, coops, hutches, multipurpose barns, and economical easy-to-build windbreaks and shade structures. Ekarius covers new high-tech, portable structures made of plastics and fabrics, such as hoop houses and hen spas, as well as more traditional alternatives, such as straw-bale structures. Always practical, she enumerates the advantages and disadvantages of ready-to-build kits and modular barnyard buildings and includes designs for watering systems, feeders, chutes, stanchions, and more--the essentials that help owners keep their animals healthy and happy.

Ekarius wisely emphasizes the importance of careful planning, choosing an appropriate housing site, and complying with local zoning regulations; pest control, basic housing maintenance, and insurance costs are also discussed. Real-world advice from farmers and veterinarians on the types of housing and facilities animals like best enliven the text throughout.

How to Build Animal Housing is the most comprehensive and useful guide of its kind. For small-scale farmers, hobby farmers, do-it-yourselfers, and animal lovers, this book is indispensable.

9.  14 Cows for America

There is no nation so powerful that it cannot be deeply wounded and there is no nation so small that it cannot provide solace. In the aftermath of the attacks on the United States on 9-11 many people and nations expressed sorrow and a willingness to help. One of the smallest "nations" to do so was the Maasai people of Kenya. A nomadic group of cattle herders, they consider their cattle to be life and they made a gift of fourteen cows to the United States. It is a very touching story, one that makes you realize that it is possible for even the most powerful nation to gain strength from and win the hearts of the most "primitive" of cultures.

This book was purchased by me, grandmother of nine, to share with all of my grandchildren. I purchased four copies, one for each family. I wrapped each one to make it special and took it with me when I visited them. We read it all together, taking turns reading. The children ranged in age from 7 to 15. We all read, we all talked about the book and we all loved it!

10. Making Your Small Farm Profitable

Apply 25 Guiding Principles/Develop New Crops & New Markets/Maximize Net Profits Per Acre

The author has written a good beginning reference guide for the small farmer. Just be aware that by small, he means very small scale. So, if the reader is contemplating part-time farming on 80 or 160 acres, this is a really great book. If the reader is involved in larger-scale operations, the excellent niche advice in this book won't likely do the trick. This isn't really a fault of the book, one just needs to know for whom it's written.

The best advice in the book is that small farmers should have a business plan that will allow a farm to be financially viable. Forget stockmarket-like returns, farming is a tough business. Stand alone cash flows from land investment rarely are greater than maybe three-to-five percent at best. Most successful operations leverage equipment investment by tenant farming or land leasing in order to make a decent return. Passive land investment is even less lucractive.

And, smaller owner/operators and part-timers have it harder still. The author offers a few excellent ideas that may help the really small farmer make a go of it.

This exercise in making a business plan is a very practical reality check, that will make aspirant farmers go into the business with their eyes open.

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