Developing a pedigreed cattle herd is not a hard thing to do and once established the cattle do not eat anymore than a commercial herd. This may be the cattle farming method for you.
If your objective is to raise pedigreed cattle and supply breeding animals to other cattle producers, it may be necessary to make large capital investments in purebred stock. Development of a registered herd means that both the sire and dam must be purebred and registered with the same national breed association. You must keep accurate records and register the desirable purebred calves to be retained for breeding stock.
If you raise bulls for the beef industry, you must develop a selection program based on characteristics of economic importance, such as fertility, mothering ability, ease of calving, growth rate, and carcass merit. Also, use great care in the selection of breeding females, as considerable time and expense are involved.
Competition is keen with already-established herds. However, there are successful registered herds with only 30 to 50 cattle. As in most all enterprises this one is no exception and the breeder who pays closest attention to details and customer needs will always be the most successful.
Sale of breeding stock is the main source of income from pedigreed cattle. Care and management of pedigreed cattle is more intensive than for commercial cattle. Establishing a breeding herd is a long-range program. It also requires more land than a simple steer or heifer feeding program. Consider how your available resources match your long-term objectives. There must be adequate feed, water, and fences to accommodate a year-round operation.
There are many sources of good cattle, both registered and commercial. Usually it’s best to purchase from a successful and reputable breeder. They usually sell only sound cattle as breeding animals and they are helpful in giving advice to less experienced producers.
If you are inexperienced, it might be best to buy good, young, bred cows that have calved at least once. This reduces problems associated with calving heifers. If you purchase open heifers, you should breed them to a bull that has the genetics for easy calving.
The major concern of cattle producers is profit. Because your entire program depends on the fitness of the breeding animals, it is essential to maintain good herd health by not allowing the cattle to become too fat or too thin. Cows do not milk as well and may have problems calving or getting bred if they are overweight or underweight. Bulls that are not in good condition may perform poorly during the breeding season.