Raising Beef Cattle For Dummies (Review)

I don’t know why this book was displayed in the “New Books” section at the Norfolk (Nebraska) Public Library. The copyright is listed as 2012. I found it next to the new books about caring for cats. I placed Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies back on the shelf and continued browsing through other book titles.

Curiosity gained the upper hand, so I went back to the pet shelf and pulled out the cattle raising book.  I mentally laughed at the irony of a vegetarian checking out a book about raising livestock for meat. I reasoned that it might give me some insight about some of my acquaintances who farm and raise livestock.  Besides, Nebraska’s old license plate motto used to be “The Beef State”. Because we live in a state with a predominantly agricultural economy, many Nebraskans take farms and feedlots for granted.

My ancestors were farmers. Even though I was raised in towns, I did get a small amount of farming knowledge from short visits to my maternal grandparents’ small farm. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn animal husbandry close up, nor did I have beefcattle-02the desire.  As a budding vegetarian, livestock farming was the furthest thing from my mind. That is the background of the person tapping out this review for you.

Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies by Nikki and Scott Royer shares the same basic layout and format of other “For Dummies” books. There are the familiar icons and sidebars we know plus cartoons at the beginnings of the chapters. If you’ve read other “For Dummies” books, you’ll be familiar with the organization of this book, too.

Any livestock farming operation is highly labor and cash intensive.  Anybody who is considering starting a livestock operation must realize they must commit themselves to a lot of hands-on physical work.  They will also need to learn sophisticated business skills. Raising cattle is pretty much a 24/7 proposition. Hence, this book can only be a reference guide.  There is no way it can substitute for actual experience and an agriculture college education.

Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies is a good tool for veteran and aspiring farmers, cattlewomen/cattlemen, veterinarieans, managers of businesses catering to livestock operations, agriculture journalists, and regular people who really want to know what it’s like to raise cattle for a living.

The range of topics is all inclusive. The first part of the book introduces the various breeds and descriptions of bovine animals. Next the authors tell how to prepare the land and buildings in order to accomodate a herd. There is a section on care and veterinary needs of the cattle. The next part goes into the nitty gritty of the business end of a cattle operation. The final part is a list of mistakes to avoid when raising a herd of cattle.

Even though this book is not a comprehensive study of beef cattle husbandry, it is a satisfactory overview of what is needed to raise beef cattle. The book covers every important aspect of beef cattle only, not dairy cattle. beefcattle-03

I’m glad the Royers decided to write their book as a “For Dummies”, because it allowed me to read and ruminate small portions at a time, at my own pace. I now have a better overview of how to have better discussions with my farming friends.

The Royer family is well qualified to write on this subject. They own an Indiana farm on which they raise cattle, hogs, sheep, and chickens. Nikki is a life-long cattlewoman who showed her first calf when she was only six-years-old.  Scott has worked in the livestock feed business and is a livestock scientist. Nikki and Scott are graduates of Purdue University School of Agriculture. They bring their years of experience and family traditions together in the writing of Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies.

I’m glad I read this book.  I still do not want to raise livestock, but now I know a lot more about my farming friends and the cattle they raise. This book gets a thumbs up.

{ Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies by Nikki Royer and Scott Royer; 360 pages published July 3, 2012 by For Dummies; ISBN: 978-0-470-93061-8 }

1984aThe Blue Jay of Happiness quotes popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher. “The cobs were delivered to a big pile. We were one of the first to feed corn cobs to cattle.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Books, cultural highlights, Hometown, Science and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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