May is Beef Month. It’s a time to celebrate all that the beef industry has to offer, regardless of breed or management. To celebrate the industry we all love, I offer you 10 things to share about cattle that your non-ag friends may not know.
- Cattle have fore-stomachs (rumen, reticulum and omasum), not four stomachs. The 4th compartment is the abomasum, which is a true stomach like people have.
- There are 9 states in the US where the number of cattle exceeds the number of people; Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Idaho.
- There are approximately 93.5 million cattle in the US as of Jan 1, 2017.
- Cattle are the ultimate recyclers. A large number of by-products of food manufacturing can be fed to cattle that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Additionally, because of the rumen, they can utilize fibrous forages that non-ruminants (including people) can’t. Who else can turn lawn clippings into steak and ice cream?
- Cattle have 32 teeth. The front of the mouth has teeth on the lower jaw and a dental pad on the top jaw. This allows cattle to rip grass as they graze. Both jaws have molars in the back for grinding food.
- The rumen can have a volume of up to 50 gallons in a large, mature cow.
- The average American consumes 55.7 lbs of beef annually.
- Researchers in the UK determined that the vocalizations cow make to their calves and vice versa have meaning. (read about it here)
- Consumer demand for beef is strong enough to not only support conventionally raised beef, but also grass-fed/finished and organic.
- Cattle can’t see the color red, they only have receptors for yellow and blue. What about the bull fighters? The flapping of the fabric is what attracts the attention of the bull.
While we believe every month is beef month, we raise a barrel to the hard working men and women who are the stewards of the cattle industry. We thank you for your business and look forward to helping find your next measure of success.