The first half of Reproduction & Animal Health: How to Select, Breed, and Manage a Herd for Health and Performance on Grass by Charles Walters and Gearld Fry discusses how to select cattle for breeding purposes. Cattle consultant Gearld Fry shares the results of a lifetime of hands-on observations on this subject. He discusses how the endocrine system affects fertility and overall health, and how to read the signs that each gland offers. He also examines how assessing body proportions can help you identify structurally sound cattle that will perform well in a grassfed situation.
Next Fry turns his attention to pastures and minerals, discussing how to keep cattle healthy by keeping pastures healthy. He also explains the purposes of different nutrients and what happens when those nutrients are out of balance.
Fry wraps up by offering several options for profiting from your cattle and by examining the state of the cattle industry, including the feedlot, the show ring, and the global trade market.
Reproduction & Animal Health is not a how-to guide for beginners. Instead, it presents a philosophy that challenges the status quo. It raises intriguing questions, such as:
- What are the hidden consequences of a breeding system based on mathematical formulas?
- Is there a way to “read” an animal and predict its future performance?
- Does the show ring help or hurt the cattle industry?
- What makes the difference between bland and superior beef?
- Does pH have a role in cattle health?
- Can the vast number of diseases that affect all types of livestock be avoided?
- What can we learn from the philosophies behind the different cattle breeds?
This book is recommended for those with a serious interest in breeding grassfed cattle. Readers may or may not agree with all of the philosophies presented, but Reproduction & Animal Health can provide an excellent starting point for further thought and research.