United Kingdom Cattle
Dairy Cattle Production in the United Kingdom
There are around 10 million head of cattle in the United Kingdom, of
these almost 4 million are breeding animals. The cattle industry in
the UK involves a closely integrated relationship between the dairy
sector and the beef production sector. Young from the national dairy
herd not required for dairy replacement purposes provides a valuable
stock source for beef production.
Natural and AI Natural and Artifical
Insemenation ( AI ) Matings
Mating in cattle herds can be achieved naturally with the use of a bull
or by artificially by artificial insemination (AI). The latter mating
technique is more commonly used on cows in dairy herds, with beef cows
usually being exposed to natural mating. Unlike horse mating cattle
matings tend to be more or less natural unlike the assisted matings of
The timing of mating determines the desired calving window. Some
producers calve their cows throughout the year, although many have a set
calving period of either spring or autumn.
Cattle can be successfully mated at any stage of the year as long as
they are fit and healthy. Cows need to be at least 2 years of age before
they can calve and have a gestation period of 9 months the same as
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13 July 2008 17:49.