Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University


Beef Production for Small Farms 

Covers three general types of small-scale cattle enterprises: 1) breeding herds, 2) growing and feeding operations, and 3) combinations of growing, feeding, and breeding herds. For growing and feeding enterprises, discusses steer/heifer operations and stocker (backgrounding) operations. For breeding herds, explains how to develop a registered herd or a commercial herd, how to purchase cattle, and how to manage a cow-calf herd. Describes how to design facilities, maintain equipment, feed beef cattle, prevent common cattle diseases (such as respiratory diseases, white muscle disease, brucellosis, external parasites, and internal parasites), market animals, understand beef grades, and keep records. Includes a glossary of terms and a list of sources of additional information. Oregon State University, January 2000.

Guide to Raising Healthy Beef Cattle 

If you are thinking about raising beef cattle on a small scale, this publication will help you consider key aspects of the operation. Covers production system and breed selection, facilities, feeding, livestock purchasing, regulations, and more. University of Wisconsin, 2009.

Beef Cow-Calf Management Guide 

Includes guidelines for health, nutrition, and reproductive management, with specific recommendations organized into a four-part yearly production cycle: lactation, breeding, and pregnancy; midgestation and weaning; precalving; and calving. Oregon State University, April 2004

How to Direct Market Your Beef 
This publication portrays how one couple used its family’s ranch to launch a profitable, grass-based beef operation focused on direct market sales. Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, 2005

Cattle Vaccines: Recommendations and Available Products 
This publication is designed as a quick reference guide to commercial cattle vaccines. It is intended as a guide only, and should not be used as a substitute for the instructions and guidelines on the manufacturer’s label and package insert. University of Wisconsin Extension, 2004