This is going to sound obvious, but this is a ranch or farm operation that consists ofâ€¦well, cows and calves, and maybe a bull or two, but maybe not since farmers sometimes borrow someone elseâ€™s bull or artificially inseminate their cows. The reason there are cows and calves and not much else is that the cows are raised and bred mainly to produce calves usually destined for the beef market. The calves are usually sold to â€œfeedersâ€ or â€œfeedlots.
A management unit that maintains a breeding herd and produces weaned calves.
a system linking forage and herd management decisions
A cow-calf operation maintains a herd of heifers and sells its calves each year. This can be opposed to a stocker operation, in which ranchers buy calves each year and fatten them until they are older and bigger to resell on the market.
A livestock operation in which a base breeding herd of mother cows and bulls is maintained. The cows produce a calf crop each year, and the operation keeps some heifer calves from each calf crop for breeding herd replacements. The rest of the calf crop is sold between the ages of 6 and 12 months along with old or non-productive cows and bulls.