I often hear that farmers and ranchers are the nation’s original champions of animal welfare, and I believe it. But, if you’re not weaning and castrating your calves before you sell them, you can’t wear the animal welfare ribbon....More
At a time when producers are watching every dollar tightly, one thing that can’t be taken for granted is reproductive efficiency of the cow herd. With record-low cattle numbers and back-to-back drought years in much of the country, every calf is valuable, and even a single delay in breeding could cost big money....More
There are five major infectious causes of diarrhea in calves less than 21 days of age. These include E. coli K99, rotavirus, coronavirus, Cryptosporidia, and Salmonella species. Noninfectious factors such as insufficient or poor-quality colostrum, poor sanitation, stress and cold weather can also cause or contribute to neonatal calf diarrhea....More
With fall calving season nearing completion and spring calving season just around the corner, now is the time to evaluate your cow herd to help make the calving season go smoother and set your cow herd up for success in the next breeding season....More
Last week, we asked for captions for this image of calving season captured by Lauren Chase. With calving already underway for many cattlemen across the country, I thought it was a fitting photograph to highlight in our January contest....More
Coccidiosis is a protozoan cattle disease that most cattle develop some immunity to, while continuing to shed a few oocysts in their feces. Calves are the most vulnerable because they have the least immunity....More
We’ve all heard the old adage that “the three most important things about real estate are location, location, location.” If I could propose a new quote on neonatal calf disease, it would be: “The three most important things about prevention of neonatal calf disease are environment, environment, environment.”...More
In large pasture situations, beef cows tend to leave the herd and seek more isolation shortly before calving. This behavior has several advantages for the cow and her newborn calf. Isolating herself from the herd allows a cow to calve in seclusion, and the mother-offspring bond can be formed without disturbance by other cows....More
Some producers experience frustrating cases of acute enterotoxemia during calving. This term literally means bacterial toxins in the bloodstream generated by bacteria normally found in the intestine. Under certain conditions, these cattle disease bacteria proliferate rapidly and produce toxins that damage the gut and can kill a calf if not treated quickly....More
Larry Berger, head of the University of Nebraska animal science department, talks about the advantages of early weaning. This video news is provided by Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association. Visit www.CABpartners.com or www.angus.org for more information....More
In normal years, average hay maintains an average beef cow. The hay has protein and energy to maintain body condition and grow a calf. However, this summer's drought may have left heifers and cows in poor body condition, impacting calving success down the road....More
As weaning time approaches, I hope most of you are planning your herd “preg check.” If this fall is any indicator, it appears the cost of feed this fall and winter will be very high. If you have not incorporated this management practice in the past, please do so this year so that you won't be feeding non-productive females this fall and winter....More
Management of reproduction really includes the manipulation of genetics, nutrition, fertility and estrus, and marketing. If you change any one of these, you may change one or all the others. Burke Teichert, former vice president and general manager of Deseret, provides the management ideas he’s found helpful in building whole-herd reproduction and profitability....More
Some heat-stressed cows are delivering premature calves, ahead of normal fall-calving season.
With a heat wave and severe drought, fall-calving season might become as labor intensive as winter calving, say University of Missouri Extension specialists. Farmers who have calved both spring and fall prefer the normally trouble-free ease of fall calving.
"Cows under stress need to be watched closely," says David Patterson, MU beef reproduction specialist.
July’s cattle-on-feed report represented a slight rise in the feedlot heifer population vs. last year. The overall trend during the past several years has been relatively flat – hovering around 37%-38%....More
Sometimes weaning calves early can benefit both the pasture and cattle. Greg Lardy, North Dakota State University Animal Science Depart-ment head and professor, says early weaning can be an effective drought-management tool, as well as a way to save feed costs....More
Each year, beef producers are injured by overly aggressive cows at calving time. In fact, 23 people were killed by cows over a recent 15-year period in Canada. In the U.S., injury reporting by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 14% of fatalities caused by cattle are due to beef cows with calves....More
It’s hard to argue with win-win situations in life. Even better are win-win-win situations. Preconditioning (PC) calves fits the win-win-win scenario.
The first win of PC is the calf’s health and welfare. The research studies are solid on the health and welfare benefits to PC calves – there’s less morbidity and less mortality in the feedlot....More
Over the past 10 months, I’ve presented strategies to make most ranches more profitable. Among them are: planned, time-controlled grazing; utilizing heterosis with composite or hybrid bulls to simplify mating plans and facilitate grazing management; calving in sync with nature, which most likely will differ from one location to another; increasing grazing days and minimizing or eliminating feeding days; using strategic or selective supplementation to just take the roughest edges off the natural environment; and selecting cows to fit your environment....More
The Maddux family has been ranching in the Nebraska Sandhills for four generations. Along the way, they learned a thing or two about innovation and genetic improvement, which earned the Wauneta, NE operation the honor of being named the 2012 Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year....More
While the tradition of calving season can be enjoyable, even nostalgic, for those who take part in it year in and year out, there's another side to the season, as well: one of industry and economics....More