Cattle Feeding: Factors Affecting Shrink
Several factors impact shrink including transit time, transit distance, environmental conditions (weather and transit conditions), cattle handling methods, and cattle management including nutrition. Research indicates that the combined effects of shipping and handling result in greater weight loss than holding cattle off of feed and water alone. Transit shrink in beef steers has been demonstrated to represent as much as 68% of the shrink from the combination of both fasting and transport. Weight loss varies depending on the circumstances, but a good rule of thumb estimate is that about 0.75% of cattle body weight will be lost per day with feed and water deprivation, and the weight loss will not necessarily be the same amount each day. When feed and water are unavailable, study results indicate that cattle shrink about 1% per hour for the first three to four hours and then roughly 0.25% per hour for the next eight to ten hours. This weight loss can increase several-fold when transport stress is added.
As ethanol production rises, so do mycotoxin problems
Tri State Neighbor
While Americans search for cheaper fuel, the damages wrought on the animal agriculture industry is far-reaching.
As has been well-documented, the demand for ethanol is booming throughout the United States, and as a result, raising the price of corn globally. To offset the rise in prices, farmers are using the byproduct from ethanol production, dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to feed their animals.
While this is a great source of protein, it can also present several challenges. One of the most serious challenges is the increased concentration of mycotoxins.
Vaccinate 30-45 days before breeding
Protect against reproductive diseases by vaccinating close to breeding season
What’s one of the most common mistakes made with cowherd vaccination programs? It is administering vaccines for protection against reproductive diseases like IBR, BVD, Vibrio and Lepto at the wrong time, according to veterinarians Daniel Scruggs and Dr. Robin Falkner, who work with cow-calf and stocker producers in the Southeast as part of Pfizer Animal Health’s beef cattle veterinary team.
“We often see reproductive vaccinations given to cows at preg-check time, which is four to six months before the next breeding season. For these vaccines to be effective against reproductive diseases like IBR, Vibrio and Lepto it is always best to administer them close to breeding—usually within 30 to 45 days of breeding,” explains Scruggs.
USDA approves Tri-Merit electronic ear-tags for NAIS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved g.TAG electronic ear-tags for use in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), offering producers greater choice and simplified means for participating in the voluntary NAIS program. Tri-Merit, a single-source animal identification and data management system, is the only USDA-interim approved animal identification database to offer NAIS approved ear tags integrated within the system. The system is powered by Global Animal Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schering-Plough Animal Health.
“The new, electronic ear-tags have been put together with the data system to create a completely integrated, fully approved cohesive package that’s easy for the producer to use. All a producer has to say is “yes” and our system handles the rest for him,” says Jim Heinle, president, Global Animal Management.
Include scrotal circumference in your bull selection criteria
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
Scrotal circumference is a trait that commercial cow calf operators should include in their bull selection criteria. Studies conducted by Cates in 1975 on 1944 bulls indicated that the probability of the beef bull having satisfactory semen quality increased greatly as scrotal circumference increased from 30 to 38 cm.
Publication addresses animal health issues in ‘natural’ programs
Tri Sate Neighbor
BROOKINGS, S.D. – A new publication from South Dakota State University Extension discusses animal health issues to pay attention to when raising cattle for the natural beef market.
SDSU Extension Extra 11020, “Raising Cattle ‘Naturally’ – The Significance of Animal Health” is available online at this link: http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx11020.pdf. Or ask any Extension livestock educator.
UT ag college picks first woman dean
Knoxville News Sentinel
Caula A. Beyl has been named dean of the University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Beyl will be the first female dean of UT’s nearly century old college of agriculture.
Since January Beyl has been serving as interim dean of graduate studies for Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. She previously was director of Alabama A&M’s Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Evaluation.