Daily Archives: April 6, 2007

Are You Prepared To Document Your Animal Welfare?

Are You Prepared To Document Your Animal Welfare?

 By Troy Marshall
Beef Magazine

This week, Burger King announced its plans to eliminate the use of crates among its pork and poultry suppliers. Cynics will say the chain is talking the talk more than walking the walk, as its initial plans are to procure only 2% of its eggs and 10% of its pork from such sources, but Burger King is a very big customer for eggs and pork.

It’s true that Burger King can’t procure enough of such product at the current time, but the chain is among a growing number of food providers responding to consumer demands. It may be activist groups that are driving the animal welfare bus, and their goals may be drastically different from those of cattlemen, but it would be a mistake to not appreciate that the American consumer is the engine of growth for this movement.


Effects of Calving Difficulty and Confined Calving on Calf Sickness

Effects of Calving Difficulty and Confined Calving on Calf Sickness

  Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

         USDA and Kansas State researchers surveyed 2490 beef herds in 23 states to study the impact of management factors on calf sickness from birth to weaning.  Herds that reported more than 10% of the calves becoming sick from scours, respiratory illness, pinkeye, or footrot were classified as “high sickness herds”.


Can livestock, ethanol co-exist?

Can livestock, ethanol co-exist?

 By Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff
American Cowman Magazine

Can ethanol production of 8 billion to 10 billion gallons per year and livestock production live in harmony in the U.S.? And, if so, who will pay the price of competition?

These were among questions in hot debate at the recent annual meeting of the Virginia Soybean, Corn and Grain Association in New Kent, VA.

On one side of the debate was Doug Anderson, vice-president of Smithfield Foods, who contends a high percentage of ethanol plants will go broke, economically choking on the high price of corn. And, U.S. consumers will pay the high price of pork and other meat products.


Difficult birth lowers immunity

Difficult birth lowers immunity

 Drovers (Registration Required)

 Calves born after dystocia are at greater risk of failing to get adequate colostrum than calves born without difficulty, says University of Nebraska-Lincoln animal scientist Rick Rasby. Calves with a difficult birth do not consume as much colostrum from natural sucking as calves born without difficulty, and they often suffer from severe respiratory acidosis.

“These calves are less efficient at absorbing colostral immunoglobulins, even if artificially fed colostrum,” Rasby says. “The amount of immuno-globulin ingested also is a major detriment of serum immunoglobulin concentration.”


Farmers, Doctors Spar Over Cow Antibiotics

Farmers, Doctors Spar Over Cow Antibiotics


 Emerald, Wis. Farmers who want the latest and best antibiotics to treat their dairy cows are finding themselves at odds with doctors concerned a new drug could prompt the evolution of a super-bacteria that could threaten human health.

Farmers like John Vrieze are looking to the Food and Drug Administration to approve cefquinome, a powerful antibotic that could combat “shipping fever,” a pneumonia-like illness commonly found in cows.

“If she gets sick and needs an antibiotic, we ought to be able to give her the latest, best, technologically advanced antibiotic we can,” said Vrieze, who runs the 2,600-head Emerald Dairy farm.


Horse owners will be stuck paying the bill

Horse owners will be stuck paying the bill


“The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, many long years ago.”

As fond as people are of horses, sometimes folks forget these beasts don’t live forever. Something’s got to be done with old Nellie and other has-been horses when their useful lives are over.

A trip to an American slaughterhouse no longer is in the picture.

Opponents of slaughtering horses for human consumption overseas won a victory in federal court that shut down America’s last horse slaughterhouse in DeKalb. They also stand poised to pass a bill in the Illinois House to ban horse slaughtering when the meat will be eaten by people.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Strategies To Keep Calves Healthy

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Strategies To Keep Calves Healthy


 There are three strategies designed to prevent disease from entering or occurring in a backgrounding yard or feedlot:

Prevent or limit the introduction of infected cattle.

Buy calves from verified sources with a proven record of healthy animals.

Minimize exposure to infectious disease.