Daily Archives: April 24, 2007

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Banding Vs. Cutting

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Banding Vs. Cutting


It is not unusual to find 60 percent of the male calves that arrive at the sale barns have not been castrated. The least stressful time to castrate a bull calf is during the first week of life, but that may not be the most practical time. Nevertheless, all bull calves should be castrated.

Both banding and cutting techniques work well, and selection is based upon the preference of the producer. Cutting works better with smaller calves.

It is important to make sure that the cutting instrument is cleaned with a disinfectant between animals. When cutting larger calves, the cord to the testicles should be crimped to avoid excessive bleeding.


Cattle Identification: Experience With How Systems Work In Livestock Markets

Cattle Identification: Experience With How Systems Work In Livestock Markets


By working closely with five Kansas Pilot study livestock markets as they adopted NAIS compliant reader systems, a number of things have been learned. All five livestock markets had unanticipated problems they had to overcome to develop a successful system. Initially, a wide range of ID tag read rates on individual animals was experienced among the livestock markets during their first reading cycle. If a livestock market had unsatisfactory ID tag read rates, the facility worked with the technology provider to fix the problems.

Several of the livestock market managers included in the study were concerned prior to installation that the RFID system would slow down the rate of their sale. After completing actual sales at five livestock markets using the new RFID technology system, managers at all five livestock markets indicated they have experienced little to no change in the speed of sale when using the RFID system.


Purdue Outlook: Beef Sector Must Pass-On Higher Feed Costs

Purdue Outlook: Beef Sector Must Pass-On Higher Feed Costs


Beef producers seem to understand that they will have to reduce the number of females in the herd in order to reduce beef production by 2009 and thereby pass higher feed costs to beef consumers. That process appears to be started, but will take some time.

For now, there are more cattle in feedlots than had been expected. On April 1, the USDA estimated there were 11.6 million head of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or greater capacity. This is the second highest April total on record. Placements into feedlots during March were up by seven percent. The large placements appear to be related to the low number of smaller calves put into feedlots last fall and winter. Those calves have now grown and are entering feedlots at heavier weights. As an example, from November 2006 through February 2007 placements of calves weighing less than 600 pounds were down 21 percent as corn prices were booming. The data for March show that placements of calves weighing over 700 pounds were up 11 percent. In addition, lower corn prices may have helped stimulate March placements. May corn futures, for example, dropped $.61 per bushel in March, although $.20 came on the last day of the month. Of equal importance was the strength of live cattle futures. August futures were as low as $88 in early February, but rallied to highs above $95 in March.


Pinkeye Therapy

Pinkeye Therapy


Last month we discussed fly control methods.  One of the important aspects of fly control is decreasing face fly infestations as a method of helping to prevent pinkeye in cattle.  Another aid in the prevention of pinkeye is to clip the pastures if grass is too long and headed out.  This will decrease much of the irritation to the cattle’s eyes that can initiate the beginnings of a pinkeye outbreak.  The irritation of dust, plant pollen, or weed seeds will promote the heavy shedding of the pinkeye bacteria (Moraxella bovis) by a few “carrier cows” in the herd.  These carriers spread the organism by contact and face flies to the rest of the herd and the susceptible animals will become infected and have clinical pinkeye.

If pinkeye cases do occur, what are the treatment options?  One of the professors in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis has completed several years of research on this subject.  Dr. Lisle George has examined several methods to treat pinkeye and these and other methods are summarized below.

First, if you are going to examine the eye for a foxtail or other weed—use disposable latex exam gloves.  You can obtain these from your veterinarian or other animal health product source.  After you have touched the eye (extracted the foxtail or treated the eye) or nose area, throw the gloves away.  They are badly contaminated with the pinkeye bacteria.  If you used a halter or nose tongs to restrain the animal, disinfect this equipment.  Nolvasan® disinfectant is a good choice for this procedure.  For treatment, use disposable needles and syringes for any treatments.



Mineral program choices for Oklahoma Cow Herds

Mineral program choices for Oklahoma Cow Herds

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Mineral nutrition for many cow herd operators remains a mystery.  According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Integrated Resource Management data, mineral costs per cow per year vary from zero to $44.  Occasionally mineral programs are purchased with the hope of solving deeper problems.  No single recommendation for minerals can be made for all situations.  As decisions about mineral programs are being made, an important suggestion to remember is ‘IF IT IS NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT’.  If reproductive rates and health in the herd are quite high (greater than 90% weaning rate for cows exposed to bulls), adding additional expense by choosing a more expensive mineral program has little chance of improving net income. 


Nervous Cattle Wreck Profit Potential

Nervous Cattle Wreck Profit Potential

The Bottom Line

Black Ink

The relationship between disposition and postweaning calf value illustrates the economics of attitude. Calm cattle reduce injuries and facility damage, stay healthier, perform better on feed and earn higher grid premiums. Their more aggressive pen mates are leaner, but producers pay for higher death loss, carcass quality discounts and higher feed-to-gain ratios. Temperament is affected by human contact, handling technique and facilities, and subject to rapid improvement by genetic selection.


Advanced reproductive technologies open breeding and marketing

Advanced reproductive technologies open breeding and marketing

Angus Journal

Many registered Angus breeders have elite females from which they can market valuable genetics and offspring. With the use of advanced reproductive technologies, more offspring can be propagated to help multiply the success of breeding and marketing programs. While many breeders are familiar with embryo transfer (ET) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), they may not be aware of new technologies that advance the opportunities available with IVF.


The Sex Ratio Riddle

The Sex Ratio Riddle

By Rupert Amann & George Seidel, Jr.

Beef Magazine

Predetermining the sex of calves has been one of the most intriguing and sought-after technologies in the cattle industry for decades. Most of the attention has been in “sorting” sperm into groups bearing X and Y chromosomes in order to facilitate the exclusive production of either male or female calves.

Such sexed sperm is commercially available, but the only procedure that’s both accurate (about 90%) and practical uses an expensive device called a flow cytometer sorter. This equipment separates X from Y chromosome-bearing sperm. X-sperm produce females and Y-sperm produce males.


Cattle get reflective ear tags to prevent collisions

Cattle get reflective ear tags to prevent collisions

By Nate Carlisle

The Salt Lake Tribune

FRY CANYON – Cattle grazing on the open range along State Route 95 in San Juan County are sporting new ear tags.

    Made from the same material as road signs, the tags are designed to prevent motorists from hitting cows at night.

    Rancher Sandy Johnson, who has grazing permits along State Route 95, said he lost about 10 cows in a year to collisions with cars but has not lost any since November, when he began putting the tags on his cattle.

    Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Eldredge, who polices San Juan County, said he came up with the idea five or six years ago and delivered some to a rancher a with range between Bluff and Montezuma Creek. He began delivering new batches to Johnson last year after a series of accidents with his herd, which numbers about 350.


U.S. Cattle on Feed Down One Percent

U.S. Cattle on Feed Down One Percent


Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on April 1, 2007. The inventory was 1 percent below April 1, 2006 but 7 percent above April 1, 2005. This is the second highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.


Cattle Health: What Should Producers Do After A BVD Outbreak?

Cattle Health: What Should Producers Do After A BVD Outbreak?


After an outbreak of BVD, producers must continue to be watchful to make sure that BVD does not become a chronic problem on the farm. Here are some points that producers should know about:


Your vaccination program is the best protection that you can give cattle against BVD. Cattle that have been infected with BVD do not have long lasting immunity. So it is important that producers all cattle and keep booster vaccinations up to date. Use vaccines according to the recommendations on the label unless your veterinarian makes different recommendations. Calves, heifers and cows that have not been vaccinated before will need a double vaccination the first time they are vaccinated with a killed vaccine.


Raising quality meat cattle is labor of love for couple

Raising quality meat cattle is labor of love for couple

By Heather Stanek

The Fon Du Lac Reporter

AUPUN — To farmers Erika Jensen and Joel Goodlaxson, healthy meat starts with energetic, well-fed calves.

The 161-year-old Hickory Ridge Farm, at W9502 Oak Center Road, Waupun, is home to 16 young beef steers. Jensen and Goodlaxson also have older cattle to provide meat for customers.

Goodlaxson said the animals may not be certified organic, but he and Jensen try to raise them using the healthiest methods possible. Animals eat few grains and lots of good-quality hay, even though some curious ones enjoy an occasional nibble on people’s sleeves or jeans.


Officials confident tainted pet food has not contaminated Oregon feedlots

Officials confident tainted pet food has not contaminated Oregon feedlots

The Oregonian

Oregon agriculture officials expressed confidence today that pet food tainted with an industrial chemical has not made it into feedlots around the state.

“Salvage pet food has not been utilized in livestock feeds” in Oregon, said Richard Teneyck, feed specialist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “It helps not having pet food plants in Oregon.”

Last week, California officials quarantined a specialty hog farm in Ceres, south of Sacramento, after melamine was detected in the urine and feed of the animals. The chemical was traced to salvage pet food that the operation, American Hog Farm, acquired from a Diamond Pet Foods plant in Lathrop, Calif.

A co-owner of the farm said it was highly unlikely that suspect pork had reached Oregon.


Questions about Horse Slaughter

Questions about Horse Slaughter 

by Anthony Welsch

KIMT News 3

It’s a bill that’s already passed through both the US House and Senate.  Problem is, it’s never gone through both in the same legislative session, so it’s never gotten to the president’s desk.  The bill would make horse slaughter for human consumption illegal.  Horse is considered a delicacy in many European countries.

This year, many think the bill could finally make it to President Bush and become law— possibly even this week.  But the Horse Slaughter Protection Act isn’t as good as it might seem according to some North Iowa horse lovers.


Washington, Tokyo agree on new inspections for U.S. beef exporters

Washington, Tokyo agree on new inspections for U.S. beef exporters



(AP) – TOKYO-The United States has agreed to let Japanese officials inspect American meatpacking plants, a step that could ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports, Japanese officials said Tuesday.

Citing concerns about mad cow disease, Japan tightly controls U.S. beef imports, allowing cuts only from cattle 20 months old or younger.


US beef back in South Korea after rejected shipments

US beef back in South Korea after rejected shipments

Thanhnien News

A shipment of US beef landed in South Korea on Monday, the first since Seoul rejected tons of the product due to the discovery of tiny bone chips, triggering trade tensions with Washington.

South Korea, which struck a free trade deal with the United States earlier this month, had ordered the return of all 22 tons of beef sent in three shipments at the end of 2006 after finding bone fragments the size of peas and grains of rice.

South Korean quarantine officials said they have changed their guidelines and will not reject all 6.4 tons of beef that arrived on Monday if bone chips are found, but only the packages containing chips.


Effort to beef up livestock fraud laws gets stampeded

Effort to beef up livestock fraud laws gets stampeded


Bismarck Tribune

An effort by North Dakota’s largest rancher group to strengthen the penalties for livestock fraud has been overrun by opponents who feared sloppy paperwork might turn an honest rancher into a felon.

“The penalty has to fit the crime,” said Rep. Shirley Meyer, D-Dickinson, who sponsored the legislation and later turned against it after it went far beyond what she had envisioned. “I don’t want to put my friends and neighbors and fellow ranchers in prison for losing their paperwork.”