Monthly Archives: May 2007

Effect of Breed, Feeding Regime and Weather on Feeding Behavior and Performance of Cattle

Effect of Breed, Feeding Regime and Weather on Feeding Behavior and Performance of Cattle

Ropin’ the Web

            Feedlot cattle are comprised of both beef and dairy breeds. Differences in carcass characteristics, body size, and efficiencies of gain between these breeds have long been noted. One study reported that Holsteins are 13% more efficient than Herefords and another reported that there was a 13% reduction in gain/unit of feed for Holstein over Char steers. Other researchers concluded that the beef progeny of holstein cows required 27% more feed per kg gain than beef progeny.

However, differences in breed feeding behaviours and how these differences might affect production efficiency in the feedlot are not well known. Restricted feeding of feedlot steers is a common practice which can result in increased efficiency of feed conversion but the comparative efficiencies of different breeds on restricted versus ad libitum fed diets has not been closely examined.

Despite the tremendous impact that management can have on animal performance, surprisingly little is known about the feeding patterns of individuals within a pen and how specific factors such as weather, amount of feed presented, frequency of feeding, or time of feeding may affect intake and performance. For example, a large amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that cattle consume large amounts of feed prior to storms, yet little concrete evidence has been gathered to test these claims. Other studies that attempt to correlate weather patterns with eating behaviour show that strong relationships exist at extremes in barometric pressure and ambient air temperatures.


Selecting Replacement Heifers

Selecting Replacement Heifers

Dr. Clyde Lane, Professor of Animal Science, University of Tennessee


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Beef cattle producers should use all available information when selecting replacement heifers.

Selecting a replacement heifer by appearance only is very risky. A heifer must be of the acceptable type if she is to be kept as a replacement, however, she must also have the genetic potential to produce a heavy calf. This is the reason that records must also be utilized when making the selection.

All available records should be used to insure that the better heifers are being considered as replacements. Consider using records such as those provided by The Beef Cattle fIRM Record Keeping Program. The heifer with the heaviest weaning weight may or may not be the best replacement heifer. A heavy, fat heifer at weaning is a poor choice as a replacement. The heifer must also be of an acceptable type.


Beef-Dairy Nutrition Symposium to Kick Off Cattle Industry Summer Conference

Beef-Dairy Nutrition Symposium to Kick Off Cattle Industry Summer Conference

DENVER (May 29, 2007) – Pre-registration is now open for the 2007 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, which will be held July 16-20 in Denver. The event is co-sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW), and Cattle-Fax.

A unique highlight of this year’s Summer Conference will take place Tuesday, July 17, when the National Dairy Council and the Beef Checkoff Program team up for a nutrition symposium. The session will examine the common nutrition environment currently faced by the beef and dairy industries. Topics will include areas that the two industries work on together – the Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition, the importance of high-quality protein in the diet, and putting fatty acids into perspective.


As drought cuts hay production, Wilkes ranchers selling cattle early

As drought cuts hay production, Wilkes ranchers selling cattle early

The News-Reporter (GA)

Georgia cattlemen are having a hard time feeding their herds because the state’s extended drought has dried up pastures and seriously cut hay production.

“The pastures are as pitiful, and the situation is as sorry as I have ever seen for this time of year,” said Bob Rawlins, who has raised cattle in Ben Hill, Wilcox and Turner counties in south-central Georgia for 30 years. “There’s just nothing out there.”

Pasture damage varies across the state. In most places, 70 percent to 80 percent is in poor to very poor condition, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. In south-central Georgia, 90 percent of the pastures are poor to very poor.


Montana delays slaughter of 300 bison amid uproar

Montana delays slaughter of 300 bison amid uproar


By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – Public outrage prompted a temporary stay of execution on Wednesday for 300 bison, including an estimated 100 calves, roaming in Montana outside the confines of Yellowstone National Park.

The Montana Board of Livestock on Tuesday announced plans to capture and kill the bison, or buffalo, in the wake of news earlier this month that seven Montana cows had tested positive for brucellosis, a disease that can cause stillbirths in cows and infects some of the Yellowstone bison herd.

Bison advocates, including the Buffalo Field Campaign, launched an opposition campaign that caused an e-mail and telephone backlog at the state and federal agencies that manage Yellowstone’s 3,900 bison.

“We’ve been getting the calls,” said Christian Mackay, executive officer with the Montana Department of Livestock. But “capture and hauling to slaughter is by no means off the table.”


Forage Focus: Summer Water Requirements For Cattle

Forage Focus: Summer Water Requirements For Cattle

As I write this article in May, we are already experiencing temperatures in the upper 80’s combined with scare rainfall. There are creeks dry in May that haven’t been dry in May in a long time. It may turn out to be a hot, dry summer. Water may become an issue in some pasture situations. While we often talk a lot about nutrition, forage quality, and mineral needs, water is sometimes taken for granted, almost overlooked. Yet water is the most essential nutrient for livestock production. Cattle can survive for a number of days, even up to weeks without food, but will die within a few days without water. Assuming that the goal of most cattle producers is more than just cattle survival, it is important that cattle receive a sufficient quantity of water each day to maximize feed intake, produce milk for the calf, and maintain a healthy reproductive cycle.


Treating Sick Cattle – What does it really cost

Treating Sick Cattle – What does it really cost

Evan Vermeer – Senior Cattle Consultant, Land O Lakes Feed ?

Let’s look at the Ranch to Rail data on the subject:

The solution to this problem has several parts. The more we know about the origin and handling of the cattle prior to arrival at the lot, the better off we are. We need to have a program of processing laid out before arrival. This program should be tailored to what we know about this particular pen of cattle. This procedure should include time needed for resting cattle, vaccinations to be given, implants to be used, and parasite treatment needed. Specific products should be defined in this plan.