Daily Archives: May 15, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The May 16, issue # 537, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMy16.html

As a follow up to last week’s information on estrus synchronization and getting beef females bred in a timely fashion, this week we feature an article on a new CIDR protocol for heifers which Dr. Mike Day of Ohio State has cooperated on the development of.

Articles include:
* Fasten Your Seatbelt! There’s Ethanol Ahead
* New CIDR Based Synchronization System Gives Another Fixed Time AI Option
* Forage Focus: Grazing Livestock Affects Pasture Fertility

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

e-mail:  smith.263@osu.edu
voice:   740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax:      740.687.7010
Fairfield Co. OSU Extension – http://fairfield.osu.edu
OSU Beef Team – http://beef.osu.edu

Feeding Efficiency – Change in the Beef Industry

Feeding Efficiency – Change in the Beef Industry

by Bob Strong

Feedlot Magazine

“If we take new information and adjust our methods of operation, we have changed.” This is not a direct quote from Henry Gardiner but it is exactly what Gardiner Angus Ranch, Ashland, Kansas has done. In a 17 year period prior to 1977, Gardiner Angus bulls on feed for 140 – 150 days on a feedyard #4 ration were gaining 2.7lb/day and consuming 7.48lb of feed per pound of gain. Since 1977 their bulls on test for 85 days have been gaining 5.5-5.8 pounds on 40 percent less feed on a feedyard #3 ration.

According to Henry Gardiner, the improvement in genetic tools since 1977 in selecting sires and females has led to this change. Out of their 1,000 registered cow herd Gardiner Angus Ranch (GAR) selects the top four to five percent of their heifers for replacements to end up with 50 females who produce 70 – 75 percent of their registered calves by embryo transfer. In this manner they bring 50 new heifers, after their first calf, into the embryo transfer program each year to amplify genetic improvements. All of the GAR registered cow herd is sold within five years because of their rapid change in genetics. They also have 1,000 commercial Angus females, including yearling heifers. Around 60 percent of those females will produce registered calves from the donor herd using embryo transfer.


Reproductive Efficiency

Reproductive Efficiency

Black Ink

Steve Suther

When you breed or turn out bulls with heifers or cows, you have certain expectations. Ideally, you want each of them to become pregnant, deliver an unassisted, healthy calf and raise it to half its momma’s weight six months later.

But since nobody runs cattle in an ideal world, you have to settle for what’s possible and profitable. It is not common for those with more than a few cows to wean 100% calf crops, but you might hear it said. Some details are usually left out, starting with a defined inventory of cows.

That’s like reporting wheat yields based on unspecified harvested acres rather than planted acres. It may sound better, but it doesn’t help you analyze and solve problems, or make more money.

Economic analysis requires a record of how many females had a chance to become pregnant, and what final number actually weaned a calf. This “weaning percentage” is the ratio of weaned calves to cows exposed. For more precision, these numbers should be in pounds rather than head. Either way, in most databases, the top 25% of producers ranked by net income manage no better than about 85%.


Care of Newly Purchased Young Bull

Care of the Newly Purchased Young Bulls

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

Yearling Bulls

Yearling bulls should be well-grown but not too fat.  The energy content of a ration should be reduced if bulls are getting too fat.  Fat bulls may fatigue rapidly, contributing to fewer cows conceiving.

For a yearling bull to be used successfully, he should have reached puberty 3 to 4 months before breeding time.  The age of a bull at puberty depends on several interrelated factors, but size or weight and breed are probably the controlling factors.

The production of semen by a young bull largely depends on his overall growth as well as the development of his testicles and other reproductive organs.  The size of testicles and volume of semen produced are positively correlated.   


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feed Bunk & Water Trough Training

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feed Bunk & Water Trough Training


The profitability of a preconditioning program can hinge on calf weight gains during the preconditioning period. Feed costs typically account for a large proportion of preconditioning costs, so productive calf weight gains are needed to recover these costs. During weaning, calves must transition from a milk diet to a forage/concentrate-based diet. Calves exposed to eating from a feed bunk and drinking from a water trough prior to weaning may go on feed faster after weaning. Some calves leave the ranch having never seen a feed bunk or water trough.


Animal Welfare 101

Animal Welfare 101

Animal Handling.org

Respect for animals used for food is a value that is contained in religious texts throughout history. Jewish, Islamic and Christian texts spell out the importance of respect for animals and, in some cases, prescribe how they should be processed for food. Many of these beliefs are the philosophical cornerstones of federal animal welfare regulations and voluntary animal welfare programs developed by a variety of organizations.


Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling—Will It Benefit Consumers?

Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling—

Will It Benefit Consumers?

Barry Krissoff and Fred Kuchler

Amber Waves

Demands for mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for some retail food products have sparked considerable controversy. Proponents— primarily some cow-calf producer and fruit and vegetable grower/shipper associations—claim such labels would benefit consumers who are concerned about food safety, who wish to support U.S. producers, or who believe that U.S. foods are of higher quality than imports. Others—cattle feeder and hog finishing operators, meatpackers, processors, and retailers—argue that mandatory labeling will merely raise costs and bring few benefits.