Daily Archives: July 3, 2007

Effects of Nutrition on Beef Cow Reproduction

Effects of Nutrition on Beef Cow Reproduction

The nutritional quality of feeds and forage can have a tremendous influence on the reproductive performance of cattle. Although reproductive failure may occur for several reasons, management and the environment are often important contributing factors. Part of the environment and management of any animal is nutrition.

Producers must be aware of daily changes in a cow’s feed requirements if they want to wean calves from at least 90 per cent of cows exposed to the bull. For instance, cows in the last third of pregnancy or those producing milk have special needs. If these needs are not met, reproduction is the first body function that is sacrificed.

This document describes the effect of deficiencies and imbalances of both macro and micro nutrients.


Energy is probably the most important nutritional consideration in beef cattle production. Animals require energy to grow and to keep the body functioning. Cows need energy to maintain milk production as well as to initiate and maintain pregnancy. Carbohydrates and fats are the primary source of energy in the diet. Besides being a source of energy, carbohydrates are building blocks for other nutrients. The excess energy in a diet is deposited as fat, which provides insulation and protection for the body.

Energy in the diet must meet the needs of production and in all animals there is a priority for nutrient use. The most economically important function of the beef cow, reproduction and the initiation of pregnancy, is the last function to be supplied with energy. In addition, energy requirements increase significantly during the last third of pregnancy and while the cow is producing milk.



Comparing Protein Costs

Comparing Protein Costs

Clyde D. Lane, Jr., Professor and Warren Gill, Professor, Animal Science, University of Tennessee

Producers need to compare the costs of available sources of protein for the beef herd. Costs need to be compared on a cost per pound of protein, not just cost per ton of feed. The first step in comparing protein cost is to get the feed converted to an as fed basis. This is the way feed is purchased. To convert the protein content from a dry matter basis to an as fed basis, just multiply the percent protein by the percentage of dry matter in the feed. For example: Calculate the protein content of corn gluten that is 25.6 % protein on a dry basis to an as fed basis. Assume the corn gluten is 90% dry matter. Multiply the 25.6% by 90%. This will equal 23.04% on an as fed basis. Now compare the cost of two protein supplements


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Aging Beef

Aging Beef

Richard J. Epley, University of Minnesota.

The aging of beef is normally thought of as the time, in days, from slaughter until the carcass is broken down into retail cuts. The average industry time for aging beef before cutting the carcass into retail cuts is about seven days. Consumers can use the following guidelines in determining the length of time their beef should be aged.

What Aging Does

Cooked, unaged beef has been described as “metallic” and lacking in typical beef flavor. Aging gives beef a flavor that has been described as “gamy.” True beef flavor is fully developed after about 11 days of aging. The aged beef flavor increases with increasing aging time.

Aging also increases tenderness. It has been shown that during the aging process certain changes take place in portions of the structure of collagen and muscle fibers. Currently, it is thought that enzymatic-caused changes in the structure of muscle fibers are largely responsible for the increase in tenderness. It is known that tenderness decreases immediately after slaughter while rigor mortis takes place (taking 6 to 12 hours to complete); then tenderness increases gradually. Tenderness continues to increase up to 11 days, after which there is no increase in tenderness.


Feeding Strategies During Drought

Feeding Strategies During Drought

Dr. Mark L. Wahlberg, Extension Animal Scientist, Virginia Tech

Cattle and sheep producers in some parts of Virginia are already experiencing feed shortages due to drought conditions.  For those of you who are not in that shape, don’t let your guard down.  Two weeks of hot and dry weather can shift conditions very quickly.  In this article I want to provide reminders for the strategies to consider when drought causes feed shortages.

Some nutritional ground rules have to be taken care of.  Cows with calves have higher requirements for nutrition than do females that have been dried off.  They also have a bigger appetite.  High levels of nutrition are needed not only to support milk production, but also to enable the female to successfully re-breed.  Cattle require a minimum of 1/2 % of their body weight in the form of effective fiber or long forage daily.  So, high level of nutrition and supplementation should be continued through the end of the breeding season.


Finding Origin Of Beef Not Always Easy

Finding Origin Of Beef Not Always Easy

Sue Kwon, CBS5.com

From toxic pet food, to tainted seafood, American shoppers are paying a lot more attention to where food comes from. But knowing the source of what you eat isn’t always easy.

Alan Chen can’t remember the last time he saw a “Country of Origin” label saying where his seafood, produce or meat was from.

“Personally I’d buy food that’s labeled over food that’s not labeled,” Chen said.

He didn’t know a 2002 Farm Bill requires large retailers place labels on perishable foods.

They’re common on fruits and vegetables.


Judge denies injunction to bar TV ads poking fun at Angus burgers

Judge denies injunction to bar TV ads poking fun at Angus burgers

By: GARY GENTILE – Associated Press

North Country Times (CA)

LOS ANGELES — Fast food chain Jack in the Box Inc. can continue to air TV ads that make a rival restaurant the butt of its jokes, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford said he wanted to see more evidence of actual harm before barring the cheeky ads that suggest rival company CKE Restaurants Inc., which operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, uses cow anuses to make its Angus beef hamburgers.


Illustration of the maternal animal model used for genetic evaluation of beef cattle

Illustration of the maternal animal model used for genetic evaluation of beef cattle

Journal of Animal Science

D. H. Crews, Jr*,{dagger},2 and Z. Wang

National cattle evaluation programs for weaning weight in most beef breed associations involve implementation of the maternal animal model to predict direct and maternal EPD. With this model, direct breeding values are predicted for all animals with records or pedigree ties to animals with records, or both. Even though maternal genetic value is expressed only in animals that become dams, these effects are transmitted by all parents and inherited from parents by all animals, leading to maternal breeding values being predicted for all animals as well. A small example data set was simulated involving 12 parents, 8 nonparents, and 13 animals with weaning weight records.



The Art of the Private Treaty

The Art of the Private Treaty

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Whenever a cluster of Northwest Angus producers start talking about private treaty, it isn’t long before the name of Kessler Angus enters the conversation.

 “For the number of bulls they sell private treaty and the prices they get, the Kesslers are in my top 1%,” says Rod Wesselman, American Angus Association regional manager. “There is no question Randy and Dawn have it figured out.”

It came as a real surprise to many when the ranching couple from Milton-Freewater, Ore., announced they were holding their first auction on Feb. 20, 2007. “We have been talking about it for years,” Randy says. “I guess they just didn’t believe it would happen.” …


Rain boosts spirits in Western Ky.

Rain boosts spirits in Western Ky.


By Bruce Schreiner


For Western Kentucky grain farmer Bill Clift, last week’s soaking rains came just in time for his drought-stressed corn crop.

“We were a week or maybe 10 days at the most away from a complete disaster,” Clift said yesterday. “Prospects look a lot better now that it’s rained.”

Clift’s parched fields in Caldwell, Crittenden and Lyon counties got about 2 inches of rain, breaking a dry spell that had settled in since mid-May.

Farmers elsewhere in Kentucky also benefited from rains that could prop up yields in the autumn and possibly rejuvenate stagnant pastureland and hay fields to feed hungry cattle.

Rainfall across Kentucky was normal or above normal last week, said Tom Priddy, a University of Kentucky extension agricultural meteorologist.


Nolan Ryan to make sales pitch for U.S. beef in Japan

Nolan Ryan to make sales pitch for U.S. beef in Japan


TOKYO (Reuters) – Hall of Fame major league baseball player Nolan Ryan will be visiting Japan this month in a new role — to make a sales pitch for beef from the United States, now struggling to regain its former position as a top supplier.

Ryan will be taking part in the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s campaign to promote U.S. beef, which is currently trickling into Japan at 10 percent of volumes recorded before Tokyo in 2003 imposed a ban when a U.S. case of mad cow disease was found.

An official with a public relations firm acting for USMEF said Nolan was a natural choice for the role as he currently runs a ranch and is a member of the organization.

“He is a very well-known figure in Japan, and he is highly respected by many Japanese pitchers,” he said.

As part of the campaign, 60-year-old Ryan will be throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a game on July 18 between the Orix Buffaloes and Chiba Lotte Marines, now managed by Bobby Valentine.

Ryan pitched for the Texas Rangers when Valentine was its manager.


Farmers hope rain is around the corner

Farmers hope rain is around the corner

Crops still look good thanks to strong start

By Nathan Phelps


It’s been about two weeks since Tim Mleziva saw rain fall on his crops in and around New Denmark.

Despite that, he says they still look good and he’s holding out hope he’ll see rain soon.

“It’s dry, that’s for sure,” Mleziva said late Monday morning. “We could use some rain. The crops are looking good, but we could use some rain.”

He’s not alone.

An observer in Kewaunee County is quoted in the weekly Wisconsin Crop Progress report released Monday afternoon as reporting, “Corn on heavier soils has been growing well, but corn on lighter soils are showing severe signs of stress. Second crop hay is not growing very fast.”


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Treatment Of Pinkeye

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Treatment Of Pinkeye


With the arrival of summer, pinkeye treatment is an issue many producers have to face.  Appropriate, timely treatment will minimize losses from this disease that sometimes defies preventive steps.

Probably the most important aspect of pinkeye treatment is that it be given early.  When an ulcer first forms all that will be seen from a distance is an uncomfortable eye with lots of tearing.  Cattle tend to hold the affected eye closed.  Treatment at this phase before the eye becomes cloudy and “blue” will give very encouraging results.

If, on the other hand, treatment is delayed until the eye becomes cloudy or even worse until the classic pink appears with a white or yellow glob in the center of the eye, results will be much less satisfactory.

The approved products to treat pinkeye include the long-acting tetracycline products (for example, LA-200®, Biomycin 200®, etc.) and now tulathromycin (trade name Draxxin®).


Ethanol Feed Coproducts See Rapid Adoption

Ethanol Feed Coproducts See Rapid Adoption


More than a third of U.S. cattle and hog operations feed ethanol co-products to their livestock, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports after a survey of 9,000 Midwestern farmers.

The survey found that in 2006 ethanol coproducts were fed to livestock at 38% of dairy operations, 36% of cattle-on-feed operations, 13% of beef cattle operations, and 12% of hog operations.

 “These numbers are not really surprising. A lot of distiller dried grains (DDGS) are being produced, and they have excellent feed value. It is still good to see the facts back up corn growers’ assertion that we can and will meet the needs of the livestock industry even with the rapid expansion of ethanol production,” said Wendell Shauman, Illinois Corn Marketing Board chairman of Kirkwood.


Cattle nap

Cattle nap

Getting ready for beef show at Schuyler Fair


Journal-Courier (CA)

Matt Spangler, 16, of Ellisville, takes a quick nap as a fan cools down his cross-bred steer Monday morning at the Schuyler County Fair in Rushville. Mr. Spangler said he’s been running hard and has taken part in six shows so far this year.


Cattle Farm Owners Looking for Bigger Local Market for Small Cows

Cattle Farm Owners Looking for Bigger Local Market for Small Cows

The Paducah Sun, Ky


by Angie Kinsey

Looks can be deceiving at the Bluegrass Miniature Cattle farm on Ogden Landing Road in west McCracken County. Cows that look like mere calves are actually full-grown miniature cattle.

“They will be even smaller after the next generation,” co-owner Brent Buchanan said. “We don’t want to go smaller than that. Our target is 36 to 40 inches tall. They are 500 pounds versus 1,200 pounds for a regular-sized cow.”

Cattle must be no taller than 42 inches at 3 years old to be considered full-size miniature. The International Miniature Cattle Breeds Registry lists 21 miniature cattle breeds, including Dexter, Zebu, Hereford and Longhorn, which are found on the Bluegrass Miniature farm.

Buchanan, 39, a Heath Middle School teacher, became interested in the breed after he and his wife, Michelle, a Reidland High School teacher, moved to the 38-acre farm two years ago. The cows graze on about 15 acres of the farm, which is also home to sheep, turkeys, geese and chickens. They also raise Pineywoods cattle, an endangered breed that has evolved to be naturally resistant to most diseases.