Daily Archives: August 22, 2007

Nontraditional Forages as Emergency or Supplemental Feedstuffs

Nontraditional Forages as Emergency or Supplemental Feedstuffs

Kansas State University


Despite the best plans, shortages of forage commonly occur some time during the year in Kansas. Drought, hail, early freeze, crop failure, harvest delays and unusually cold and wet winters can cause forage shortages. In response, producers may choose to buy the extra forage needed or sell livestock. But in many cases, it may be more economical to utilize nontraditional forages.


Controlling Intake of Pasture Supplements to Grazing Cattle

Controlling Intake of Pasture Supplements to Grazing Cattle

By Wendy Flatt, Livestock Specialist, University Of Missouri Extension. Ag Connection Newsletter, Volume 13.

As many producers know, salt can be added to feed to limit supplemental feed intake of grazing cattle, but how much is the question?

This could be especially important in dry years or late summer when the pastures decline significantly in nutritional quality and supplementing is necessary.

The Salt Institute is the world’s foremost authority on salt and its more than 14,000 uses. Salt (Sodium Chloride- NaCl) is one of the few minerals cattle crave when it is in short supply: http://saltinstitute.org

Larry Berger, University of Illinois Professor of Animal Science wrote the booklet entitled “Salt and Trace Minerals for Livestock, Poultry and other Animals”. He suggests that the “science” of using salt to regulate intake has been adequately researched but, the “art” of using this technology is still developing, as many producers can attest.


Biosecurity 101 – Part 2: The herd factor

Biosecurity 101 – Part 2: The herd factor

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Knowledge is power, especially as it applies to protecting your herd from communicable diseases.

 “One of the main purposes of a biosecurity program is to prevent disease from entering your herd and, if it is already in your herd, preventing it from spreading,” says veterinarian Boyd Parr, director of animal health programs for the state of South Carolina. “We have best management practices that, when implemented, do just that.”

He notes that these can range from purchasing only certified disease-free replacements to isolating, testing and, when necessary, culling infected animals. “If any disease does get in your herd, you will detect it soon and be able to deal with it,” Parr says. “That is what a good biosecurity plan does.”


Death loss in feedlot cattle

Death loss in feedlot cattle

What is normal?

Dr. Pete Anderson, VetLife Technical Services


 Few variables impact a feedlot close-out as much as death loss.  A high death loss percentage almost guarantees poor performance and disappointing financial results.  At the same time, no cattle feeder expects zero death loss in all pens of cattle.  The Benchmarkâ database can be used to provide perspective: What is normal death loss?  What would unusually high or low death loss look like?


Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

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

      Growth implants have not been widely used in heifer calves because of concern by herd managers about detrimental effects on subsequent reproductive performance of heifers kept as herd replacements. Currently three implants Synovex-C®, Component E-C® (estradiol and progesterone), and Ralgro® (zeranol) have been given FDA approval for use on potential replacement heifer calves. Past reviews of this subject have been quite thorough and generally concluded that one implant given at or after the heifer is 2 months of age has very little impact on future reproductive performance (Hargrove, 1994 and Deutscher, 1994). Also these reviews have both concluded that implanted heifers have significantly greater pelvic area when measured at about one year of age, but these differences are indeed very small at the time the heifer is delivering her first calf at or about two years of age. Consequently, the data on dystocia rate indicates that implanted heifers have no less calving difficulty than do non-implanted counterparts. 


Reducing Weaning Stress of Beef Cattle – Frequently Asked Questions

Reducing Weaning Stress of Beef Cattle – Frequently Asked Questions

Ropin’ the Web

Why is it so important to reduce weaning stress?

The process of weaning is very stressful on beef cattle. The separation of cows and calves, handling and processing, transportation, the time calves spend without feed and water during this entire process and sometimes through the public auction system, the mixing of unfamiliar animals and the introduction of novel feeds all impose an incredible amount of stress, on calves in particular, The consequences of all this stress are predictable. A high proportion of newly weaned calves get sick and require treatment.


Some noxious weeds thriving on summer rainstorms in area

Some noxious weeds thriving on summer rainstorms in area



New weeds are proliferating in some parts of El Paso County, thriving on water from rainstorms that soaked the region this summer.

The weeds, including miner’s candle and Scotch thistle, could choke out native grasses if they’re allowed to grow unchecked, said Mark Johnston, deputy director of the El Paso County Environmental Services Department.

Not all noxious weeds common to the area are thriving this summer, Johnston said. Some others, such as Canada thistle and yellow toadflax, seem stunted and less vibrant compared with previous years.