Daily Archives: October 2, 2007

Video Feature: Brad Shelton Discusses Double Crop Annuals

 Brad Shelton, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Washington County, Indiana, discusses using double crop forages, including Pearl Millet and Sorghum Sudan Hybrids

BeefTalk: Stress-free Calves – No Hot Shots, Whips or Sticks

BeefTalk: Stress-free Calves – No Hot Shots, Whips or Sticks

The Flight or Fight Syndrome – no whips, hot shots or sticks The Flight or Fight Syndrome – no whips, hot shots or sticks

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist,  NDSU Extension Service

The goal in weaning is to have a calf simply walk away from the cow herd, start eating on its own and never look back.

As noted several weeks ago, herd health was the third priority in an industry-wide survey to identify management priorities in the cow-calf business. These priorities change depending on the time of year.

As weaning approaches (or is under way for some), herd health moves front and center for cow-calf producers. Not a fall day goes by when producers are either physically or mentally sorting and working calves.


Watch cattle for acorn poisoning

Watch cattle for acorn poisoning

Delta Farm Press

This year’s larger-than-normal acorn crop poses a serious threat to Arkansas cattle producers. Most animals are susceptible to acorn poisoning, although cattle and sheep are affected most often.

Most species of North America oak trees are considered toxic. Clinical signs of illness occur several days after consumption of large quantities of green acorns in the fall.

Some cattle can apparently eat acorns with no ill effects, while others develop kidney and digestive problems that can lead to death. Dams consuming acorns during the second trimester of pregnancy have produced malformed calves.

Symptoms of acorn poisoning include lack of appetite, rough hair coat, a dry muzzle covered with dry, crusty blood, abdominal pain, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and thin rapid pulse. There usually is not an increase in body temperature.

Constipation is a common early symptom. The droppings are often tipped with dark blood, a condition followed by diarrhea with blood and mucous. Edema, or fluid in the tissue, occurs in the lower body.


Marbling in Double Muscled Steers

Marbling in Double Muscled Steers

Ropin’ the Web

Some breeds of cattle are prone to double muscling. These animals have enlarged muscles, giving them the appearance of being the weight lifters of the cattle world! Double muscling in cattle is the result of a natural mutation of the myostatin gene. Normally this gene stops muscle development, but the timing is off because of the mutation of the gene.

There are a number of breeds that are prone to carrying the gene for double muscling, with two of these being the Piedmontese and the Parthenais. Both breeds have been in existence for a long time with the first official herdbook for the Piedmontese established in Italy in 1897, and for the Parthenais in France in 1893. Both breeds are raised in Alberta. One of the attractions of double-muscled cattle is the leanness of their carcasses. Backfat is generally found to be less in double-muscled cattle than in cattle with normal muscling. Whether or not this affects the amount of marbling fat in the muscle is open to dispute. Some studies have found reduced marbling in double-muscled cattle while others have found no effect of double muscling on carcass marbling.


The Cow-Calf Manager

The Cow-Calf Manager

Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

Nutrition During Pregnancy May Have Long-Term Impacts

As we move into fall, the continued drought has many producers considering how they are going to feed the cow herd this winter.  Many of the recent articles from our VT Extension Beef Team have focused on feeding and culling strategies to make it through the winter on limited feed resources.  Consistently, we stressed not only keeping cows full, but truly meeting their nutritional needs, and sometimes we advocated meeting nutritional needs without keeping animals full.

There are many reasons to focus on meeting nutritional needs and not just filling up cattle on junk hay.  Calf vigor and survivability are affected by nutrition in late gestation.  Certainly, cow body condition at calving is related to pregnancy rates during the subsequent breeding season.  However, there is mounting evidence that fetal exposure to nutrients may have lifelong impacts in animals.


Does Treating For Parasites Really Pay?

Does Treating For Parasites Really Pay?


Yes. Parasite control is an essential part of a cow/calf producer’s profitability, and yet a full 27% of cow herds are not treated.1 Parasites can cost producers in many ways, including reduced feed efficiency, lower conception rates, reduced milk production, hide damage, weight loss and even death. And, with higher feed costs, producers should invest in practices, such as parasite control, that have a sound return on investment and increase efficiencies.

Research shows that parasite control really does pay. Dr. John Lawrence of Iowa State University recently analyzed multiple studies and revealed that parasite control in the cow/calf segment is the management practice that affects weaning rates and weaning weights the most.


Texas Animal Health Officials Tackle Tuberculosis Entry and ID Requirements

Texas Animal Health Officials Tackle Tuberculosis Entry and ID Requirements

Cattle Today

Texas livestock health officials, striving to protect Texas’ hard-earned cattle tuberculosis (TB)-free status, have adopted new cattle entry, testing and movement regulations that go into effect Saturday, October 13. The 13 commissioners for the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have tightened regulations, due to concerns about the recent findings of cattle TB infection in two New Mexico dairies, a Colorado bucking bull herd, and an Oklahoma beef herd. Additionally, over the past two years, at least five infected cattle herds and infection in free-ranging deer have been identified in Minnesota. For several years, Michigan also has waged war against TB in both cattle and free-ranging deer.