Daily Archives: October 25, 2007

Feeding Cows to Prevent Scours in Calves

Feeding Cows to Prevent Scours in Calves

University of California-Davis

Some of you may look at the title and wonder what the connection between feeding cows and preventing calf scours might be. In this month’s column we will explore the connections and try to provide some practical advice for the prevention of calf scours in general. However, it is important to know that the prevention of calf scours begins with the way the cows are fed and managed before they calve.

What causes calf scours?

This is an important question and one that should be addressed early on. The potential causes of calf scours are a fairly long list of viruses, bacteria, and protozoal agents. However, in most cases there are only four “bugs” that cause the vast majority of our scours problems in beef calves. These common agents are E. coli, Rota virus, Corona virus, and Cryptosporidium. The first organism, E. coli, is a bacterial agent that usually causes illness within the first few days of life—typically before 5 days of age. Rota virus and Corona virus are obviously viral agents and they cause disease at 10 days to 21 days of life.


Foot Rot in Cattle

Foot Rot in Cattle

M.B. Irsik, DVM, MAB and J.K. Shearer, DVM, MS2

University of Florida

Foot rot is a term loosely used to describe lameness associated with the bovine foot. However, true foot rot is characterized by acute inflammation of the skin and adjacent soft tissues of the interdigital cleft or space. It is accompanied by diffuse swelling, varying degrees of lameness and in most cases, by a foul-smelling necrotic lesion of the interdigital skin. Foot rot is the term commonly used in the United States for this lameness disorder, but internationally the disease is better known as foul, foul-in-the-foot, interdigital phlegmon, interdigital necrobacillosis, or infectious pododermatitis. It is a frequent problem of beef and dairy cattle, especially in poorly drained, muddy pens or lots and pastures. Normally, occurrence is sporadic, affecting only 1 or 2 animals at a time, but it may affect larger numbers of cattle in outbreak situations or problem herds.


Dale Blasi – Food Companies, Beef Recalls, E.Coli, Organic

Dale Blasi – Food Companies, Beef Recalls, E.Coli, Organic 


What is the deal with all these food companies and these recalls?  Do I need to worry more now about E. coli then before?  How do you get bad pot pies?   Is this going to become an epidemic?  Are the Chinese involved?  Would it be better if I switched to eating everything organic?

Question from Tom Katsenes, Phoenix, Arizona

First, I will qualify my answer by making it very clear that I am not an expert in the areas of food safety and industrial scale post-harvest processes. With that said I can’t dissect the exact reasons for the breakdown of each specific case but all companies involved in ground beef production must follow USDA FSIS guidelines and  directives for HACCP plans, SSOP’s and other prerequisite programs. However, it was brought to my attention by one of my KSU Food Safety colleagues that there have been discussions regarding the emergence over the past five years of non-0157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) who may play a significant role in human health. Apparently, there was a multi-agency (FSIS, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, FDA, CDC to name a few) – sponsored meeting this past week in Arlington, VA to discuss the health significance of these aforementioned STEC strains and whether or not they should also be considered as adulterants. I do not know the outcome of this meeting’s discussions


Impacts of Crossbreeding on Profitability in Vertically Coordinated Beef Industry Marketing Systems

Impacts of Crossbreeding on Profitability in Vertically Coordinated Beef Industry Marketing Systems

Hereford World

Vertically coordinated beef marketing systems (alliances and partnerships) have become breed specific, generally Angus, in an effort to improve quality grade and tenderness and to focus on the consumer. However, by so doing, the value of crossbreeding (heterosis) has been diminished, particularly at the cow-calf level. The primary objective of this project is to measure the effect of controlled crossbreeding in range environments on predominantly Angus-based females. By determining the value of heterosis to beef cattle alliances, cattle breeding systems in the U.S. have the potential to be significantly modified to utilize systematic, controlled crossbreeding programs.


Dealing with Adverse Drug Reactions

Dealing with Adverse Drug Reactions

by Bob Larson, professor of production medicine, Kansas State University

Angus Journal

Although most of the time when we administer a treatment, vaccine or other product to cattle we expect a positive outcome, occasionally cattle will have an adverse drug reaction. Adverse reactions can occur following the use of injectable antibiotics, dewormers, vaccines, insecticides, vitamin preparations and anti-inflammatory preparations, as well as skin ointments and other classes of drugs. …


Protein & Energy Supplementation Of Crop Residues For Breeding Cattle

Protein & Energy Supplementation Of Crop Residues For Breeding Cattle


This summer’s drought conditions in much of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky continue to be cause for concern as many people are already feeding this winter’s hay supply. In response, The Ohio State University Extension Beef Team has posted several excellent articles to our web page (http://beef.osu.edu) over the recent months which deal with various aspects of nutrition and beef cattle management.

Regardless, over the past three weeks, two of the most common questions I’ve heard are ‘what can I feed’ and ‘what’s the value of corn stover’? Here are a few thoughts to consider.


Learning More About Rumen Bugs: Genetic and Environmental Factors Affecting Rumen Bugs

Learning More About Rumen Bugs: Genetic and Environmental Factors Affecting Rumen Bugs

Ropin’ the Web          

            Ruminants are one of the most widely distributed group of mammals on earth, having adapted to arctic, temperate and tropical environments. This global distribution is possible because of the unique ability of ruminants to digest a wide variety of temperate and tropical vegetation. It is the portion of the digestive tract known as the rumen, and its distinctive population of microorganisms that provides ruminants with the genetic potential to derive energy from widely varying fibrous feeds.


R-CALF: Senate Asked To Place Moratorium On Further Premise Registration Efforts, Defund NAIS

R-CALF: Senate Asked To Place Moratorium On Further Premise Registration Efforts, Defund NAIS


Billings, Mont. – In a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee, R-CALF USA has requested a moratorium on any further premise registration efforts, and also has requested that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), or any other similar systems under any other name, be defunded at once.

 “There are just so many questions and issues that must be addressed before reasonable consideration could be given as to whether funding of NAIS should continue at all,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee.


Bull Feeding and Management

Bull Feeding and Management

The management of the breeding bull can be broken down into the following three phases.

· Before the Breeding Season

Ideally a producer will have determined his bull needs 90 days prior to the start of the breeding season. These individuals should be subjected to a breeding soundness exam. A breeding soundness exam will help to assure the reproductive capacity and physical soundness of each bull. Bulls which will be in the cow herd together should be grouped together to become familiar with each other and to develop a social structure. This will help to prevent fighting when turned in with the cow herd.

Proper attention and care of the feet is important in prolonging the useful life of the bull. After extended periods of inactivity, the hooves may be long and misshapen. Hoof trimming should be done at the start of the conditioning period to allow for regrowth which serves as a cushion during the breeding season.


Herd Bull Procurement Selection Tools

Herd Bull Procurement Selection Tools


Many individual trait levels are adjusted for age of the animal and age of its dam. This allows for more fair comparisons of cattle for these traits. For example, weaning weight is commonly adjusted to 205 days of age, and yearling measurements (weight, hip height, scrotal circumference) are typically adjusted to 365 days of age. When evaluating bulls for individual performance traits, be sure that adjusted performance levels are truly adjusted levels and not, instead, actual performance levels.


Cattle Diseases: Ringworm

Cattle Diseases: Ringworm

Cattle Today

Ringworm is a transmissible infectious skin disease caused most often by Trichophyton verrucosum, a spore forming fungi.  The spores can remain alive for years in a dry environment.  It occurs in all species of mammals including cattle and man.  Although unsightly, fungal infections cause little permanent damage or economic loss.  Direct contact with infected animals is the most common method of spreading the infection. 


Farmers Continue to Deal with Drought as Weather Cools

Farmers Continue to Deal with Drought as Weather Cools

Hallie Jackson


LEWES, Del. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Delmarva’s drought could last at least through January.

Some farmers must find ways to cope with the dry weather.

Bar Farms’ Bob Raley raises cattle for beef. Because of the drought, Raley said he is getting smaller cuttings of hay from his alfalfa fields. To deal with the shortage, he has begun using cornstalks for hay. While more readily available, Raley said hay made from cornstalks has less protein than alfalfa hay.


USMEF: “Country Gold” & U.S. Beef Again Capture Japanese Consumers

USMEF: “Country Gold” & U.S. Beef Again Capture Japanese Consumers


U.S. beef was a big hit at the Country Gold Music Festival Oct. 20 in Kumamoto, Japan. A booth and cowboy-themed “restaurant” at the festival, was sponsored by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and helped generate excitement about U.S. beef among more than 20,000 music fans at the show.

As it did last year, the USMEF booth proved to be one of the most popular destinations for consumers at the event, and provided more evidence that U.S. beef continues to be popular with many Japanese, according to Greg Hanes, USMEF Japan director. About 800 servings of U.S. ribeye roll, from 40 blocks of ribeye with a specially-formulated “rub” and slow-cooked in barbecue pits, sold out before the event was finished.


“Get out of the Box” to Paint Profit Picture

 “Get out of the Box” to Paint Profit Picture

by: Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Creative concepts are often left to artists, sculptors or for some television aficionados “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” However, when cattlemen go to work on their own canvas, creativity takes on a whole new meaning.

It’s not about making abstract designs or hitting the local art gallery for some gala presentation based on a motif conjured up by the curator. Cattlemen must get out of the box built by tradition, to paint the profit picture. With margins declining every year, producers must get inspired to increase revenue wherever possible in the management scenario.


Livestock compensation program signup set

Livestock compensation program signup set

The Daily News

FRANKLINTON – The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is administering a livestock disaster program for 2005, 2006, or 2007 pasture or feed losses. According to B. Theron Graves, Jr., County Executive Director in the Washington/St. Tammany Parish FSA Office, all Louisiana Parishes qualify for the Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) for 2005 and 2006 because of Presidential or Secretarial Designations, and some parishes also qualify for 2007.