Daily Archives: November 14, 2007

The Last 60 to 90 Days before Calving

The Last 60 to 90 Days before Calving

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

Precalving Period

The most critical period in the production year is the last 60 to 90 days before calving. Not only are dramatic changes occurring in the cow, but this period also sets the stage for reproductive success or failure in the months that follow. A sound understanding of this period is important to proper management of the cowherd.

Tremendous Change

Considerable tissue growth and change occur during the precalving period. As a result, nutrient needs of the cow are greatly increased. A majority of fetal (calf) growth occurs during these last 90 days. At the start of this period, the calf weighs less than 50% of its final weight. In addition to rapid fetal growth the uterus, placenta and surrounding fetal fluids must also increase in size during this time.

Mammary development in preparation for lactation is also occurring. Proper nutrition and hormonal support is essential during this period for adequate milk production after calving. Recently, we have seen some herds in which milk production was greatly decreased due to grazing highly endophyte infected fescue during the precalving period.


Feedlot Bloat

Feedlot Bloat

by Nicolas DiLorenzo, MS, University of Minnesota Beef Team

Now, the animals have been stepped-up to the high-grain diets and they are close to their maximum intake capacity. We have already overcome the plague that respiratory diseases are in those newly arrived. Also the stress of the first days on feed, diarrhea, lack of appetite and hopefully deaths associated with newly arrived cattle problems are past history. Then we are ready to take advantage of the already transitioned digestive tract environment (rumen bugs are adapted to the presence of grain and digest it efficiently) and we are ready to start putting weight on these animals… however, one more hurdle needs to be jumped: feedlot bloat.


Corn Genetics and Animal Feeding Value

Corn Genetics and Animal Feeding Value

Fred Owens

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Johnston, IA


Grain and forage from corn plants vary in composition and digestibility due to genetics and numerous environmental factors. For decades, corn hybrids have been selected based on agronomics (yield, disease and insect resistance). In addition, hybrids have been developed or selected for specific traits desired in specialty markets (food manufacturing properties: popcorn, white color, waxy, high amylose). More recently, hybrids have been screened for novel traits of either the grain (starch extractability, ethanol yield, digestibility by non-ruminants) or the forage (NDF content, NDF digestibility, lignin content).


Fraudulant Cattle Investment Scheme Lands Bryan Woman In Prison

Fraudulant Cattle Investment Scheme Lands Bryan Woman In Prison

Department of Justice

(HOUSTON, Texas) – Lisa Camarillo Smith, 34, of Bryan, Texas, has been sentenced to prison for mail fraud and wire fraud arising from her involvement in a fraudulent cattle investment scheme, United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today.

Smith was convicted of a total of 26 counts of mail and wire fraud earlier this year. Today, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison sentenced Smith to a total of 70 months in prison, without parole, imposing a 60-month-term for 14 counts of conviction and 70 months on the remaining 12 counts of conviction. The court has ordered all 26 prison terms to be served concurrently.

In addition to the prison term, Ellison ordered Smith to pay restitution in the amount of $2.6 million to the victims of this Ponzi scheme and perform 280 hours of community service during a three-year period of supervised release following her imprisonment.


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.

What is the most stressful component of the weaning process?

Probably the main cause of weaning distress is the separation of the cows and calves. Cows and calves bawl and walk aimlessly for 3 or 4 days at weaning, not because they were transported, nor because their feed was changed. At pasture, bawling and walking help pairs to reunite, and these responses to separation are not easily extinguished. Though certainly familiarity with the feed itself can play a role, probably the biggest reason why newly weaned calves spend less time eating in the first week after separation is not because they cannot find the feeder but rather because they can’t find their mother and because they are spending so much of their time bawling and walking in search of her.


CAB Introduces “Best Practices Manual”

CAB Introduces “Best Practices Manual”

Cattle Today

Cattlemen have to keep producing a fast-growing calf every year to make money. But that’s not enough if those calves don’t produce the beef consumers want. A new “how-to” report from Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) spells out the means to pleasing those who bring new dollars to the beef industry.

“There’s a solid market for premium quality beef,” says Ron Boatwright, of Dallas-based Freedman Meats, Inc. “Our customers want a consistent product and with CAB, our customers know what to expect.”

The company grew from a $15 million business in 1989 to $191 million at the Dallas facility this year. Boatwright attributes that growth to the impact Certified Angus Beef (CAB) has on the company’s sales and quality image.    

CAB was born to meet demand for marbling and high quality beef and has grown to become an industry icon for that. “The brand delivers on a promise,” says CAB supply development director Mark McCully. “Packers pay producers more than $40 million a year to keep the supply coming in.”


Feeding the Show Steer

Feeding the Show Steer

Stephen Boyles

OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Receiving the Animal: Find out what the calf was being fed, and blend that diet as at least part of the new diet. Calves will suffer less stress if you reduce their fed and water intake by 1/2-2/3 on the day they are shipped. Another calf of similar age and weight in the pen will help make the new arrival feel more at home. Always make changes in diet ingredients and amounts gradually over time.

Initially including at least 30% roughage in the diet can reduce digestive problems. Let them have access to some long stem grass hay. The starter ration may include some molasses, about 1/2 rolled corn, 1/2 rolled or crimped oats plus a protein supplement, vitamins, and minerals.

Calves that have already been weaned and are consuming grain are easier to start up on feed. Calves that have not been weaned or were weaned only recently need to be brought up on feed gradually over a 2 to 3 week time period. You may want to start with 3 to 6 pounds of your grain mix per feeding (6-12 lbs per day). Increase the amount of grain they get by 1/2 a pound per day over the next 2 to 3 weeks.