Daily Archives: December 3, 2007

BeefTalk: Beef Techie – Maybe a New Career

BeefTalk: Beef Techie – Maybe a New Career

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

High Frequency Tag Performance at Auction High Frequency Tag Performance at Auction

Perhaps the concept of a new television, disc player or surround-sound system, with individual remotes and interfaces, has arrived in the beef barn.

The world around us is high technology and seems to get more “techie” daily. A common point of the discussion whenever the family arrives in one place is who has the neatest cell phone.

The most recent addition to the lineup gets the nod. We all know that in a matter of days, the most recent becomes old.


In the Grip of Drought, Producers Turn to By-Product Feeds

In the Grip of Drought, Producers Turn to By-Product Feeds

by Evan Whitley

Noble Foundation

I don’t know what we have done to Mother Nature, but she is mad. Lack of rain has caused cattle producers to scramble for any means possible just to hold on to their cattle. This proposition would have been hard enough just based on this year’s lack of moisture. But, the fact that many producers are fighting the effects of last year as well has made it darn near impossible. However, if we are trying to stay positive, then one good thing that has come out of all this is we have had to stretch conventional thought paradigms and incorporate some pretty unorthodox thinking.

An example of this revolves around supplementing alternative feedstuffs to mature cows. Now, don’t get me wrong, we should rarely ever feel good about hand-feeding mature cows 75 to 80 percent of their daily nutrient requirements. However, it is nice to know we could if it is economically justifiable and the cattle are “good” enough to merit this kind of thinking.


Range Cow Symposium Set

Range Cow Symposium Set

Angus Journal

Colorado State University will host the 20th annual Range Beef Cow Symposium Dec. 11-13, 2007, at “The Ranch,” the Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex, Fort Collins, Colo. The biennial symposium has a reputation of being an excellent educational program, offering practical production management information since the first symposium in Chadron, Neb., in 1969.


Cattle Diseases: Ketosis in Cattle

Cattle Diseases:  Ketosis in Cattle

The Merck Veterinary Manual

Ketosis is a common disease of adult cattle. It typically occurs in dairy cows in early lactation and is most consistently characterized by partial anorexia and depression. Rarely, it occurs in cattle in late gestation, at which time it resembles pregnancy toxemia of ewes. In addition to inappetence, signs of nervous dysfunction, including pica, abnormal licking, incoordination and abnormal gait, bellowing, and aggression are occasionally seen. The condition is worldwide in distribution, but is most common where dairy cows are bred and managed for high production.


What Are The Recommended Treatments For Scours?

What Are The Recommended Treatments For Scours?


The main treatment is fluid therapy. Secondary treatments are antibiotics and nursing care. Because the main problem in scouring calves is the loss of body fluids (water) and electrolytes, the primary treatment must be aimed at restoring the water balance. The calves are thirsty, but they are too sick to drink. Therefore, the first line of treatment is oral electrolyte solutions. There are a number of excellent commercial products on the market for treatment of calf scours. All of these products contain glucose or a similar material, sodium chloride (table salt), and other electrolytes. The glucose and sodium allow the animal to absorb the water they need from their digestive tract. Giving straight water does not work. The calf needs the glucose and salt to be able to adsorb the water. Usually 2 liters (just over 2 quarts) of the oral fluid solution is given 1 to 3 times per day to the sick calf. Consult with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate oral electrolyte product for your operation.


To Castrate Or Not To Castrate?

To Castrate Or Not To Castrate?


A question commonly discussed around small town coffee shops would sound like this:  “Is it worth the trouble to castrate male calves at ‘calf working time’ or should I just leave them to sell as ‘cutter bulls’?”

A survey conducted by Oklahoma State University of eastern Oklahoma livestock markets in 1997 and 1999 showed that on average, bull calves were $2.00-3.00/cwt less expensive than steers of similar weight.  Other studies in other states have suggested that bull calves are currently being discounted even more.  In fact, last week at the Oklahoma City National Stockyards, 270 head of 468 pound feeder steers sold for $132.57/cwt while 60 head of 478 pound feeder bull calves sold for $124.66/cwt.  Both groups were graded medium and large frame, number one muscling score.  Therefore the bulls that weighed 10 pounds more, returned $24.55 less per animal.


Baxter Black: The Flying Cowboy

Baxter Black: The Flying Cowboy

A picture is worth a thousand words.

The setting: A rodeo arena in front of the bucking chutes. The chute gate is opened flat back against the fence. Spectators on the left side in the bleachers look mesmerized. A cowboy on the catwalk behind the open chute has an “I don’t believe it!” countenance on his face.

The photographer has captured the bull from the left hindquarter angle. The bull’s hind feet are planted, his front feet well off the ground and his big horned head appears to be inches from the arena fence. The bull rider is sitting upright, legs tight around the girth and hat missing.

So far, so so. But what distinguishes this photograph is the presence of a cowboy, not the rider, arms straight along his sides, legs together, hat on his head in what one could describe as a skier lifting from the edge of the swooping ski jump.