Daily Archives: December 7, 2007

Prolapses in Beef Cows

Prolapses in Beef Cows


Prolapses occur occasionally in beef cows. Most prolapses occur very near the time of calving. Two distinct kinds of prolapse exist, Vaginal prolapse and Uterine prolapse.

Vaginal prolapses are those that occur in very late gestation. Vaginal prolapse is as the name implies, a protruding of the vaginal through the vulva and exposed to sun, wind, and infectious pathogens. Vaginal prolapses are very repeatable. In other words, if the vaginal prolapse is repaired, the cow calves and rebreeds, then she is very likely to prolapse again next year. This type of prolapse is known to have a genetic component, which means that daughters of cows that have this problem will have an increased likelihood of suffering a vaginal prolapse themselves. Therefore, when a cow is found with this malady, she should be marked for culling and daughters should not be kept as replacements. Certainly bull calves from this cow could also pass the genetic characteristics on to his offspring and proliferate the problem within a herd.


Immunity and Livestock Herds

Immunity and Livestock Herds

E.J. Richey, DVM

University of Florida

Immunity is the ability of an animal to resist disease. Fortunately, immunity is a basic fact of nature; unfortunately, we take it for granted. In reality, immunity culminates from the activity of a very complex and intricate system of the body – the immune system; a system that we can to some extent enhance and manipulate to provide various degrees of protection against most disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Present-day livestock management systems and practices may allow the immune system to be overwhelmed by either a significantly high disease challenge or by weakening the existing immune system. Large herds, transportation, confinement and commingling of animals from different operations are practices causing greater exposure to disease agents. These management practices also increase stresses on the animals and contribute to weakening the immune system. A weakened immune system can allow clinical disease to occur that would otherwise be controlled by a non-impaired immune system.


Hoosier Livestock Industry finds Common Ground at Forum

Hoosier Livestock Industry finds Common Ground at Forum

by Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Toady

Several hundred Indiana livestock producers from the beef, pork, dairy, and poultry industries came together on Thursday for the first ever Indiana Livestock Forum. The day long meeting, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and organized by Grow Indiana Agriculture (GINA) was designed to bring the industry together to discuss common problems and obtain mutual support. Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock set the tone for the meeting when, in his opening remarks, he said the biggest challenge facing the livestock sector was the public perception of livestock production in Indiana.


Stretching Your Hay Supply

Stretching Your Hay Supply

Dr. Shea Porr, Equine Extension Agent, Northern District

Dr. Scott Pleasant, Veterinary Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

The drought-plagued summer in the Mid Atlantic and Southeast Regions has resulted in decreased hay supplies and soaring prices.  As winter approaches, many people are starting to feel the pinch.  The average horse eating only hay needs approximately 2% of their body weight in good quality hay each day to meet their energy needs.  That’s roughly 20 pounds of hay each day for a 1000-pound horse.  Adding a concentrate (grain) to the horse’s diet can reduce the hay requirement to 1-1.5 % of their body weight.  If you find yourself short on hay, either due to lack of availability or high prices, here are a few suggestions for stretching your horse’s hay supply.

One option is to replace a portion of your horses hay requirement with chopped hay.  Chopped hay products are typically sold in 50-pound sealed bags. They may be fed to totally replace the horse’s hay needs, but are usually too expensive to justify feeding at a full replacement rate.  However, they are excellent for replacing part of a horses hay requirement and for supplementing overly mature hay. Chopped hay products are usually fed on a pound-for-pound basis (one pound of chopped forage for one pound of long stemmed hay).  Always adjust the feeding rate to maintain proper body condition.


December Beef Management Calendar

December Beef Management Calendar

Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist, VA Tech

Spring Calving Herds

o Market backgrounded calves Feed replacement heifers to gain 1.5 – 1.75 lbs per day or use the Target Weight method to calculate rate of gain

          o Monitor body condition of cows

          o Test hay for nutrient content and supplement accordingly –Don’t Guess

          o Increase energy during cold periods

          o Check heaters in waterers regularly

          o Attend  bull and replacement heifer sales


Building Your Image

Building Your Image

By Sarah Aubrey

American Cowman

It’s almost winter and for many of us in the cow business calving season is just around the corner. In a simple way, building a branded beef business is a little bit like another task we undertake every year, caring for baby calves. Just like the new born calf, when you first begin a new business venture, you may be unsure, but with continual effort and nurturing, you, too, will begin to thrive!

Theoretically speaking, if a meat business idea is the birth, then marketing is the rearing of your business, making marketing truly one of your most important jobs on the farm. Start by consciously creating the image you want to present. Even if you’re already selling beef, spend some time (year-end is a great time to do this) evaluating your image and its success in the marketplace.


Read This

Read This

Wes Ishmael, Beef Magazine

Even before electronic cattle ID has become the rule rather than the exception, plenty of ID equipment purchased by well-meaning producers has already been relegated to paperweight status. Like that exercise bike in the basement being used as a coat hanger long before you’re in Olympic shape.

The reasons vary, but they typically revolve around frustration. The technology doesn’t seem to work, doesn’t work consistently, or just slows the process too much. Though the technology itself is usually blamed — rightfully so in some cases — the facilities and environment in which the technology is used can be the chief culprit.


NCBA: 2008 Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show

NCBA: 2008 Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show


The convention is set for February 6-9 in Reno, Nev. But pre-registration ends January 11, so please get us your registration information as soon as possible. All details regarding registration and hotel accommodations are available online at:


Payment of the regular convention registration fee, as well as the Cattlemen’s College fee, is not required for working media. Unfortunately, this also means you are not able to complete your registration online. So, please e-mail your full contact information to Grace Webb at gwebb@beef.org, and she will submit your registration form for you. But we ask that you please limit media registration and use of the media room to working reporters and editors only. Marketing, public relations, and other staff must follow the normal registration process. By limiting media room access to working media only, we are able to provide the best services and facilities possible. We appreciate your cooperation.


Baxter Black: Away in a Manger

Baxter Black:  Away in a Manger

From Cattle Today

 “Well, that’s the last room, Rachael. We’re full up.”

“We always are at tax collection time, Jake,” Rachael said.

“I’m glad we moved here. I know you were worried about makin’ a livin’ in a little po dunk town, as some would say, but it’s gonna work, we’ve just got to have faith.”

“Is that the door?”

“I’ll get it,” said Jake.

Jake opened the door of his little inn to a man standing in the entranceway. In the moonlight he could see a woman behind him leaning on a burro.


MSU Hosts Macedonians Studying Feed Processing

MSU Hosts Macedonians Studying Feed Processing

by: Courtney Coufal, MSU Ag Communications

Cattle Today

MISSISSIPPI STATE — A group of Macedonians got an up close and personal tour of Mississippi State University and other parts of the state during a two-week-long visit to learn about animal feed processing.

The group of four traveled to the United States to take part in the Cochran Fellowship Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The program provides U.S.-based agricultural training for senior and mid-level professionals from developing countries who are interested in agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy and marketing.


USDA announces Beef Promotion Board appointments

USDA announces Beef Promotion Board appointments

AG Professional

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today announced 39 appointments to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning Feb.3, 2007.

Appointed members representing cattle producers by state are: Max Bozeman, Jr., Alabama; Weldon D. Wynn, Arkansas; Manuel Rodrigues, California; Harold A. Wick, Colorado; Sidney L. Sumner, Florida; Dan D. Hinman, Idaho; Paul L. Kent, Minnesota; Dianne Sites, Missouri; Lawrence J. Switzer, Montana; David C. Schubel, New York; Brian C. Healey and Steve Smola, Oklahoma; Sharon E. Livingston, Oregon; Daniel M. Kniffen, Pennsylvania; Charles L. Ezer, Austin E. Brown III and Mary Lou Bradley, Texas; and Warren D. Viergutz, Wisconsin.


New Book: The Welfare of Cattle

New Book:  The Welfare of Cattle

Rushen, J., Passillé, A.M.d., Keyserlingk, M.A.G.v., Weary, D.M.

This book covers all aspects of research into the welfare of dairy, veal and beef cattle. Written by leading international research scientists in the field, it provides a thorough and critical review of the most up-to-date research on the welfare of cattle, covering behavior, nutrition and feeding, housing and management, stockmanship, and stress physiology, as well as transport and slaughter. The book also offers a detailed and critical analysis of the main indicators of animal welfare and covers the main threats to animal welfare in modern cattle production systems.


Ten Steps to Buying the Right Bull

Ten Steps to Buying the Right Bull

Scott P. Greiner, Ph.D., Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

   1. Identify Herd Goals- Herd goals serve as the foundation for sire selection and provide guidance as to traits with the most economic importance.  Defining the production and marketing system, along with management strategies and environment are key factors that warrant consideration:

      Will the bull be used on heifers, mature cows, or both?

      Will replacement females be retained in the herd?

      How will the calf crop be marketed (at weaning?, backgrounded?, retained ownership? sell females?)

      What are the labor and management resources available?

      What are the feed resources and environmental conditions of the operation?

      How will this sire contribute to the overall breeding system plan?


Peru Free Trade Agreement is disaster for farmers everywhere

Peru Free Trade Agreement is disaster for farmers everywhere

By Ben Burkett, MinutemanMedia.org

Topeka Capital-Journal

American anxiety about our food system is at an all-time high. With every report of tainted or poisonous foreign food imports or new E. coli recall, consumer demand grows for locally produced, source-verified products. As a family farmer who grows collard greens, okra, watermelon, and squash and has struggled for years trying to obtain a fair price for my crops, I welcome wholeheartedly this phenomenon. However, our Congress members seem to be oblivious to the livelihoods of family farmers and the wishes of consumers as they continue to pass more disastrous free trade agreements. Instead of learning from the failed lessons of the National American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the House of Representatives passed the Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in November. The U.S. Senate is looking to vote on it this month. Farmers and consumers both here and in Peru will be the big losers. The only winners will be corporate agribusinesses dumping cheap grain and seeking the cheapest labor and most lax environmental standards.

Cattle fed distiller’s grain prone to E. coli, study suggests

Cattle fed distiller’s grain prone to E. coli, study suggests


Houston Chronicle

WICHITA, Kan. — In a study that could have far-reaching food safety implications, researchers at Kansas State University have found that cattle fed a byproduct of ethanol production are twice as likely to carry a potentially deadly strain of E. coli bacteria.

“Distiller’s grain is a good animal feed. That’s why ethanol plants are often built next to feedlots,” T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a news release announcing his findings.