Calf Scours: Causes and Treatment
Don Hansen, Extension Veterinarian, Oregon State University
There are several causes of disease and death in newborn calves. In many locations, the leading causes of beef-calf deaths are related to difficult births (dystocia). After that, however, the most common calfhood problems are infectious diseases. Of these, scours, or diarrhea, which occurs within the first several days of life, is the single most important cause of calf sickness and death in the United States. Almost no herd goes through a calving season without some scours. In severe outbreaks, the effects of scours in an individual herd can be overwhelming. Illness may occur in 70 percent of calves born and death may occur in 50 percent.
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Winter Tetany – Frequently Asked Questions
Ropin’ the Web
What is Winter Tetany?
Winter tetany is a metabolic condition caused by lower than average blood magnesium (Mg) levels. This condition occurs when cattle consume poor quality hay or straw, that contain low levels of magnesium, or good quality cereal greenfeed or silage with high levels of potassium (K). High levels of potassium in the diet reduces the absorption of magnesium and calcium (Ca). Cattle depend upon a continual daily supply of magnesium and calcium from the digestive tract to maintain normal blood concentrations. Often in Alberta winter tetany is associated with feeding grain and straw or greenfeed based rations that contain low or borderline calcium and magnesium, and high potassium levels compared to the cow’s requirements.
Twelve Tricks For A More Effective 2008
Have you ever reached the end of a day, month or year, and set back and asked where all the time went? I’m guessing you started out with a definite “to-do” list and despite the fact you were busy and productive all day, your list was essentially the same size at day’s end. You spent your time, you just didn’t spend it on accomplishing your projects.
Life has many distractions. While some are unavoidable, a good number can be reduced. Experts say that identifying the most frequent sources of distractions in your day is the start of lowering their impact on your daily life.
Income Tax Rules For Weather Related Sales Of Livestock
Weather often raise havoc with the income stream on a farm. This year’s drought is no exception as livestock farmers wrestle with short feed supplies coupled with substantial increases in feed costs. A common response is to reduce herd size by selling more livestock than in a normal year. However, this has the potential of creating dramatically higher taxable income. To assist farmers with leveling such taxable income spikes, the federal tax code has two provisions (elections) that address the issue of increased income when forced to sell more livestock than normal because of a weather related situation.
Proposed ban on packer-owned cattle divides ranchers
NCBA calls limit unfair, R-CALF says it will improve competition
Like many a package under the Christmas tree, the Senate’s recent passage of the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2007 didn’t please all members of the cattle industry.
Like the version passed by the House of Representatives (H.R. 2419) earlier this summer, the Senate farm bill contains some improvements for cattlemen, including a provision allowing interstate shipment of state-inspected meat. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association strongly supports the provision as a way for state-regulated businesses to better compete and for cattle producers and small local businesses to boost market-branded beef products.
It also improved “country-of-origin labeling” for which groups such as the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund/United Stockgrowers of America have lobbied hard. The so-called “COOL” law becomes mandatory in September.
Cattlemen want to throttle back biofuel
NCBA urges focus on sustainable energy independence
Jimmy’s cracking corn for biofuels is hardly drawing apathy among members of the cattle industry.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is the latest industry group to air concerns as Congress completes energy legislation mandating that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be produced by 2022, with 15 billion gallons of fuel coming from grain-based sources such as corn.
The bill differs from the current Renewable Fuel Standard, which calls for production of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012 – a significantly more manageable mark than the 36 billions gallons mandated by the new bill, NCBA spokesmen said.
NCBA members have adopted policy opposing increasing this government mandate.
Beef cattle conference scheduled
The annual Northwest Oklahoma Beef Cattle Conference has been set for Jan. 8, 2008 at the Major County Fairgrounds in Fairview and Jan. 9, 2008 at the Woods County Fairgrounds in Alva.
The conference offers area cattle producers the opportunity to learn what to expect in the upcoming year as they listen to presentations given by professionals from the OSU Extension service, which sponsors the conference.
Pain Control In Food Animals Is A Growing Issue
I can guarantee you that many in the 98% of society with no direct ties to agriculture see prevention or treatment of pain in farm animals as a moral issue. In fact, it’s possible that within the next 5-10 years, some type of analgesia will be required for castration of bull calves more than 60 days of age, and for dehorning.
This prediction may or may not be accurate, but will such an eventuality — if it comes — be at the design of the industry, or mandated by uninformed outside parties?
Evaluate Weaning Options
Historic management practices have evolved because they fit — fit the cattle, fit the forage supply, and/or fit available labor and management. But sometimes it pays to stop and look at alternative ways of doing things, either because the underlying situation has changed (short or long term), or because new information is available. One area that might benefit from periodic review is the timing and management of weaning calves.
“Early” weaning of calves takes in a fairly broad range of practices, and is often considered when forage supplies are, or are expected to be, in short supply, when hay costs are high relative to grain, or in response to seasonal changes in the market for weaned calves. Research shows that early weaning may also be justified by subsequent feedlot performance, or improvements in dam body condition and reproduction.
Web site gives advice on winter livestock forage
The Palladium Item
Indiana livestock producers have a new resource available to help them get through the winter with low forage supplies.
Purdue University Cooperative Extension specialists teamed to create the “Managing the Forage Shortage” Web site, available at http://www.forageshortage.com.
“The goal is to minimize the impact of this year’s low forage supply,” said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist. “If we can keep our livestock healthy through the winter, the impact will be confined to increased feed expenses and we will not have the negative aspects of poor animal performance in 2008 and lingering into 2009.”
The Web site features videos, news articles, publications, alternative feed profiles and contact information for local hay auctions. It also offers tips for rejuvenating forages after a difficult growing season, how to sample baled hay and crop residues, as well as advice for determining the animals’ body condition score.
Beef cattle producers need to do more planning than usual to get through this winter
North Carolina is still under severe drought conditions, and the feed supply is already getting very tight. The growing season started with a late freeze which damaged many forage crops, and then the weather turned dry which further hurt pasture and hay production.
In 2007 there were 392,000 beef cows in North Carolina. That does not make North Carolina a “major” beef cow state, but that is still a lot of cows, and they eat a lot of feed.
Crop input costs expected to soar
Many experts are estimating that crop input costs for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and fuel for corn and soybean production this year will increase as much as 25 percent to 35 percent, says Kent Thiesse, vice president of MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal.
That could increase per-acre production costs by $50-75 per acre or more for corn and $25-50 per acre for soybeans, he said.
This doesn’t include any potential added costs for fungicides to control soybean rust and other diseases or insecticides for soybean aphids. Thiesse said producers should look for opportunities in coming weeks to lock-in costs for seed, fertilizer, chemicals, fuel, drying gas and other expenses.
New state program aims to put more pounds on Missouri cattle industry
A new program designed to beef up the cattle industry in Missouri is expected to start soon after the first of the year.
Proposed guidelines for the new Quality Beef Tax Credit Program for Missouri cattlemen have been drafted and await final approval by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Authority.
Tony Stafford, executive director of the authority, and his staff have been working on the guidelines since Gov. Matt Blunt made them part of the state’s economic development bill in September.
“The intent of the program is to increase the amount of beef production in the state,” Stafford said.
10 Cattle Facts That Will Impress Your Friends From Yale
The United States and Brazil are the top beef producing countries in the world.
In the US, Texas has the most beef cows.
Cattle outnumber humans in 9 states: Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
Beef Checkoff Task Force looks at hike in rates
By Heather Carlile
A Beef Checkoff Task Force, put together by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, has made four recommendations to update the Beef Checkoff Program.
If followed, one of the suggestions would lead to the first national raise in the rate producers pay to the program in its 20-plus year history.
“The task force was an idea started at the grassroots level by some state cattlemen associations,” said Mike John, former president of the NCBA. “At their direction, NCBA initiated this industry-wide review because we believed it was important to provide a forum for all national organizations involved in the industry to discuss and develop recommendations to strengthen the promotion, education and research engine of the beef industry.”
The program collects $1 per head on all cattle sold in the country and $1-per-head equivalent on imported cattle, beef and beef products.