Daily Archives: January 11, 2008

Feedlot Bloat – Prevention and Treatment

Feedlot Bloat – Prevention and Treatment

Ed Duren, Extension Animal Scientist, University of Idaho, Cecil R. Miller, Technical Services Veterinarian, Smith Kline Beecham

Iowa Beef Center

Bloat is a form of indigestion marked by an abnormal distention of the rumen caused by accumulated gas. Gases produced in the normal rumen fermentation process are normally eructated or “belched up.” When bloating occurs, these gases cannot escape. They continue to build up and cause severe distention of the abdomen, compression of the heart and lungs, and eventually death.

Contributing causes of bloat include, an inherited tendency for bloat, certain proteins in forage, the amount and rate of roughage intake, the coarseness of the roughage, the rumen microbial population, and enlargement of the lymph nodes between the lungs that compress the esophagus or interfere with the function of the vagus nerves after respiratory infection. Diagnosis can only be confirmed on necropsy.


Methods of Determining Age of Cattle

Methods of Determining Age of Cattle

Ron Torell, Dr. Ben Bruce, Dr. Bill Kvasnicka, Ken Conley, Gund Research and Demonstration Ranch Manager


The beef cow has a relatively short life span. After their peak productive age, breeding market value usually declines as the animal gets older. Year branding or ear tag numbering are good methods of permanently identifying the age of cattle. These practices usually add value when selling bred cows. Buyers can bid with confidence on the age of cow they are purchasing. However, many cattle ranchers are unable to accurately identify the ages of their cattle.


The Evolution of Carcass Ultrasound in Beef Cattle Operations

The Evolution of Carcass Ultrasound in Beef Cattle Operations

Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

Chianina Journal

The term “evolution” must be used loosely, since the history of Centralized Ultrasound Processing only dates back about a decade. However, drastic changes have occurred in how cattle producers in all aspects of the beef cattle industry use carcass ultrasound data. This short history lesson will not only explain the trends, but also define why guidelines and rules were established for breeding programs.

In 1998, much of the initial research that garnered carcass ultrasound as we know it today was already completed. Diving into the research behind ultrasound could take another issue of Carcass Ultrasound 101 in itself. Nevertheless, a set of guidelines were established between the American Angus Association and The Centralized Ultrasound Processing (CUP) Lab at Iowa State University


Gifts that keep on giving

Gifts that keep on giving

Miranda Reiman

Black Ink

For farm and ranch folks, Santa often leaves leather gloves, shiny new pocketknives or something like the latest grease gun. Husbands opened new toolsets and wives unwrapped wool socks and coveralls during the recent holiday season.

Most recipients think these are fine, practical gifts. It’s always fun to get a standard piece of equipment with innovative improvements. With all the fresh gadgets and gizmos you have going into this new year, it might be time to evaluate tools you’re not using that could improve your cowherd.

It would be no surprise to find some of last year’s gifts still in their packaging under the shop bench, but some of the most significant unused tools are less tangible.


Ready your herd for breeding season

Ready your herd for breeding season

by Rick Rasby, Extension beef specialist, University of Nebraska

Angus Journal

The spring calving season hasn’t even started yet, and you already need to start thinking about the next breeding season. That’s correct. During late gestation, how cows are managed from a nutritional standpoint to achieve optimal body condition prior to calving will have a substantial effect on how well cows will cycle and breed during the next breeding season.


Genome Mapping Yields Clues About Cattle DIsease

Genome Mapping Yields Clues About Cattle DIsease

by: Patti Drapala

Cattle Today

Mississippi State — Mississippi State University researchers are developing a biological map of how three tiny pathogens cause big losses for cattle producers each year.

Faculty members Mark Lawrence, Shane Burgess and Bindu Nanduri of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Susan Bridges of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are studying the genes and proteins of Mannheimia haemolytica, Histophilus somni and Pasteurella multocida. The research team is using state-of-the-art genome science and computer modeling to detect, confirm and locate harmful genes that cause bovine respiratory disease.


Small acreage landowner webcourses available in 2008

Small acreage landowner webcourses available in 2008

By Roger Skipper, Fannin County Extension agent

North Texas e-News

The small acreage landowner is a growing segment in Texas agriculture. Per Ag Census statistics, 33% of all farms and ranches in Texas are ranked under 50 acres in size. The small acreage farm or ranch owner may have purchased their small acreage operation for many reasons – retirement, a source of alternate income, or to impart a life-style change.

Small scale farmers/ranchers many times have arrived in the enterprise with the need for education concerning enterprise choices, basic production guidelines, as well as advice on marketing strategies and agricultural legalities. One characteristic also typical of small scale farmers/ranchers is that they have hurried schedules in many cases but are considered very technically astute.