Daily Archives: January 14, 2008

BeefTalk: Prevention and Early Intervention Are Keys to Unlocking the Sick Pen

BeefTalk: Prevention and Early Intervention Are Keys to Unlocking the Sick Pen

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

What’s Normal? Vital Signs for Cows What’s Normal? Vital Signs for Cows

If a calf is dragging, a colt missing a jump or the feed bunk is not cleaned up, there is a reason.

Understanding the sick pen is difficult until one gets placed there. Caring for sick cattle, horses or any other animals is best understood by being sick and noting the process. The onset of a sickness usually is known.

Day one is business as usual, but things don’t seem right. The old body just seems a little sluggish. One doesn’t get up as fast, eats less and moves slower.

Day two is still business, but active camouflage is deployed. “Don’t let the world know” is the motto. Early morning scouts are saying that things have not improved and an invasion is eminent.

FULL STORY

Baxter Black: Squeeze Chute Injuries

Baxter Black: Squeeze Chute Injuries

Early in my veterinary career I developed a respect for the machinery used to restrain large beasts. No, I’m not thinking of ropes, twitches or even classic music in the dairy barn, although at one time or another I have used them all.

In particular I am thinking of the devil’s playtoy..the squeeze chute. All of us who own them, know down deep that we are teasing a tiger.

I would estimate in my lifetime of working cows, not including the uncountable number of feedlot opportunities, I have been hands-on, within striking distance of the “Jaws of the Devil” over one hundred thousand times. The fact that I am not personally disabled is due primarily to reliable equipment, fast hands, hard hats and good help.

FULL STORY

Plan Ahead For Heat Synchronization Method For Replacement Heifers

Plan Ahead For Heat Synchronization Method For Replacement Heifers

Cattlenetwork.com

Producers that plan to use artificial insemination as part or all of this upcoming spring breeding season should start their preparations soon. One synchronization protocol for replacement beef heifers involves the feeding of an additive, and the feed must be ordered and delivered at the proper time. Melengestrol acetate (MGATM) is a feed additive commonly used in heifer feedlot rations to block the cycling activity of heifers. Melengestrol acetate is a synthetic progestin that has “progesterone-like” activity. When fed for a short period of time and then removed from the diet, the sudden absence of progestin tends to allow a large percentage of heifers to exhibit heat together. Compared to normal heats, fertility at this first heat after MGATM removal has been reduced. Subsequent heats will return to normal fertility.

FULL STORY

Video Feature: Clones really no different than twins

Video Feature:  Clones really no different than twins

The Food & Drug Administration recently found that meat, milk and eggs from cloned animals are safe. Feedstuffs FoodLink talked with a scientific expert about the finding.

Cloning arguments

Cloning arguments

The FDA’s draft risk assessment found no difference between products from cloned and uncloned animals. But the 2006 report sparked a lively, 13-month debate over the safety of food from clones.

PROPONENTS SAY

•Cloning can result in consistently superior beef and dairy products.

•Cloning allows dairy farmers and cattle producers to develop superior herds.

•Cloning is a natural evolution of advanced breeding and genetic practices that have been in use for years.

FULL STORY

Better Beef

Better Beef

KXMCTV Minot

Sure, you probably wouldn’t want to go out in your shorts right now, but you have to admit, it’s been a pretty mild winter so far.

Temperatures hovering around the 30-and 40-degree mark make going outside a lot more tolerable. And animals can appreciate that too.

Livestock specialists say when cattle don’t have to hunkere down in the bitter cold, they’re more likely to eat less and perform better..

FULL STORY

Glad You Asked: What is bologna made of, and how did it get its name?

Glad You Asked: What is bologna made of, and how did it get its name?

Journal Times

Bologna is a cooked, smoked sausage made of cured beef, cured pork or a mixture of the two.

The bologna might include choice cuts, depending on who’s making it, but usually contains afterthoughts of the meat industry — organs, trimmings, end pieces and so on.

A typical recipe uses seasonings such as salt, sugar, pepper and spices, plus a curing agent that includes sodium nitrite to prevent food poisoning.

The meat is chopped, mixed with the cocktail of seasonings and put it in a casing. Like all sausages, bologna is covered in a natural casing made from the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle, sheep and hogs.

FULL STORY

Rural property owners learn to work land for fun and profit

Rural property owners learn to work land for fun and profit

Ohio State Extension school offers an eight-week program for those with small-farm acreage.

Ben Sutherly

Dayton Daily News

In 12 years, Bob Feldmann’s five-acre lot in rural Warren County has evolved into a nearly 50-acre farm.

Enrolling in an eight-week Ohio State University Extension school for first-time farmers has helped the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base engineer with his farming on the side.

Bob Feldmann wanted to give his chidren Katie, 8, and Joe, 14, 4-H Club opportunities. That desire grew into his family’s small farm operation in Warren County where they grow hay and raise Angus cattle. Feldmann attended the Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College to get tips for managing his 50 acre-enterprise.

FULL STORY

Producers Use Natural Solutions in Herd Management

Producers Use Natural Solutions in Herd Management

by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

First, from us all here at BLN Consulting, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We hope this will be your best year ever. With the arrival of 2008 we typically take time to reflect on the past and look to the new year with anticipation, excitement and in many cases some trepidation. With all the changes in the industry over the last few years, the new year will only bring more of the same. The industry has seen this in marketing, how we identify cattle, what is considered a safe beef product, so and so on. A very rapidly growing area in both demand by the consumer and the efforts on the cattle industry’s part are the production and availability of either Natural or Organic Beef products. At this point we will not revisit these areas of discussion in detail but some of the production issues that affect performance.

FULL STORY

In the Farm Bill, a Creature From the Black Lagoon?

In the Farm Bill, a Creature From the Black Lagoon?

ANDREW MARTIN

Blue Ridge Now

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

It may not surprise you to learn that much of the pork and chicken and beef and milk that you buy at the grocery store comes from huge, industrial-size operations that bear little resemblance to the quaint family farms that adorn many food packages.

But you may be surprised to learn that your tax dollars have helped pave the way for the growth of these livestock megafarms by paying farmers to deal with the mountains of excrement that their farms generate. All of this is carried out under the rubric of “conservation.” Congress is about to renew the program — and possibly even expand it — as part of a new farm bill wending its way through the Capitol.

It’s called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, also known as EQIP — a name that suggests an initiative to encourage farmers to improve environmental standards.

FULL STORY

Research Targets Meat Quality Before Harvest

Research Targets Meat Quality Before Harvest

Cattle Today

Mississippi State — Consumers are concerned with meat quality at the point of purchase and until use, but those bringing the meat to market must manage numerous factors before it reaches the customer.

“My research is on improving meat quality through pre-harvest intervention,” said Ty Schmidt, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “This includes animal management, nutrition, nutritional manipulation, health, animal welfare and stress physiology. Each of these factors impacts meat quality and food safety.”

Schmidt came to Mississippi State University’s Animal and Dairy Science Department in March as an assistant professor of muscle biology and physiology.

FULL STORY

NCTA seminar focuses on bringing young people back to agriculture

NCTA seminar focuses on bringing young people back to agriculture

High Plains Journal

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis will host a seminar on its 100-Cow Program at 3:30 p.m., Jan. 15 at NCTA’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Amphitheater.

“The program, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Cattlemen and the Nebraska Farm Bureau, is designed to return NCTA graduates to ranches and rural communities with 100 cows,” said NCTA Dean Weldon Sleight.

Since 1974, Nebraska has lost almost 17,000 ranches, 287,000 cows and a substantial number of residents in many rural communities, Sleight said. Today, 40 percent of Nebraska communities maintain a population of 300 or less. One of the major reasons for the population losses is the inability of rural communities to attract young people back to agricultural enterprises.

FULL STORY

Stock show welcomes Canadian animals back

Stock show welcomes Canadian animals back

Cathy Proctor

Denver Business Journal

Four years after a Canadian-born cow in Washington state was discovered carrying the deadly mad cow disease, the nation’s beef industry and its export market have largely returned to normal.

The biggest example of that locally is that Canadian cows and bulls — breeding stock used to expand herds — are returning to Denver’s National Western Stock Show. The U.S. government opened the border to Canadian breeding stock on Nov. 19.

FULL STORY

Farmers fear a barnyard Big Brother

Farmers fear a barnyard Big Brother

A federal database of animals to fight disease outbreaks is a threat to privacy and family operations, critics say.

By Nicole Gaouette,

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — After days of parading around her beefy black steer in the dung-scented August heat at the Colorado State Fair, Brandi Calderwood made the final competition. For months, the 16-year-old worked from dawn well past dusk, fitting in the work around school, to feed, train and clean her steer. But just before the last round, when the animals are sold, fair officials disqualified her.

They alleged that Brandi had not properly followed a new and controversial rule that required children to register their farms with a federal animal tracking system. After heated words, the Calderwoods were told to leave. A security guard trailed Brandi and her mother, even to the restroom.

FULL STORY

Cattle ranchers grow more rare in Argentina

Cattle ranchers grow more rare in Argentina

By JEANNETTE NEUMANN

Press Enterprise

Argentines are passionate about their beef — from cattle grazed on the sprawling pampas grasslands, it’s a national staple, delivered inexpensively and received with religious fervor at Sunday barbecues nationwide.

But while Argentines are some of the world’s top meat-eaters, consuming nearly 154 pounds per capita each year, soaring grain prices and export caps are driving many cattle ranchers to sell their herds and farm more lucrative crops instead.

FULL STORY