BeefTalk: Wind and Cold Are a Dangerous Combination For Bulls
Is Your Bull’s Scrotum Frozen? You Better Check! Is Your Bull’s Scrotum Frozen? You Better Check!
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
Bulls exposed to wind and cold could be neutered by morning.
Very cold wind, three four-letter words, took a bite out of much of the northern Plains recently. Wind chills at minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit sent sharp pains of cold, almost like daggers, against my face.
I could not help wondering about the cows. I never have seen a frozen cow that wasn’t dead. Healthy, living cows do not freeze. Cow stand on four legs that are totally exposed to the weather, but get along just fine. Cows will attempt to get out of the wind and lay down.
Cornstalk considerations when the snow hits
Heavy ice and snow can affect the quality of cornstalks, so cattle producers likely will have to alter their winter feeding strategy when an abundance of snow hits.
Daryl Strohbehn, a beef specialist with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, cautions that even when warmer temps allow cornstalks to thaw some for grazing, producers need to be aware that their quality has been negatively affected. The damages caused by weather can be “fairly substantial,” Strohbehn says, causing the cornstalks’ nutrient level and palatability to decrease.
Shooting Ourselves In The Foot
This week, USDA suspended Westland Meat Co., of Chino, CA, as a supplier to the National School Lunch program because of animal abuse issues at a Hallmark Meat Packing Company, which is a supplier to Westland.
This abuse was filmed and put on their website by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It may be tempting for cattlemen to instinctively disregard this latest incident, as an HSUS member was working undercover at the plant. HSUS’s reputation for distortion and its commitment to ending animal agriculture is well known. However, the videotapes certainly show inhumane treatment, the electrical prodding of downer cattle, spraying them with water and even ramming them with a forklift in an attempt to make the cattle stand up.
Why Vaccinate Adult Beef Cows?
E. J. Richey, D.V.M.
University of Florida
Only a few of the diseases we vaccinate adult cows against actually cause death. In Florida, to protect adult cows against death, we generally vaccinate for Redwater ( Clostridium haemolyticum ). Occasionally, but not often, adult cows die of other diseases that they could have been vaccinated against.
We don’t vaccinate adult cows only to raise the resistance to a particular disease to ensure survival. We also vaccinate to raise the resistance to certain diseases to enhance reproduction; protect the fetus (unborn calf); protect the new-born calf during its first 3 to 4 months of life (via fortified colostrum); and provide a barrier to prevent diseases from being introduced into the herd or reduce the spread of a disease once it has been introduced
Understanding Feed Labels
Clyde Lane, Jr. Professor & Warren Gill, Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee
Producers need to understand the information provided on feed labels if they are to make informed buying decisions.
To assist in understanding the information provided on feed tags, each item will be briefly discussed.
● Feed Name – This may include the product name and brand name and must carefully conform to regulations about appropriateness for a specific use.
US Beef Industry Facing Crisis of Overcapacity
One of the major problems facing the US beef industry is overcapacity in its processing sector.
Efficiencies in the industry to produce more meat from fewer animals has seen production rise, meat industry consultant John Nalivka from Sterling Marketing told the Outlook 2008 conference in London.
Beef production saw a slump in 2003 but is now on an upward trend and reached more than 26 billion pounds last year from just over 95,000 head of cattle.
Mr Nalivka said that a look at the steer carcase weights showed how beef production had increased with a lower cattle inventory.
February Beef Management Calendar
Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist, VA Tech
Spring Calving Herds
* Have all calving supplies on hand and review calving assistance procedures
* Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date
* Begin calving late in month (some herds)
* Check cows 3 to 4 times per day, heifers more often â€“ assist early if needed
* Keep calving area clean and well drained, move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving
* Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds