Daily Archives: February 19, 2008



It is not uncommon to see real cowboys in the communities where cattle are part of the economy. I don’t mean posing in the street like gunfighters in Tombstone, or passing out casino flyers on a corner in Las Vegas during rodeo week, but in the middle school parking lot picking up their kids, in the latte drive-up, or at the lumber store. One lady told of seeing two authentic-looking cowboys strolling up the aisle at Safeway. She described them as wearing ‘dusty jeans, ten gallon hats, and well-worn boots with jangling spurs.’ “What could they be buying in here?” she wondered…,”probably beer and tobacco.”


Early Detection and Prevention

Early Detection and Prevention

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

There is a recognized consensus among those scientists, researchers and industry leaders involved in battling Johne’s that the shortest road to eliminating the pervasive and economically destructive bacterial infection from our beef and dairy herds is to develop a low-cost, quick-response, highsensitivity test that identifies Johne’s-positive cattle before they can infect their herdmates.

Ken Olson, coordinator for the National Johne’s Education Initiative, is encouraged by progress being made to develop new tools to detect the disease.


Cows and the recall

Cows and the recall

Baltimore Sun

Two important points about the beef recall: One is the inspiration for it – misbehavior by slaughterhouse workers caught on tape. It’s a reminder of the ubiquitous nature of surreptitious filming in the digital age.

A Baltimore police officer was recently suspended after he was caught on tape berating and abusing an errant skateboarder at the Inner Harbor. Is all this undercover filming a bad thing? Depends on who is catching whom, doesn’t it? In this case, the U.S. Humane Society filmed workers at a meat packing plant beating cows on the head to get them to stand up so they could be taken to pens for slaughter.

You can read the story here. Why is it important that cows be standing up? That gets to the second point.

As the Associated Press reports: Federal regulations require keeping downed cattle out of the food supply because they typically wallow in feces, their immune systems are often weak and they pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease.


Biology, Habits, & Life Cycle of Face Flies

Biology, Habits, & Life Cycle of Face Flies


Only the female face fly is a pest of livestock. Males spend their time perched on vegetation, awaiting mates. The males feed on plant nectar and on the liquid secretions of dung. Females feed on protein contained in eye secretions, nasal secretions, and saliva, not on blood. They feed only during the daytime, resting on fence posts or vegetation at night.

While the fly is feeding, the roughness of its sponging mouthparts irritates the cow’s eye and increases tear production. Face fly feeding can transmit bacteria to the eye, increasing the likelihood of bovine pinkeye and Thelazia eyeworms.


Grass fed beef possibly healthier than corn fed beef

Grass fed beef possibly healthier than corn fed beef


Grass fed cattle may end up being healthier for you than corn-fed cattle.

Researchers found beef from cattle that grazed on grass is leaner, and contains fewer hormones and anti-biotics than corn fed beef.

Scientists also found the beef from grass fed cattle contained more of a chemical called “Conjugated Linoleic Acid” or CLA.  CLA has been shown to help reduce fat around a person’s abdominal muscles, and increase lean muscle.


National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Comments on Meat Recall

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Comments on Meat Recall

Ag Professional

“Today, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a Class II recall involving beef from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. This recall is happening, out of an abundance of caution, because the company did not follow regulations for handling non-ambulatory cattle.

We support USDA’s recall as a precautionary measure. At the same time, we can say with confidence that the beef supply is safe. We have multiple interlocking safeguards in place in every beef processing plant in America so that if one is bypassed, the other systems continue to ensure the product we serve our families remains safe.


Are You Ready For Spring Calving?

Are You Ready For Spring Calving?


Spring calving season is just around the corner, and even though the majority of cattle give birth without assistance, it’s always wise to be prepared for those that will need help. When observing pregnant cows for signs of calving, you can divide the process of labor into three general stages. These include the preparatory stage (Stage 1), the fetal expulsion stage (Stage 2) and the cleaning stage (Stage 3). Time intervals and events that occur will vary between each stage as well as vary between individuals.