Vets Weigh In On Calf Health
Veterinarian John Peirce created a stir among cow-calf readers of BEEF magazine last fall when he chastised the job cowmen were doing in the health preparation of the calves he was seeing at AzTx Cattle Co. feedyard in Garden City, KS.
“Every pen of calves gives you a report card on its health-management background, and the grade is given in dollars and cents,” he told BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford (“Are You Vaccinating Calves… Or Shooting Blanks?,” page 30, September 2007, BEEF). The grade Peirce was handing out that day was an “F,” saying that 80% of cow-calf producers — because of how they handle (or mishandle) modified-live viral vaccines — do a poor job of preparing their calf crops for the challenges that lie in their future.
Calving in the Cold
When frigid temperatures hit during calving season, it can be a life-threatening situation for newborn calves. Beef producers know the best bet is to get calves out of the cold, but oftentimes there just isn’t enough barn space. Here are some makeshift ideas to get through those cold spells.
North Dakota State University Extension Beef Specialist Greg Lardy says protection from the wind and providing a dry environment are the two most important things producers can do to help newborn calves survive.
“Wet and cold are a deadly combination,” he says.
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Mandatory Premise ID: Are we using our resources effectively?
Bureau County Republican
As a youth showing livestock at the 4-H and FFA fairs, I always remember the necessity of having the necessary veterinary health papers in order to show my animals. Hogs needed to be blood-tested a month before the show in order to validate their freedom from certain diseases. More than once, those tests were completed at the 11th hour with the help of a very cooperative veterinarian! Also, I don’t know how, but the envelope containing those tests could get lost in a showbox or a truck glove compartment very easily! While seeming somewhat cumbersome, those papers indicating proper animal health were and are necessary to allow for a healthier animal environment at the shows.
Locally-produced distillers grains are feed option for farmers
Coshocton Ethanol is now in production and is marketing its distillers grains (DG), a byproduct of producing ethanol, to local farmers. Because of the nutritional impact DG can have on animals, it is important for producers to consult with an animal nutritionist before incorporating the grains into their herd or flock nutrition management plans.
Dried distillers grains typically contain 25 to 35 percent crude protein. According to a feed analysis from Coshocton Ethanol, the dried DG (with solubles) produced at the facility is 30.5 percent protein (on a 100 percent dry matter basis).
California State University, Chico hosts Internet bull sale
Red Bluff Daily News
CHICO – California State University, Chico, College of Agriculture announces plans for its first Internet bull and female sale April 5-9.
The four-day event will feature 30 Angus and Red Angus yearling bulls and six halter-broke yearling heifers. The cattle will be available for preview at the University’s Agriculture Teaching and Research Center on April 5, or by arrangement. The bidding will begin at 8 a.m. on April 5 and end at 10 a.m. on April 9.
The Internet auction gives producers the opportunity to buy performance bulls at a time that is convenient for them. This auction also allows the CSU, Chico beef program to expand their buyer pool as producers from across the country can preview pictures and videos of the cattle, study their performance data and bid on the animal of their choice over the Internet.
MCA Foundation delivers beef to boys, girls
The Prairie Star
Members of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Foundation delivered beef to the Boys and Girls Club of Lame Deer, Mont., last week as part of the foundation’s Beef-on-Every-Plate drive.
Past president Paul Ringling and executive director Jeremy Seidliz delivered about 350 pounds of ground beef to the Boys and Girls Club on Feb. 18. This is the fourth animal that has been processed and delivered through this program.
Calving season has arrived in Douglas County
I hope you are enjoying the baby calves frolicking about the countryside.
Most of the 20,000 beef cows in Douglas County give birth from January through March, so beef producers are in the middle of making sure they provide the best of care for the new arrivals. Most cows calve completely unassisted, but some, particularly first-timers, may need help. Easy calving can be planned for, starting with proper heifer development and sire selection, continuing with good health care, and following through with balanced nutrition throughout pregnancy.
As the latest recall shows, food safety has taken a back seat to industry profits.
By Christopher D. Cook
Los Angles Times
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.
Nauseating as it was, last week’s record-setting beef recall and the apparent feeding of meat from crippled “downer” cattle to our nation’s children and others should come as little surprise. Although egregious to the point of obscenity, this latest meat scandal fits a pattern of regulatory anemia — the byproduct of a decades-long bipartisan assault on “big government” — that has opened the floodgates to all sorts of contamination shenanigans. The deregulated chickens, cows and pigs have come home to roost.
World`s Largest Steer
Steer, Montana, isn`t a town in the Big Sky State. It`s the name given to the biggest bovine in the world.
You don`t ask, “Where`s the beef?” after seeing Steer Montana. Cattle don`t get much bigger than this.
“At his prime he was 4,290 pounds,” says Lora Heyen, the curator of the O`Fallon Museum.
Heyen says Steer grew to be over 10-feet long and almost six feet tall. The animal didn`t get this big because of steroids, but his owner claimed a steady diet of moonshine by-products helped him to beef-up.
“Jack Guth did like to brag that the reason his steers got so large was because he fed them whiskey mash,” Heyen says. “Whiskey mash has a lot of protein in there.”
USDA Fact Sheet: Slaughter Inspection 101
About The Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of meat, poultry, and processed egg products and ensures that it is accurately labeled.
FSIS enforces the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) and the Egg Products Inspection Act. These laws require Federal inspection and regulation of meat, poultry, and processed egg products prepared for distribution in commerce for use as human food.
Beetles help fight invasive weed toxic to cattle
For years, cattle farmers in northwest Iowa have struggled with a scourge that eats away at their grazeable land. The problem is an invasive weed called leafy spurge. The nonnative plant, with origins in Europe and Asia, pushes out prairie grass and offers a toxic alternative that cattle won’t eat. Enter the beetles. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the non-profit Nature Conservancy released the Aphthona flea beetles in limited areas about 10 years ago and have found they’re experts at gobbling up leafy spurge, a weed with milky, latex sap that causes lesions in cows that eat it. It’s a slow process, but the beetles are helping native grass that suits bovine palates regain a foothold.
Beef producers support this biggest recall
The beef industry continues to condemn the actions by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. of Chino, Calif., that have led to the largest recall of beef products in history. But it needs to be made clear that this was not a food safety recall, and there is no evidence that any of the 143.3 million pounds of recalled beef was tainted in any way or presented a danger to consumers. This Class II recall was prompted because there were violations in USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) pre-harvest inspection procedures that allowed beef from nonambulatory (“downer”) cattle into commerce.
Sustainable fuel? Researcher question whether ethanol byproduct taints cattle, meat
BY HALLIE WOODS
As ethanol production increases, some researchers are questioning the effect the alternative fuel’s byproduct grains have on cattle and the safety and quality of beef.
Distillers grain, the leftovers from producing corn ethanol, has been linked to a 50 percent increase in E. coli when fed to cattle, according to a recent Kansas State University study that looked at dried distiller’s grains. E. coli is a foodborne fecal contaminant that can cause food poisoning or worse if consumed by humans who eat undercooked meat, raw dairy products or produce contaminated with cow manure.
Workshop offered on beef improvement
The Daily Citizen
Program to be held March 11 and March 13 at Eagleview Catering
The White County Extension Service is offering a great opportunity to attend the Arkansas Beef Improvement Program (ABIP) Workshop. The two-night workshop will be held March 11 and 13 at Eagleview Catering in Searcy. Each night’s session will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
There is no charge for the workshop. Informational materials and a free meal will be provided, but pre-registration is required by Feb. 29. Sponsors for this workshop are the Arkansas Beef Improvement Program and AgHeritage Farm Credit Services.
Managing cattle operations to protect lakes, rivers
High Plains Journal
Concerns about long-term effects of beef cattle browsing more than 11 million acres of Florida grazinglands led Agricultural Research Service scientists to examine soil fertility changes in bahiagrass-based beef cattle pastures from 1988 to 2002. Analysis of data from that research shows that cattle can be managed in an environmentally safe way, despite the large quantities of waste the animals generate.
Forage-based livestock systems have been cited as a major cause of deteriorating water quality in Florida and other cattle-producing states. Phosphorus runoff from manure and fertilizers applied to enhance forage production can pollute rivers and lakes. However, very limited data have been available to quantify nutrient losses to adjacent bodies of water from pastures managed for grazing and hay production.