Daily Archives: February 29, 2008

Baxter Black: Molasses Calf

Baxter Black:  Molasses Calf

Cattle Today

You gotta feed cows in the winter in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Liquid molasses is a common supplement. But Annie (an alias) was not prepared for the sticky surprise she found in their molasses tank. Standing withers deep in the rectangular container was a four-day old bull calf!

She went to work trying to cajole and lift the calf over the edge. It was so slippery, no grip could be had. Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, Annie delicately stepped into the tank. The molasses was cold and came up to her knees. Ignoring the discomfort and slime, she tried to lift the calf. Her attempts were fruitless; he was just too slick to hold.


HSUS Lawsuit To Ban Veterinary Discretion In Evaluating Animal Health

HSUS Lawsuit To Ban Veterinary Discretion In Evaluating Animal Health


 “Today, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), emboldened by the alarmist and unfounded food safety  concerns that they’ve generated, is now asking a Federal court to prohibit veterinarians in federally inspected meat plants from exercising medical judgment to determine whether some livestock are fit for consumption.

In meat plants, all livestock must be evaluated by federal veterinarians before they are processed.  Animals that cannot walk may not be processed.  However, some livestock can walk when they arrive, but after passing inspection, may become non-ambulatory.  In those very small instances in which this occurs, USDA permits veterinarians to determine whether these animals cannot walk due to an ailment like a broken leg or simple exhaustion or whether there is a different cause that would require these animals to be euthanized.  This is appropriate discretion to give these veterinarians.


K-State Economists Find ‘Stark Differences’ Between Countries Regarding Beef Risk Perceptions

K-State Economists Find ‘Stark Differences’ Between Countries Regarding Beef Risk Perceptions


WorldThe saying goes “You are what you eat,” but perceptions about what you’re eating when it comes to beef can vary widely from one country to another.

Using data from more than 4,000 consumers surveyed across four countries, agricultural economists from Kansas State University, Michigan State University and Maastricht University (Netherlands) found that consumers in Japan and Mexico have more concerns about beef food safety than do consumers in the United States and Canada.


Embryo Transfer Can Maximize Best Genetics

Embryo Transfer Can Maximize Best Genetics

Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

A growing number of breeders now use advanced reproductive techniques such as embryo transfer (ET) to maximize the genetics of their best cows. This is a way to produce many more calves from an outstanding cow than she could ever raise in her lifetime. As pointed out by Russ Princ at Genex (a company that does custom semen collection, much of which is used for ET), this is also a way to get more calves from a pair of animals that nick well. “A good cow may have only 10 to 14 calves during her life, but with ET you can raise dozens of calves from her. People are selling rights to flushes, selling embryos, and confirmed sexed pregnancies (in recip cows) from a flush,” says Princ.


Analyzing The Cost Of A Bull

Analyzing The Cost Of A Bull


With the steady increase in input costs for cow-calf operations, beef producers will look to save money and cut costs in multiple fashions.  One area often targeted for cost-cutting measures is money spent on bulls.  Often producers focus on the initial cost of a sire, and realize “sticker shock” when purchase prices move upward.  Considering that the herd sire has significant impact on numerous of traits with economic importance (coat color, calf vigor, weaning weight, carcass grade), an individual sire has a pronounced impact on profitability. Bull purchase price needs to be put in perspective by evaluating price relative to years of useful service the cost per cow exposed.  Table 1 compares the cost per cow or a bull with a $2500 purchase price and one with a $1500 purchase price.  Assumptions are as follows:  4 years of service, salvage weight of 2000 lbs, salvage price of $50 cwt.  Cost per cow exposed is shown for each purchase price given the number of cows exposed. 


Research leading to tools for managing bovine respiratory disease complex

Research leading to tools for managing bovine respiratory disease complex


Bovine respiratory disease complex has multiple causes. It’s sometimes hard to classify and predict. It also costs the beef industry more than any other disease — an estimated $690 million in 2006, according to one report.

That’s why a team of Kansas State University researchers is stepping in. Using a three-year, $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the team is analyzing data from feedlots to develop decision-making tools that will make it easier for producers to manage the health of their cattle.


Feeders Gather to Learn Ways to Produce Better Beef

Feeders Gather to Learn Ways to Produce Better Beef

Cattle Today

Efficiency and quality are two important words in the beef industry. Both were covered during the Feeding Quality Forums, Nov. 13 in Garden City, Kansas, and Nov. 15 in South Sioux City, Neb.

Robert Strong, editor of Feedlot magazine, kicked off the programs by stressing the importance of continually building on the beef industry’s body of knowledge.

“In the future, we will use more information and technology, which will make life more interesting, predictable and profitable for all of us in the cattle industry,” he said.

Feedlot co-sponsored the meetings with Pfizer Animal Health, Land O’Lakes Purina Feeds LLC, and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). Topics fit what were on cattle feeders’ minds.