Daily Archives: May 27, 2008

Handle with Care

Handle with Care

Meghan Richey

Angus Journal

Forty percent of beef carcasses suffer discounts. While heavyweight carcasses and yield grade (YG) 4s make up roughly half the discounts, proper handling and welfare practices can prevent carcasses from being discounted even further. Meat quality — and prices received — can suffer when handling, physical or chemical, isn’t optimum.

“Producers, transporters and meat processors all have responsibility for proper production, management and handling of animals in order to optimize animal welfare and meat quality,” says Michael Dikeman, professor of meat science at Kansas State University (K-State).

Implant Cattle Properly

Implant Cattle Properly

Clyde Lane, Jr., Professor – Animal Science, University of Tennessee

Growth stimulating implants offer the commercial cow-calf producer a fast, easy-touse method of increasing the weaning weight of calves when used properly. Implants have been proven effective through research, as well as through routine use in the beef industry.

Implanting is a relatively easy management practice to perform, however, adequate restrain of the animal is required. If inadequate facilities are available, consideration should be given to purchasing/constructing


Manage Your Semen Tank, Keep Your Investment Secure

Manage Your Semen Tank, Keep Your Investment Secure

Mel DeJarnette, reproductive specialist, Select Sires

When was the last time you stopped to think about the dollar value of the semen inventory in your liquid nitrogen refrigerator? You might be surprised at the final tally. Although semen costs are only a small percentage of overall expenses in a dairy or beef cattle operation, the absolute value of your semen inventory at any given time may represent a significant sum of money. Proper tank management is essential to keep your investment secure.


Grazing Legumes and Bloat – Frequently Asked Questions

Grazing Legumes and Bloat – Frequently Asked Questions

Ropin’ the Web

What legumes cause bloat?

Legumes that can cause bloat are alfalfa, sweet clover, red clover, alsike clover & white clover. Examples of non-bloat legumes are bird’s–foot trefoil, sainfoin & cicer milk vetch.

What type of bloat do legumes cause?

The bloat legumes cause is usually a frothy bloat. Understanding frothy bloat and how it is caused may help understand bloat control on legume pastures.

What causes frothy bloat?

Frothy bloat results from the quick degradation and fermentation of plant material and rapid release of plant cell material. This material traps fermentation gases in a thick foam. The foam prevents the animal from being able to burp up the gases. The accumulation of trapped gases in the rumen may lead to the animal’s death.


Pinkeye – A Disease of Plenty

Pinkeye – A Disease of Plenty

Bethany Lovaas, DVM

University of Minnesota Beef Team

As is typical for the northern climes of the United States, we often see a “spring flush” in the pastures. When warm weather hits, provided there is adequate moisture in the soil, the grasses start to grow like they’re afraid they’ll freeze tomorrow. Rarely will you hear a cattleman complain that he has too much grass, but like all things, too much of a good thing is still too much.

In years when weather is very conducive for excellent pasture growth, there is also a higher incidence of pinkeye seen in cow herds. This can be explained, for the most part, by two things: high rate of pasture growth means grasses are likely unusually tall (depending on species) and are likely to be rubbing near the cows’/calves’ eyes, and with high moisture springs comes a plague of flies. Face flies are usually the culprit. These are the flies that are seen around the cows’ eyes, feeding on the cows’ tears.


Strategies for Cost Effective Supplementation of Beef Cattle

Strategies for Cost Effective Supplementation of Beef Cattle

W.E. Kunkle

University of Florida

Forage provides most of the nutrition of the beef herd. Seasonal forage growth and changes in forage quality challenges most cattle managers to provide adequate nutrition at reasonable costs. The following outline gives several alternatives to consider in your cow-calf production system.

Stretching the Forage Supply

Many areas of Florida will experience drought occasionally. The forage harvested as hay and standing forage in pastures is reduced and changes in management may be needed to minimize the effects of drought on production. Strategies to stretch the forage supply including forage and cattle management options should be considered.


Common Sense Is The Key To Hot Weather Cattle Handling

Common Sense Is The Key To Hot Weather Cattle Handling


Summer is rapidly approaching!! The breeding season is underway. Producers that are engaged in artificial insemination as a method of breeding cows and heifers need to be aware of the impact that handling cattle in summertime temperatures and humidity can have on reproductive success. Research, at OSU in the 1980’s, found that cattle heat stressed shortly after breeding had substantially higher embryo loss than cattle that were left in more pleasant environments. In those experiments, the average core body temperature of the heat stressed cows was increased by a mere 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Rough handling of excitable cattle in hot weather can further impact body temperature and therefore reproductive performance.