Daily Archives: January 9, 2009

Video Feature: What should you do with a steer that has stopped eating?

Video Feature: What should you do with a steer that has stopped eating?

Purina Mills

BeefTalk: Who Is In The Bull Pen?

BeefTalk: Who Is In The Bull Pen?

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

When buying bulls, we are really buying packets of DNA.

The coffee chat is filled with many opinions about how to buy bulls. The art of buying a bull requires an open mind, homework and a vision for the future of a producer’s cowherd.

For example, we turn to the nutritionists if we want to get a better understanding on how cattle can utilize peas in rations. Ironically, peas influenced cattle decades before producers started to feed peas by way of Mendel, an Austrian monk.

He discovered the tip of the iceberg and used peas to teach us how genetics work. We actually can select for and change not only peas, but cattle as well.

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Backgrounding and Yearling Finishing Systems: Where’s the Profit?

Backgrounding and Yearling Finishing Systems: Where’s the Profit?

Darrell R. Mark, Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist

Rebecca M. Small, Graduate Research Assistant

Galen E. Erickson, Extension Feedlot Management Specialist

Cow-calf producers considering retained ownership and stocker operators often must evaluate the prospects of whether to background calves in the feedlot or on winter and/or summer forages. With feedlot cost of gain nearly double what it was less than two years ago, many producers are likely to consider backgrounding calves on corn residue over the winter months and possibly run the short yearlings on grass pasture next summer, with the option of placing them on feed early next fall.

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Mineral Supplements for Beef Cattle

Mineral Supplements for Beef Cattle

Johnny Rossi, Extension Animal Scientist – Beef Cattle

Beef cattle require a number of minerals for optimal growth and reproduction. Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction. Since high-quality forages and/or grains can furnish a large portion of the required minerals, producers should select supplements that will meet animal requirements and avoid excesses that reduce profits and lead to unnecessary mineral excretion. Minerals not provided by feed can be easily and inexpensively supplied with a simple mineral supplement. A good mineral program for brood cows should cost about $10 to $20 per year. This bulletin provides information on basic mineral nutrition for most forage and feeding programs in Georgia.

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Foot Rot in Cattle

Foot Rot in Cattle

M.B. Irsik, DVM, MAB and J.K. Shearer, DVM, MS

University of Florida

Foot rot is a term loosely used to describe lameness associated with the bovine foot. However, true foot rot is characterized by acute inflammation of the skin and adjacent soft tissues of the interdigital cleft or space. It is accompanied by diffuse swelling, varying degrees of lameness and in most cases, by a foul-smelling necrotic lesion of the interdigital skin. Foot rot is the term commonly used in the United States for this lameness disorder, but internationally the disease is better known as foul, foul-in-the-foot, interdigital phlegmon, interdigital necrobacillosis, or infectious pododermatitis. It is a frequent problem of beef and dairy cattle, especially in poorly drained, muddy pens or lots and pastures. Normally, occurrence is sporadic, affecting only 1 or 2 animals at a time, but it may affect larger numbers of cattle in outbreak situations or problem herds.

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Cattle Health: Where Do I Find The Withdrawal Time Information?

Cattle Health: Where Do I Find The Withdrawal Time Information?


It is on the label—always in fine print! The label contains the necessary information for the use of the product and it is a legal document. When you purchase a drug or other compound for use in your cattle you have agreed to follow all the label directions—if you deviate from the label you are legally responsible. The label information contains (1) the species that the drug can be used on, (2) the dose, (3) the route(s) of administration, (4) the disease conditions (pneumonia, scours, etc) or purpose (heat synchronization), (5) frequency and duration of treatment, (6) any precautions or warnings, and (7) the withdrawal time (time from last treatment until the animal can go to slaughter). This is the situation for what we call “Over The Counter” drugs—or OTC drugs. You can buy and use OTC drugs—but you are responsible for using them according the label and you are responsible for any residue problems that occur.

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The Future: DNA Tests and Premonitions

The Future: DNA Tests and Premonitions


DNA testing offers producers a way to get information sooner and for less expense than progeny testing for these types of traits.

Consider the marketing potential producers could have if they knew in advance how their cattle would perform in the feedlot and on the rail, writes Kindra Gordon for TriState Neighbour. According to the report, animals that they knew would finish and marble well could be directed to premium programs. Others that had a genetic propensity for producing a leaner end-product could be sorted out and finished for markets they were better suited to.

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