Selecting for More Fertile Females
A Steak in Genomics
It has frequently been stated that reproductive traits have low heritabilities, meaning little of the variation in reproductive traits is due to genetic differences. Due to this catchphrase, producers may not emphasize reproductive traits in their breeding decisions. Further, cows and heifers may sometimes receive a “Get Out of Jail, Free” card when their reproductive performance is lacking.
Mark Parker: The Top 10 warnings about trick-or-treating at some farm houses
10. Wake up a grouchy old farmer who’s nodded off in the recliner and he may look like Jason without the hockey mask.
Maintain body condition between calving and the breeding season. (“Don’t let ‘em slip”)
Body condition score at calving is the single most important trait determining when a cow resumes heat cycles and therefore when she is likely to re-conceive for the next calf crop. However, it is also very important to avoid condition loss between calving and the breeding season to maintain excellent rebreeding performance.
Meeting the new feedlot health challenge
During my first 20 years in the feedlot consulting business — 1965-1985 — if I asked feedlot managers what their death loss and medicine costs were, the answer was probably 0.5 to 1.0 percent death loss on yearlings and 2 to 3 percent on calves. Medicine costs in excess of $10 to $20 per head were the exception rather than the rule.
Give beef calves the best start
During the initial six weeks on feed calves must successfully adapt to a new environment with new sources of feed and water. Ideally, all calves would be well prepared on the ranch for life in the feedlot. In reality, there will always be some cattle that have not been prepared as well as others, says South Dakota State University cow/calf specialist Warren Rusche.
Distillers Grains Diets May Lead to Beef That is More Tender
Cattle consuming a diet containing distillers grains may produce beef that is more tender, according to recent research by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate student.
Snapshot of today’s stocker operater
Cow-calf producers continue to be the largest portion of the stocker sector, but the number of those exclusively in the stocker business and those who have both stocker cattle and cattle feeding enterprises is growing.