Three experts share their top tips for promoting your genetics online
Update the website, write a Facebook post, shoot video of sale bulls. Just three more things on your already too long to do list? Digital marketing may feel daunting, but three professionals say not only is it worth it, but it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Read on for their advice on making the most of the time and budget you have.
Various bovine castration options available for producers
The Fence Post
Cattle can be castrated at any time, but research has shown that bleeding, infection and loss of weight are less in younger calves. A study at Texas Tech University found that calves castrated on arrival at the feedlot had more than twice the morbidity rate (17.5 versus 38.4 percent) of steers castrated early and almost double the mortality (4 versus 7.6 percent). In most instances, cutting the bulls at branding or younger than 3 months old is best.
Grazing Principles to Start Your Season Off Right
The Ranchlands managers begin with their goals – what they are managing for. Of course it includes profit, but as you listened you probably heard that they are also concerned about managing weed populations, and providing good wildlife habitat. They want the grass to feed the cattle and feed the soil so they manage stocking rate to accomplish that as part of their larger mission.
Do Your Breakeven Math Before Creep Feeding
The decision to creep feed, which is any feed a producer provides calves while they’re still nursing, is one that must judged by its cost-effectiveness, says Karl Hoppe, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension livestock specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center.
The amount of creep feed required to produce the desired result in the calves is a major factor producers must consider. “Make sure you do the math with the right feed conversions,” he advises.
Evaluate Udder Soundness Soon After Calving to Use as Culling Criteria
Every year at “preg” checking time, ranchers evaluate cows and make decisions as which to remove from the herd. One criteria that should be examined to cull cows is udder quality. Beef cattle producers are not as likely to think about udder health and shape as are dairy producers, but this attribute affects cow productivity and should be considered. It may be easier to be accurate in your culling decisions, if you exam the udder soundness of the cows shortly after calving when they are at the peak of lactation and the udder is as large as at any time.
When it comes to bulls, keep the best and cut the rest
When our marketing staff discusses bull sale results, we often hear that the top half of the bulls sold very well, with prices as high (or nearly as high) as a few years ago when the calf market was stronger. But for the bottom quarter of the offering, it is a different story. Demand dries up and bidders become scarce.
Handling Down Cows
University of Wisconsin
Properly handling down cows is one of the most important responsibilities for dairy herd managers and employees. How you care for compromised animals that depend on you is a reflection of your character, values and priorities.