Drought Information: Livestock

Drought-Induced Poisonings are Dangerous to Livestock

by Clay Wright
Cattle producers should be on the watch for nitrate and prussic acid poisoning during drought conditions.

Early Weaning During Drought Makes Sense

by Robert Wells
The drought of 2011 is turning out to be one of the worst on record. Most Texas and Oklahoma producers are looking for things that they can do to save what little forage they have and to conserve the amount of hay and feed they will need until green-up next spring.

Early Weaning is an Option

by John Wheeler
Above-average temperatures and low soil moisture have once again forced us to think about some drought management practices. Early weaning is one way to reduce the nutritional requirements of your cow herd and ultimately improve reproductive efficiency.

Evaluate Winter Cow Management Following Drought

by Clay Wright and Jeri Donnell
Many areas continue to face hardships due to the lack of precipitation. This fall brings hope for the end of drought conditions, but the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook suggests the drought will persist or intensify in many areas of the Southern Great Plains.

Feeding, Culling Are Main Drought Considerations

by Billy Cook
When you live in Oklahoma or Texas, drought management should never be far from your mind.

Guidelines for Culling Cows

by Deke Alkire
For most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity.

Internal Cattle Parasites in 2012

by Clay Wright
Traditional internal parasite control in cow herds has often been in conjunction with other trips through the chute, such as first calf-working in the early summer and at weaning in the fall. In recent years, however, producers have trended away from the routine of convenient deworming in favor of a more deliberate, strategic approach.

Making More With Fewer Cows

by Robert Wells
Cattle producers in the Southern Great Plains had to reduce cow numbers in 2011 due to the most severe drought in decades. Replacement cow prices are at an all-time high in 2012, and most pastures are still in poor condition, making it difficult for many producers to restock to former levels.

Monitor and Manage Heat Stress

by Deke Alkire
Heat stress can greatly impact cattle producers through decreased milk production and subsequent calf growth, decreased reproductive performance in cows and bulls, and decreased stocker and feeder performance. It has been estimated that heat-related events in the Midwest have cost the cattle industry over $75 million in the past 10 years.

Producer's perspective: Is it time to restock?

by Deke Alkire
Spring rains have resulted in green pastures for many and the question on everyone's mind - is it time to restock? This decision is difficult and unique to each operation. Cattlemen from Oklahoma and Texas share their thoughts on this topic.

Supplementing and Stretching Forage Resources

by Deke Alkire and Bryan Nichols
During periods of limited forage supplies, managing these resources to best meet animal requirements is one of the most important things a cow-calf producer can do. It is critical that producers evaluate the best way to supplement and stretch their forage resources to remain viable in this industry.

The Importance of Monitoring Livestock Water Quality

by Deke Alkire
Rains in early 2008 have resulted in green pastures and full ponds for many cattle producers. This could ease your worries about water supplies for the summer, but will you have enough good quality water to get through the year?

Water is the Most Important Nutrient

by Ryan Reuter
Nutritionists and producers alike often take for granted the most important nutrient, the one required in the greatest amount by any class of livestock - water.

You Cannot Starve a Profit Into a Cow

by Robert Wells
Most producers are trying to survive the winter by stretching forage and feed resources. This can be accomplished with careful thought and consultation with a nutritionist to ensure that each cow's nutrient requirements are still being met for the stage of production it is in. If corners are cut to save money now, it can have long lasting repercussions.

Drought Calculators: Livestock

BCS Change Calculator
by Ryan Reuter
This calculator will help producers understand how much weight cows need to gain or lose to move from their current body condition score (BCS) to a desired BCS. Typically, producers will want to calve their cows in a BCS of 5.5 or higher.
Feed Intake Calculator
by Ryan Reuter
This tool calculates the dry matter intake of an animal. It also calculates the actual amount to feed if you know the desired dry matter intake and content of the feed.
Feed Library
by Clay Wright
This feed library was created to assist livestock producers in finding and researching feed ingredient options for use in their operations. The data in the database may be used as a general guide; however, the specific values shown represent averages. Feed properties are variable, and actual values for a specific feed ingredient may be higher or lower than that shown in this database.
Pearson Square Calculator
by Ryan Reuter
This calculator is used to balance rations. Two ingredients of known nutrient content, crude protein for example, are input. The desired nutrient content of the blend is entered, and the percentage of each ingredient (on a dry matter basis) needed to create the desired blend is calculated.
Protein Supplement Calculator
by Ryan Reuter
Many times cows will need a protein supplement during the winter feeding period. The most important thing to do, the producer must determine the price per pound of available crude protein for each option. The producer should then select the most economical supplement. Labor considerations can also be factored.
Value of Gain Calculator
by Ryan Reuter
This tool calculates the value of the gain of an animal. Supplement conversion calculates the cost on a per lb of additional gain basis of using a feed supplement.