Using Bermudagrass Pastures to Meet Cow Nutrient Requirements

Winter supplementation for a cow can account for anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of the annual cost of maintaining the cow. Therefore, producers should plan their winter supplementation strategies during the growing season to allow for more options and to reduce winter feed costs when utilizing bermudagrass pastures.

How to Evaluate Property for Raising Cattle

When buying land for cattle production, there are some unique characteristics to consider before signing a contract. These characteristics include: stocking rate, forage quality and type, soil type and fertility, terrain and slope of the land, water sources in each pasture, number of pastures and traps, working pen availability and condition, fence condition and type, and other infrastructure (overhead bins, interior roads, etc.) availability and condition.

Magnets can help prevent hardware disease in cattle herds

Cattle commonly swallow foreign objects, such as nails and wire, found in the field or their feed. These objects do not always cause problems, but they can cause a disease commonly known as hardware disease. Foreign objects ingested by cattle make their way into the animal’s rumen and reticulum. Sometimes, the animal’s body will push the objects into the peritoneal cavity, causing severe inflammation (hardware disease). In extreme cases, a sharp, metal object can damage the animal’s abdomen wall and pierce the heart sac, causing pericarditis. Typical signs of hardware disease are poor appetite, lack of movement and indigestion. If the animal’s heart is damaged, fluid can build up and cause abnormal heart sounds.

Don’t Overlook Johnsongrass in Your Pasture

Livestock producers in the southern Great Plains should not overlook johnsongrass in their pastures. For one thing, under certain conditions it can kill your cattle. Another reason not to overlook johnsongrass is that it is excellent forage – if you can get over the fact that it can kill your cattle!

Minimize Calving Difficulty by Knowing What to Look For

Anyone who’s been through even one calving season has most likely dealt with calving difficulty. Dystocia is the eight-dollar word for calving difficulty, and it’s the biggest cause of calf death loss at birth. It can be minimized by managing things like genetics and nutrition, but once the calving season is upon us, those things are in the past. Now the focus becomes observation and possible intervention. Being prepared to provide assistance is critical. It’s been estimated that timely and appropriate intervention can save up to 70 percent of calves that otherwise would die due to dystocia. It’s also just as important to know when not to intervene, and just let the process play out uninterrupted. The key is experience and knowing the normal sequence of events up to and through calving. It will vary tremendously between individual cows. It’s also important to know the limits of our abilities and when to call professional help. In fact, part of your preparation should be to develop a plan of action with your veterinarian. This article is meant to be general in nature and simply serve as a refresher of what to look for during calving. Remember, these signs are extremely variable, and may go completely unnoticed.