Every Cattleman Should Raise a Batch of Meat Chickens Once

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Indeed, around the Smith farm back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, perhaps the greatest treat one of the kids could experience was being chosen to help Grandma snare an old hen and make pan fried chicken for supper out of her. Back then those old leghorns were a dual purpose critter that served most of the neighborhood farm families well. The extra eggs were sold to the creamery in Pickerington, and the spent hens had just enough muscle to make a pretty good meal.

This year, our youngest expanded his FFA SAE into raising a batch of broilers – aka: meat chickens – for our recent Fair, and subsequently, as an experience in marketing the birds. That escapade began by Continue reading

Frost and Prussic Acid in Some Warm Season Annuals

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

We have enjoyed a run of warm temperatures in recent weeks and the word “frost” nowhere to be found. A look at the calendar tells us that the odds of this continuing are growing slim. In preparation for the first frost of the season, I want to remind livestock owners that some warm season annual grass plants that include sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, sudangrass and even that weed, Johnsongrass, all have the potential for prussic acid poisoning following a frost.

Plants in the sorghum family, including Continue reading

Cereal Rye – A Cover Crop with Feed Value?

Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educator, Fulton County

In recent years, rye (Secale cereale L.), also known as cereal rye or winter rye, has been planted by producers as an entry level or “user friendly” cover crop. As a cover crop, it is a great nutrient recycler, soil builder, topsoil loosener, and erosion preventer. For dairy and beef producers, rye can also be considered for additional grazing or forage value. Based on surveys from several Northwest Ohio producers who have used rye as a spring feed source, it can provide Continue reading

A Time to Cull

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

A sure sign that fall is upon us is that corn and soybean fields are maturing and the fall harvest season is underway for most farmers. Early reports from around Ohio are that yields are very good, especially for corn. It is also harvest season for the cow-calf producer as spring-born calves are being weaned now and over the next few weeks.

As calves are weaned, much attention will be given to the general welfare of the calf and rightfully so. Hopefully health programs were in place to avoid sickness in newly weaned calves and marketing plans will help capture full value for your calves. Fall is a great time to reap the rewards of all of your hard work and to evaluate the quality of your calf crop.

Weaning time is also an excellent time to evaluate your cow herd and decide which cows get to remain your “employees” and which ones need to find a Continue reading