OCA Replacement Female Sale Nears

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

This is a reminder to attend the fifth annual Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale.  The sale will be held Friday, November 24 at the Muskingum Livestock facility located at 944 Malinda Street in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m. The sale represents an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to add quality young replacement females to their herd.

At the time of this writing, there are 83 lots selling in the sale.  These lots consist of Continue reading

Common Sense and the Cow Herd

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

I tend to oversimplify things – or at least try to break them down to their simplest components. Let’s take the cow herd, for example. The cow is the factory that takes raw inputs (like grass) and turns them into a product, – which for most of us is a feeder calf. So the most important thing that she will ever do is to have a live calf. The quality of the calf and how we get there is important too.

Most of the time what is lacking in us as managers is the ability to come up with a good breeding plan and the discipline to stay with it. I remember one producer that would study all of the breed magazines throughout the winter and then pick Continue reading

Poor Temperament Adversely Affects Profit

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

October is a traditional weaning and culling time for spring-calving herds. Weaning for value-added calf sales is already underway. This is a time when producers decide which cows no longer are helpful to the operation and which heifer calves will be kept for future replacements. Selecting against ill-tempered cattle has always made good sense. Wild cattle are hard on equipment, people, other cattle, and now we know that they are Continue reading

Cow Size

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Increasing Mature Body Weight of the United States Cow Herd: There has been a 30% increase in cow mature size over the last 30 years. From 1975 to 2015, cow numbers have decreased by 35%, but beef production has been maintained at a level similar to 1975 In response to the low cow numbers carcass weights have increased. These relationships suggest that the progeny of small cows, similar to the weights observed in the 1950s and 1960s, would not have the potential to produce the carcasses necessary to maintain beef production at the current level with the number of cows currently in the national beef cow herd, unless they take part in a postweaning growing period.

This phenomenon is explained by the increased Continue reading

Consider the Consequences of Bad Behavior

– Dr. Justin Rhinehart, Assistant Professor, UT Beef Cattle Extension Specialist

Temperament of cattle has long been recognized to influence production efficiency by having an impact on cattle handling and performance. More recently, scientists have suggested that flighty behavior of individual cattle can also affect the performance of the entire group. So, letting just one flighty calf slip past the sort could decrease the performance of the entire group. For humans, temperament is defined as the way a person thinks, behaves or reacts. For cattle, a good definition for temperament is the intensity of their “fight or flight” instinct.

Some of the performance measures that are impacted by temperament are health, feed efficiency, weight gain, dressing percentage and Continue reading

Bull Shopping Season!

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (this article was published previously in the Ohio Farmer magazine at ohiofarmer.com)

Bull buying season is well underway throughout the cow-calf regions across the country.  Producers are constantly reminded of this through sale catalogs in the mail, glossy magazine advertisements, and social media posts.  These promotional efforts may make it seem like the Christmas shopping season has returned.  Both of these “shopping seasons” can be equally confusing and frustrating for the buyer that is uninformed and unprepared.

As an Extension professional and a seedstock producer, one of the most interesting discussions I can have with a producer is reviewing their thoughts on what they are Continue reading

Crossbreeding: It Works for Feral Pigs

– Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Crossbreeding, bringing together parents that are distantly related but capable of producing viable offspring, has increased hybrid vigor within domestically raised livestock.

Extensive research has shown positive improvement for several production traits, particularly survival traits that are lowly heritable. Interestingly, sometimes if one looks at what others are intentionally or not intentionally doing, one can learn a lot. The same is true about crossbreeding.

The concept of domesticated livestock mating with their wild relatives is not new and generally not encouraged. The reason comes back to Continue reading

Gestation Length: Calves Arrive Sooner Than They Used To

– Justin Rhinehart, University of Tennessee Extension

What is the gestation length of a cow? This question usually gets the answer of “it averages 283 days.” A better answer is “it can range from about 265 to as much as 295 days.” For breeds that have focused on low birthweight genetics for several generations, the average gestation length has shortened. But, there are several other factors that can shorten or lengthen gestation notwithstanding genetics.

Before considering those factors, it is important to learn what actually triggers the calving process. Since the calf has Continue reading

OCA Members to Offer Over 100 Consignments in Replacement Female Sale

Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 100 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Consignments include approximately 20 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 90 bred heifers.

Breeds represented will include Continue reading

Problems Beget Problems!

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Did you hear about the guy that got his nose broken in six places?  He said that he needed to quit going to those places!  Cattle producers are a lot like that guy. We keep making a lot of the same mistakes. However, there are some problems that we should work to eliminate in our effort to have “trouble-free” cow herds.

Let’s start with a few things that should be obvious. Cows should be Continue reading