A Long, Difficult Delivery of a Calf Will Affect Rebreeding of the Cow

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

In addition to being the greatest cause of baby calf mortality, calving difficulty markedly reduces reproductive performance during the next breeding season. Cattle suffering from calving difficulty have been reported (Brinks, et al. 1973) to have pregnancy rates decreased by 14% and those that did become pregnant to calve 13 days later at the next calving. Results from a Montana study (Doornbos, et al., 1984) showed that heifers receiving assistance in early stage 2 of parturition returned to heat earlier in the post-calving period and had higher pregnancy rates than heifers receiving traditionally accepted obstetric assistance. In this study, heifers were either Continue reading

Early Path to Quality Beef

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director, CAB Supply Development

You know the role health and nutrition play in feedlot performance, carcass quality grade and profitability. Yet many readers challenge the idea that these benefits can be realized at the ranch, unless they retain ownership beyond the farm or ranch gate.

The increasingly transparent market with buyers tracking results by source underscores that producing high-quality beef takes a systematic approach no one segment can afford to ignore. Ever. The time required to influence your herd’s genetic potential is measured in years, so managing for quality is always important.

It takes four years, really: Select a superior sire, gestate for nine months and nurse the cow for another seven months. Develop heifers prior to breeding for seven months, breed those superior replacements, repeat the nine months of gestation and add Continue reading

Colostrum and the Newborn Calf

– Carla L. Huston, DVM, PhD, ACVPM, Dept. of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

The best defense against failure of passive transfer (FPT) is good colostrum management, ensuring that each calf receives an adequate amount of good quality colostrum shortly after birth.

With spring fast approaching, many of us are well into calving season. An awareness of potential post-calving complications and disorders can be helpful when preparing to deal with problems we may encounter in our beef herds. One frequent problem encountered during calving season is failure of passive transfer (FPT), which occurs when a newborn calf does not receive adequate colostrum.

The importance of colostrum: Colostrum is the first milk produced by the dam following calving. It is a rich source of immunoglobulins, fat (energy), vitamins and minerals. The major role of colostrum is to passively transfer immunity from the dam to her calf. Calves are born agammaglobulinemic, or without Continue reading

Schedule the Breeding Soundness Exams Soon

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

Although the spring calving season may still be ongoing, the next breeding season is only a few weeks away. Now is the time to schedule the old and new bulls for their pre-breeding soundness examination.

For the breeding soundness evaluation to be successful, bulls should be evaluated 30 to 60 days before the start of breeding. It is important to allow sufficient time to replace questionable bulls. Bulls could also be evaluated at the end of breeding to determine if their fertility decreased. A breeding soundness exam is administered by a veterinarian and includes Continue reading

Don’t Forget Tetanus Prevention when Banding Bulls!

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), University of Kentucky

In the United States, more than 17 million bulls are castrated yearly that range in age from 1 day to 1 year-old. Tetanus (Clostridium tetani infection) is a potentially life-threatening neurologic disease affecting all species of domestic livestock, including cattle. The clinical signs of tetanus are subtle and often missed until the disease is advanced. At that point, treatment and management of the affected animal is very difficult and the chance for recovery is poor. Recognition of the initial signs of stiff legs, an anxious expression with ears held back toward the poll, moderate bloat, erect tail, and the unusual “flick” of the third eyelid across the eye leads to an accurate early diagnosis and allows treatment to begin when it is most effective. Any calf castrated with an elastrator band should be given tetanus prevention in the form of either tetanus toxoid (two doses required with the 2nd given two weeks prior to castration), tetanus antitoxin (given the day of banding) or, in some cases, both are Continue reading

Posted in Health

Forage, Frostbite, and Fescue Foot

Christine Gelley – OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County, Ohio

In January, I had the opportunity to attend the American Forage and Grassland Council Annual Conference with some of our other Ohio Extension Educators. It was a wonderful experience to learn from others and share what we have learned with forage producers and professionals across the country.

An example of fescue foot in the winter, which could be the result of fescue toxicosis last summer. Photo: Dr. David Bohnert, Oregon State University

Two sessions that specifically caught my interest were “Managing Clovers in the 21st Century” and “Understanding and Mitigating Fescue Toxicosis.” Both are struggles for many producers in my region of Ohio.

The clover session included a presentation by Dow Agrosciences about a new product they are developing for treating broadleaf weeds in clover stands. It was definitely intriguing and Continue reading

Be Careful When Disposing of Taxus Shrub Trimmings

– Diane Gerken, DVM, PhD, Fairfield County Master Gardener Volunteer

English yew (Taxus baccata)

Since the season for yard work and clean-up is fast approaching, please remind the public that Taxus shrub trimmings should be disposed of properly. Trimmings should never be disposed of in the pasture or areas where large animals may be exposed to them. The trimmings are so dangerous to animals when ingested that it only takes about 1-2 mouthfuls to cause death, sometimes in as short of time as 10-60 minutes.

Family members and neighbors need to be reminded also about this hazardous situation since in the past, they have been known to unintentionally cause death in livestock, show animals and pets.

Anglojap yew (Taxus x media)

Posted in Health

Colostrum is the Key

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

A newborn calf needs to receive adequate levels of colostrum as quickly as possible. Research shows the first 6 – 12 hours are critical.

The winter of 2017-18 has certainly been challenging for beef producers across Ohio and the Midwest. The bitter cold that we experienced through the holiday season into mid-January has given way to milder temperatures and plenty of moisture over the past month. This has resulted in extremely muddy conditions that have made basic feeding and care of cattle difficult at best.

The weather conditions thus far this winter have been tough for producers choosing to start their calving season earlier in the calendar year. Environmental extremes can add to the stress of a Continue reading

Gaining Greater Market Access for Ohio Feeder Calves

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

The World is expecting a lot more information about the food they buy.”

During the first segment of the Ohio Beef School, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes visits with Bill Tom of United Producers, and Henry Zerby from Wendy’s, about the rapidly changing demands in the beef cattle market

Consumers are concerned for animal health, and the sustainability of the production systems their food’s raised in.”

Traceability and transparency are of growing concern to consumers.”

Vaccination is not necessarily the same as immunization when it comes to preventing health issues.”

Feed and bunk management, and avoiding nutritional stress are keys to calf health.”

These are just a few of the comments that will be emphasized, and Continue reading

When do we intervene and assist a cow or heifer in labor?

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist

Before the spring calving season commences, now is the time to put together and post a protocol for family members and hired employees to follow when they find a cow or heifer starting in the process of calving. An issue facing the rancher at calving time, is the amount of time heifers or cows are allowed to be in labor before assistance is given. Traditional text books, fact sheets and magazine articles stated that “Stage II” of labor lasted Continue reading