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

Be Aware when Feeding Ionophores to Cattle – an Overdose May Prove Deadly

Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), University of Kentucky (A special thanks to Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK Beef Extension Specialist, for his valuable input and comments in the development of this article.)

Ionophores have been used for many years in the beef and poultry industries for improved feed efficiency and control of coccidiosis. Generally, ionophores are considered safe and effective in the correct (target) animals receiving the recommended amounts. However, poisonings do occur and are often due to accidental contamination of feed and feed supplements for the wrong species (horses, for example) or errors in feed mixing resulting in excessive concentrations in the diets of cattle. The ionophores approved for use in cattle include monensin (Rumensin®), lasalocid (Bovatec®) and laidlomycin propionate (Cattlyst®). Although all ionophores can be toxic, this Continue reading

Chronic Pneumonia in Feeder Calves? Thank Mycoplasma Bovis

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

In this era of advanced vaccine technology and long-acting, expensive, powerful antibiotics, why do chronic pneumonia cases (“chronics”, “lungers”, “railers”) continue to occur? Mycoplasma bovis is considered the bacterial pathogen most often responsible for the development of chronic pneumonia in feeder operations. While Mannheimia haemolytica causes the dramatic pneumonia signs of fever, depression, appetite loss and rapid death, Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) is the underlying problem that continues to send calves back to the treatment pen. The organism has several unique survival mechanisms allowing it to dodge the immune system and Continue reading

ODA Announces Changes to Ohio’s Livestock Care Standards

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Nov. 13, 2017) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) wants to remind producers and livestock owners about upcoming changes to Ohio’s livestock care standards.

Effective January 1, 2018, veal calves must be housed in group pens by ten weeks of age. Additionally, whether housed in individual stalls or group pens the calves must be allowed to turn around and cannot be tethered. Also effective January 1, tail docking on dairy cattle can only be performed by a licensed veterinarian and if only medically necessary.

The above changes were recommended by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a group of 13 members from Continue reading

She’s Been A Good ‘Un

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

I mentioned in last month’s article that picking a time to cull cows could be tricky. It is usually a straightforward decision in cases of open cows, lame cows or those with bad dispositions. However, culling old cows that have been “good ones” and are still producing can be a difficult decision. Despite all the “chatter” from our critics, we are the ultimate animal welfare people! We want to treat animals humanely but still be economically responsible. So culling cows while they are still healthy and have value but before they suffer the ill effects of old age is a part of good management.

Let’s take the case of cow no. 311N Continue reading

Watch for Buckeye Poisoning

Chris Penrose,OSU Extension Educator, Morgan County

Buckeyes possess the toxin aesculin and possibly alkaloids.

Last week when I was checking my cows, one was resting peacefully down in a ravine and for some reason I decided to get her to move. That’s when I realized something was really wrong.

She got up but had no balance, like she was really drunk and after twenty minutes of trying to help her, I finally got her up and out of the ravine. She seemed really weak on the legs, especially the back ones. When she laid down, she went Continue reading

Reducing Shipping Fever in Beef Calves

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

Kentucky is a major feeder calf producing state but our calves are generally shipped to other parts of the country where they are “finished”. Feedlots are generally about a 1,000 miles from our farms and calves are sometimes “weaned” on trucks and might even be commingled from several sources. These procedures may represent stress, exposure to disease pathogens and, consequently, economic losses to the beef industry and our cattle producers.

Shipping Fever, or Bovine Respiratory Disease, is the major health problem encountered by beef calves upon arrival at cattle feeding operations. There are many management practices, in addition to vaccinations, that can aid in reducing the occurrence of Continue reading

NAHMS Beef 2017 Study

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Next month the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will launch Beef 2017, its fourth national study of U.S. beef cow-calf operations. Beef 2017 will take an in-depth look at U.S. beef cow-calf operations and provide the industry with new Continue reading