Did My Feed Grinder Cause My Cattle to Bloat?

Dr. Francis L. Fluharty, Research Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Acidosis is a prerequisite to classic feedlot bloat. Acidosis is most prevalent when high-grain diets are fed.

1) whole corn kernal; 2) whole corn kernal split in half; 3) whole corn kernal quartered; 4) one whole corn kernal broken into many smaller pieces. Each time corn or other grains are ground or split further the total surface area of the feed increases, and the rate of ruminal fermentation is increased.

When cattle are over-fed large amounts of starch Streptococcus bovis bacteria that make lactic acid increase rapidly. In this instance, bacteria that use lactic acid (Megasphaera elsdenii, Selenemonas ruminantium, and  Selenomonas lactilytica) cannot keep up with production of the lactic acid.

The normal rumen pH with cattle fed high-grain diets is between 5.5 and 6.2, but when lactic acid is over-produced, the rumen pH continues to decline and can fall below 5.5, at which point many other rumen bacteria species begin to reduce their reproductive rates. When the rumen pH drops below 6.0, bacteria that digest fiber decrease Continue reading

Feeding Tomatoes to Livestock

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

This week I was contacted by a food distributor that wants to move several tons of tomatoes to interested livestock producers. Culled tomatoes may be damaged, too small, misshapen etc. and do not meet the grading standards for sale in the fresh market or for processing. There is information on tomato pomace (tomato peels, seeds and small amounts of pulp) but very limited information on the tomato itself.

Can you feed tomatoes to livestock? Yes, but Continue reading

Feeding Steers on Corn Gluten or Distillers Grains? Learn to Recognize Urinary Calculi and How to Prevent Them

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

“Urolithiasis” is the veterinary term used for the disease resulting from the formation of stone-like structures (“calculi”) inside the urinary tract of cattle, similar to kidney stones in humans. If a stone lodges in the urethra, it can partially or completely block the flow of urine and eventually lead to rupture of the bladder or urethra and ultimately death. Emergency surgical intervention may be performed or humane euthanasia recommended due to the extremely painful condition in affected animals. Stone formation is due to many factors but high phosphorus/ low calcium intake is perhaps the most important cause. Corn and corn-based coproducts such as dried distillers grains and corn gluten feed both have high concentrations of phosphorus and low calcium content. When feeding these feedstuffs without supplemental Continue reading

How Early is Too Early to Wean?

– Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Can I wean 90-day-old calves that weigh 300 pounds?

The answer is yes. Dry weather has made this – and variations – the question of the day.

In an ideal world, mother and calf should enjoy green pastures from birth until weaning at about 7 months of age. The typical weaning age is 192 days for producers in the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System (CHAPS) program. However, some calves are weighed along with the administration of preweaning vaccinations prior to the actual weaning day, so the average age at weaning could be a few days older.

The CHAPS profile shows steers weigh 566 pounds, heifers 535 pounds and Continue reading

Effects of Nutrition Changes Following Artificial Insemination

– Written by Christina Mogck under the direction and review of George Perry, SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist

Nutritional stress following artificial insemination (AI) has been reported to have negative effects on conception rates. This decrease in conception rates could be from an increase in embryonic mortality due to nutritional stress following breeding. When considering heifer development strategies, it may be important for a producer to consider nutritional stress from changes in the diet following breeding, and this nutritional stress could be initiated by Continue reading

Effect of Oscillating Time of Feeding and Oscillating Diet Formulation on Performance and Carcass Characteristics in Feedlot Steers

– Alejandro E. Relling, Gary Lowe and Francis L. Fluharty, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Wooster Ohio, Professional Animal Scientist: Volume 33, Issue 2, April 2017, Pages 160–165

Smaller farms often lack the control over feeding and weighing that commercial feedlots possess. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of oscillating feeding time and oscillating diet formulation on growth performance and carcass characteristics in feedlot cattle fed dry, whole shelled corn–based diets. A total of 168 steers were allotted to 24 pens. Pens were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) control, fed the same diet and at the same time each day; (2) oscillating feeding time, fed the Continue reading

Fresh Grocery Produce as a Supplement for Livestock Feed

– V. Fellner, J.M. Rice and M. Boersig, The Professional Animal Scientist 33:151–159

The fact that almost a third of the annual food produced in the United States is not consumed by humans has drawn wide attention in recent years. Typically, 97% of wasted food is disposed in landfills. The use of food waste as animal feed is one partial solution to this problem. Grocery stores in the United States generate significant amounts of food scraps from trimmings and other excess product that has deteriorated beyond saleable quality for human consumption. Food scraps consist of portions of produce that have become unwholesome due to deterioration, discoloration, or general loss of freshness.

Historically, much of this excess organic material has been discarded into landfills. However, the Continue reading

Now Is Not The Time To Relax

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

April is an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers.  The 2017 calf crop is taking shape and breeding season is currently or soon will be underway.  We have begun to emerge from the doldrums of winter to the warmth and new growth of spring.  The drudgery of feeding hay to the herd is coming to an end as pastures begin their early spring flush of growth.  It is certainly a great feeling to see cow-calf pairs turned out to fresh pastures for the first grazing of the season.

Nutrition

However, this is not necessarily a Continue reading

Running on Empty? Lack of Energy in the Diet Will Cause Cattle Deaths

– Michelle Arnold, DVM, Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL

From a weather standpoint, the winter of 2016-17 has been a non-event. Record temperatures recorded in February and very little measureable snow throughout winter has been a welcome change from previous years. Despite this unexpected warmth, submissions at the UKVDL and telephone conversations with veterinarians and producers confirm many cattle are losing excessive body condition and some are dying of apparent malnutrition. This indicates winter feeding programs on many farms this year are not Continue reading