Monitor for Ticks When Working Pasture

Timothy McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County

Despite an increase in tick-vectored diseases throughout Ohio, it’s common to believe that ticks such as this deer tick are only present during spring or summer.

There has been an increase in tick-vectored diseases in Ohio to livestock, companion animals and humans over the last several years. This has occurred as the different tick species that inhabit Ohio have increased their habitat range and gradual spread from the south and east towards the north. The increase in awareness of tick-vectored diseases is now only starting to catch up as a public and livestock health awareness priority. Ticks have been found to vector not only bacterial diseases, but new-vectored viral diseases as well as allergic reactions have increased in frequency and severity. As the producer gets ready for spring production work, they have multiple potential chances to interact with ticks. This might include inspecting fence for post-winter repair, checking on spring calving, walking pasture to evaluate forage stands or moving cattle to different paddocks to take advantage of lush spring growth. Understanding tick habitat preferences, knowing what life cycle stages are present and making a personal protective biosecurity plan will allow the producer to Continue reading

Good Management Helps Reduce Grass Tetany

Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension Educator, AgNR, Monroe County (published originally in Farm and Dairy on-line)

Spring is here according to the calendar, but cold temperatures and many water-saturated soils have not made rotational grazing very favorable yet. However, the ground has firmed considerably the last few days in our area and predicted warmer temperatures should promote grass growth so that pasture rotations may be starting soon. As the number of daylight hours increase, temperatures warm, and pastures grow, farm managers should take steps to prevent hypomagnesemia or “grass tetany.”

Grass tetany is associated with cool weather in spring and fall because the metabolism of the plant is slower and its mineral uptake from the soil is reduced. This leads to lower amounts of magnesium (Mg) in the forages livestock graze. Grass tetany is more common on cool-season grass pastures than legume pastures because legumes such as clover and alfalfa tend to have higher magnesium levels in their leaves.

Turning cows out into new lush grass pastures can cause Continue reading

Dewormers – Are They An Extremely Valuable Non-Renewable Resources?

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

A “non-renewable” resource is a resource with economic value that cannot be readily replaced on a level equal to its consumption. Petroleum and coal are two familiar examples of valuable non-renewable products used daily but known to exist in limited supply, and formation of new product takes billions of years. Dewormers, on the other hand, are products that can be purchased from almost any farm or veterinary supply store and online. There are many different kinds, fairly inexpensive, and seemingly effective at killing parasites in the digestive tract of cattle and certain types also control flies, ticks and lice. They come in many forms and can be delivered to cattle by mouth as a liquid, paste or in block form, by injection, or simply by pouring it down the topline. Given this situation, how could dewormers ever be classified as “extremely valuable non-renewable resources”? In a recent veterinary continuing education meeting at the UKVDL, Dr. Ray Kaplan, an internationally-known veterinary parasitologist from the University of Georgia, used that Continue reading

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