Can our anthelmintic strategy decrease internal parasites and improve animal performance in weaned beef calves?

– Shane Hernandez, Graduate Student in Animal and Diary Science, UGA and Lawton Stewart, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, UGA

Use of both an oral and pour-on dewormer resulted in an average fecal egg count reduction of 99%.

Internal parasites, or worms, are a common problem impacting cattle that graze on pastures. When infected, animals may display visible symptoms such as: emaciation, diarrhea, and rough hair coat. However, sub-clinical issues may also occur which may impact animal performance such as a decrease in milk yield, weight gain, carcass characteristics, and fertility. These sub-clinical issues can cause significant economic impact to a production system because the effects are not always detectable to the “naked eye”. Often the negative impact is not recognized until the damage is done, and profit is lost.

Anthelmintic products are available to help control internal parasites. When the strategy of pour-on dewormers was introduced in the 1990s, the practice was widely adopted because of the ease of use. Producers could apply the product directly to the cattle’s back while it stood in a chute or alley. Over time, overuse and incorrect application have led to a potential resistance of internal parasites to these products. Other products, such as injectable dewormers and oral (white) dewormers, have not been used as extensively because of the increased time associated with these technologies.

A potential strategy to ensure larvae death of multiple parasite species is . . .

Continue reading Can our anthelmintic strategy decrease internal parasites and improve animal performance in weaned beef calves?

There’s Potential for Poisoning During Fall Grazing

Jordan Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Gallia County (previously published in Farm & Dairy)

Buckeyes possess the toxin aesculin and possibly alkaloids.

With fall fast approaching, it may be time to assess potential problems that could arise when livestock are grazing, such as trees and grasses. A good practice of walking or driving through your pastures will help you know what is growing in or around them.

Buckeye Poisoning

A potential problem that may be overlooked in the fall is Buckeye Poisoning. Buckeye poisoning occurs from the nuts that fall from the buckeye trees. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Recourses (ODNR), Buckeye trees prefer moist, well-drained soils. Back in 2017, we dealt with buckeye poisoning on the family farm with cattle. The cows and calves that were poisoned had no balance like they were drunk and seemed weak on the legs, especially the back ones. When lying down, they went on their side with their head on the ground pulled back and legs straight out with some muscle twitching. According to A Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals in North America (2001), the principal toxins are the glycosides aesculin and fraxin, and possibly a narcotic alkaloid. Animals develop signs of poisoning 16 hours after consuming toxic quantities. As little as 0.5% body weight of the animal can produce severe poisoning. Laxatives may be given to remove the ingested plant parts as fast as possible, and if the animal is down for an extended period, keeping the cow hydrated is important.

Cyanide Poisoning

Another problem to watch out for this fall is Continue reading

Use the proper syringe and needle when vaccinating cattle

Sandy Stuttgen, University of Wisconsin

Do you have the right tools for vaccinating cattle?

Using the right tool for the job generally promotes a better outcome; for example, butter knives are not the best tools for cutting wood. Using the right equipment when vaccinating your cattle also requires the right tools. The correct syringes and needles must be used in addition to a well-designed and functioning headgate to restrain cattle so injections may be safely administered in the neck area.

Administer accurate dosing through proper techniques

Use sterile disposable, or clean, heat sanitized multi-dose syringes that are sized to accurately deliver the correct dose. Filling a 12-cc disposable syringe once to deliver 2-cc doses to six animals will not accurately deliver the correct dose to each animal. Inaccuracy is magnified when . . .

Continue reading Use the proper syringe and needle when vaccinating cattle

EDITOR’s NOTE: Learn more about proper needle and syringe use at the Stewardship and Stockman’s Tour in Caldwell on September 29 and 30.

Grazing Cattle; To offer shade, or not?

– Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Reference: Livestock Weather Hazard Guide; Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

I’m writing this during the last part of August and during an absolute dog day of summer. Dog days of summer signifies very hot, sultry days. I’m really not sure that it has anything to do with dogs except they do tend to be less active and seek the coolest place they can find on such a day – I probably should have done more of the same.

On such dog days, shade does become a lot more valuable. If the shady area is big enough, it is almost always at least ten degrees cooler with shade than without.

Humidity is what really makes it miserable. Now, don’t get me wrong, hot is hot, but humid hot, well, it’s just downright miserable and sometimes barely Continue reading

Mineral Supplementation on Pasture

Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension, Perry County (originally published in Farm & Dairy)

Grazing livestock require minerals to promote growth, milk production and several metabolic functions. How do we know that our mineral program is adequate to meet the needs of our grazing livestock? In previous articles we have stressed the importance of analyzing hay samples for winter feeding. But how many of us have sampled our pastures for nutrient content? We know that magnesium in early spring is important to prevent grass tetany, but what about the rest of the year?

Minerals are separated into two categories. Minerals that are needed in higher amounts are called major or macro minerals. These are listed on feed tags as a percentage and include calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Minerals needed in lesser amounts are called minor or micro minerals which are copper, chromium, cobalt, iodine, iron, manganese, nickel, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. These minerals are often listed in parts per million (ppm). Regardless of the type of mineral all are equally important for metabolic functions. A deficiency of any mineral can have major effects on animal health and performance regardless of amount needed. The mineral requirement is dependent upon Continue reading

Know the ins and outs of feeding baleage

Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Field Specialist Dairy Management and Precision Livestock (originally published in Farm & Dairy)

Timeliness of the wrap is important for proper fermentation. Photo: Gelley, 2023 SE Ohio Hay Day

Maintaining forage quality with small dry-weather windows can be done by using baleage instead of dry hay.

The ideal conditions for baleage is to bale the hay between 40 to 65% moisture and wrap within two hours of baling. This process uses anaerobic conditions and the acids produced in fermentations to preserve hay.

Baleage fermentation is slower than in haylage, often taking six weeks. When forage is baled between 25 to 40% moisture, it will not ferment properly and baleage at these moisture levels should be considered as temporary storage.

During such situations, preservation is primarily a function of maintaining anaerobic, oxygen-limiting conditions. Mold is more likely at this moisture; higher bale densities and more wraps of plastic is required to better seal out oxygen. Baleage at this moisture will not maintain quality for Continue reading

Pinkeye Prevention begins Long Before the First Bad Eye of the Season

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL)

Corneal ulceration in the early stages of pinkeye. Photo from Veterinary Clinics of North America, Food Animal Practice 26 (2010), page 489.

Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or “Pinkeye” is a costly and exasperating disease for the beef producer and industry. For the producer, the economic costs of pinkeye include lower average weaning weights, pinkeye treatment and labor costs, and discounts received for calves with corneal scars. Despite ongoing research to combat this disease, prevention has proven difficult because of the complicated interaction of pathogens (bacteria), host (cow/calf), and environmental factors that result in pinkeye’s development and its fast spread. Frequent observation of the herd allows early recognition and prompt treatment of affected eyes, resulting in better healing and less transmission to herd mates. However, preventing a pinkeye outbreak does not start with the first bad eye of the season. Once pinkeye cases begin, it is highly contagious and the bacterial pathogens spread rapidly by direct contact and by mechanical vectors, especially face flies. In an outbreak, on average 10% of calves and 3% of cows in a herd are affected in 30 days or less. Although knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of immunity in the bovine eye, prevention starts early by maximizing the herd’s ability to fight disease, and through reduction of sources of eye irritation, injury, and transmission. Pinkeye prevention for individual herds is best accomplished with Continue reading

Posted in Health

Revisit the 2023 OSU Beef Team Virtual Beef School

Enjoy 2023 Virtual Beef School sessions linked here for your convenience.

The Ohio State University Extension Beef Team hosted the 2023 Virtual Beef School on the second Wednesday of each month, January through April. In case you missed any of the session, or would like to review them, find the recording of each linked below:

  • January 11; A Look at Input Costs with Barry Ward, OSU Extension Leader for Production Business Management and Market Outlook with Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist (view the recording here)
  • February 8; Presynchronization and Improving Fertility of Beef Cows (click link to see presentation) with Alex Crist, OSU Animal Sciences and Synchronization and Natural Service (click here to see presentation) with Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator
  • March 8; Asian Longhorn Tick and Theileria (click here to see presentation) with Dr. Risa Pesepane, OSU Vet Preventative Medicine and Managing Anaplasmosis (click here to see presentation) with Dr. Justin Kieffer DVM, OSU Animal Sciences. Dr. Kieffer also explained what the Veterinary oversight of OTC antibiotics would mean to cattlemen, and what the meaning of VCPR is.
  • April 12; OSU Beef Team Live Roundtable, Q & A session with OSU Extension Beef Team members. (click here to see recorded presentation)

Start Looking Now for Perilla Mint

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), JD Green, PhD (Extension Professor [Weed Scientist], UK Plant and Soil Sciences Department), Megan Romano, DVM (Clinical Veterinary Toxicologist, UKVDL)

Poisonous plants can be responsible for considerable losses in livestock although many cases go unrecognized and undiagnosed due to a lack of knowledge of which plants are dangerous and the wide range of signs that may be observed after consumption. The risk posed to animals by a particular plant depends on a variety of factors, including how much of the plant is consumed and over what time period; the stage or maturity of plant growth; which parts of the plant are eaten; whether the plant is green or dried; and the animal’s age, species, and in some cases breed. Most weeds are tough and unpalatable, and cattle will not consume them unless baled in hay or the pasture is limited due to drought or overgrazing and there is little else to consume.

If cattle on pasture suddenly develop symptoms such as diarrhea, salivation or slobbering, muscle weakness, trembling, incoordination, staggering, collapse, difficulty breathing, or rapid death, then poisoning due to plants or any number of other toxicants should be high on the list of possible causes.

Perilla mint (Perilla frutescens), aka perilla, purple mint, mint weed, beefsteak plant, and wild coleus.

Oftentimes poisonous plants affect just a few cattle in the herd. Cases occur more often shortly after animals are moved to a new field. The severity of signs primarily depends on how much of the plant or other toxicant is consumed over what time period (the rate of consumption). If plant poisoning in livestock is suspected, the first thing to do is call a veterinarian, since prompt treatment is critical to the animal’s chances of survival. Until the veterinarian arrives, keep the affected animal quiet and confined where a physical examination can be performed, and treatment given. Other animals should be moved as carefully as possible from the pasture where the suspected poisoning occurred until the cause of illness has been determined. Prevention involves learning to recognize poisonous plants, implementing effective weed control and pasture improvement, and offering supplemental forage or feed when pasture is limited so cattle are not forced to graze toxic weeds. A common summer weed in Kentucky that can cause problems in livestock is perilla mint (Perilla frutescens), also known as Continue reading

Ticks, a growing problem for humans and livestock

With Ohio being on the front line of tick population expansion in the U.S., perhaps never before has there been so much concern for the health and safety of both humans and livestock in regard to tick borne diseases. As a part of the continuing effort to inform livestock producers about the growing concerns for tick borne disease and how best to identify and manage ticks and the disease they can transmit, Dr. Andreas Eleftheriou, DVM, PhD, MS of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has recorded the four short video presentations found below.

Tick Biology

Tick Indentification Continue reading