Livestock Medication Records: Are They Really Necessary?

Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County and Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Professor and Dairy Extension Veterinarian, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State University Extension

Maintaining accurate and proper treatment records is just as important as having adequate working facilities!

At a recent Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training session, we discussed livestock drug use, proper administration, the importance of following the label (and veterinary instructions), and the importance of keeping records of drugs administered.

Real-Life Example

A producer attending the session stood up and described to the group what happened when he had an animal test positive for a drug residue.  An official from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to his farm multiple times until finding him at home.  He was required to write a letter explaining what steps he would take to prevent the issue from arising again.  The FDA determined the first letter wasn’t adequate in addressing their concerns.  He was provided with websites to consult and had to write another letter addressing the concerns.  The producer now keeps detailed medication records and strongly encouraged every Continue reading

Science based weaning methods for beef calves

– Kirsten Nickles, Graduate Research Associate and Anthony J. Parker, Associate Chair and Associate Professor. Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University

Weaning strategy should be designed to reduce stress in order to avoid BRD (photo credit:

Weaning is the start of an independent life for the beef calf. Though weaning can be a stressful time for the calf, beef cattle producers can minimize the stress at weaning by using science based weaning methods. A negative weaning experience can be a catalyst for disease and death in feeder calves, however, a positive weaning experience can help minimize disease and stress through the marketing system.

The most common weaning strategy in the U.S. beef industry is the abrupt removal of calves from their dams at approximately 180-220 days of age (Rasby, 2007). Abrupt weaning is not a good weaning method because it places a great deal of stress on the calf. The immediate cessation of milk in the diet of a calf and the complete maternal separation associated with abrupt weaning are often exacerbated by other stressors that have negative effects on the calf. An unfamiliar environment, a new diet, transportation, co-mingling with unfamiliar calves, and pain from husbandry practices such as castration while also being denied social contact and care by the cow will stress a calf. When calves undergo prolonged periods of stress they are predisposed to disease and Continue reading

Keeping Quality in Mind

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension (originally published in the Ohio Cattleman)

CSU analyzed market data from the Western Video Markets and determined that BQA certified cattle sold with a premium of $2.71/cwt.

Now that we are back to a semblance of somewhat normal, questions regarding Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) have been aplenty. While BQA has been a long-standing program, it was brought to the limelight in 2018 with Tyson’s announcement that would only source fed cattle from cattle feeders certified in BQA. With a certification being valid for a period of three years, those producers certified in our initial statewide push in 2018-2019 are due to be recertified in 2021 and into the spring of 2022.

While the principles of BQA have remained steady over the years, it is my goal as an educator to help the program evolve and move forward past the “basics” of injection locations, routes of administration, and flight zones. Although those topics are certainly still relevant today, I view BQA as an opportunity to educate about management practices that can be used to maintain and improve beef quality and farm profitability.

While the primary audience for BQA remains Continue reading

Do you have opinions about mobile meat harvest in Ohio?

Angela Blatt, Program Manager, Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)

Share your thoughts with us!

Whether you shop for local meat, raise livestock, operate a slaughterhouse, or create value-added products, the meat processing bottleneck affects you!

The project Planning To Advance Mobile Meat Slaughter and Processing in Ohio and Central Appalachia, conducted by The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, Inc. (ACEnet) and project consultants, aims to draft and support a plan for a possible solution.

Will you commit ten minutes of your time to share your values and needs in a short survey?

We want to hear from as many farmers, processors, and consumers in the Ohio and Central Appalachian region as we can and appreciate any feedback.

Start the survey:

Profiting on Cull Cattle

Dean Kreager, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Licking County (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

Teat or udder problems are just one reason for considering culling a cow.

As cattle producers we often look at ways to improve our bottom line. Where can we profit the most from our production? Is it from sales of feeder calves, breeding stock, finished cattle, freezer beef or some combination? This decision may change from year to year based on economic conditions, feed availability, and facilities.

One type of sale that sometimes gets overlooked is the sale of cull animals. National studies estimate the value of these sales amounts to 15 – 30% of the revenue for beef farms. These culls make up 20% of the beef consumed. Considering the value and importance of these animals to the supply chain we should look at ways that we can manage them to increase our profits.

Hoof or leg issues are another reason to consider culling.

There are many reasons for culling animals. Physical problems, poor performance, age, reproduction, and Continue reading

Feeding Cull Cows; Exploring the opportunity for additional income with Dr. Steve Boyles

Significant returns to a cow-calf operation are from selling cull cows, with most culls being sold in the fall when prices are traditionally at their lowest. In this 12 minute presentation, OSU Extension Beef Specialist Steve Boyles explains the considerations necessary for making the decision to feed cull cows in an effort to sell them into a more profitable time slot.

Maximizing Feeder Calf Value

The sixth and final session of the 2021 Ohio Beef Cattle Management School was hosted via ZOOM by the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team on February 22nd. During the concluding session, OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist Garth Ruff discussed a variety of ways cattlemen might improve profitability in a cow/calf enterprise including utilization of superior genetics, capitalizing on seasonal marketing trends, and calf management strategies that add value to individual, and groups of calves. Listen in below as Garth shares insight into maximizing feeder calf values.

Find recordings from all the 2021 Ohio Beef School sessions linked here.

Considerations When Making Beef Cow Culling Decisions

The sixth and final session of the 2021 Ohio Beef Cattle Management School was hosted via ZOOM by the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team on February 22nd. During that session the attention turned to cow longevity, and factors involved in making culling decisions. In the presentation embedded below we join OSU Extension Educator Dean Kreager as he explores the range of considerations involved including pregnancy status, body condition, soundness, feed resources and the seasonal market environment for culls.

Find recordings from all the 2021 Ohio Beef School sessions linked here.

The Cow Health Examination

In this 6 minute video, Dr. Justin Kieffer, Clinical Veterinarian for the OSU Department Animal Sciences, discusses how to give a cow a proper health examination.

Ventilation; Critical to Cattle Comfort and Performance

Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension AgNR Educator, Crawford County

Spring is one of the most challenging seasons on the farm to keep barns properly ventilated. We often see temperatures in the teens and less than a week later see highs in the 70’s. Our ventilation system recently roared to life as temperatures in the barn crossed 65° F reminding me that we still had not gotten around to winter fan maintenance as belts squealed and louvers hung half shut.

Fan vent in need of cleaning

Fan maintenance is critical to keeping your cows cool and saving energy. Ventilation systems often consume between 20-25% of the total energy used on the farm. Lack of cleaning can reduce a fans efficiency by as much as 40%. Meaning that your electric bill stays the same, but less air is moving through the barn. Monthly maintenance through the summer is critical to keep fans clean. Even a thin layer of dirt on the fan blades, shutters, and protective shrouds decreases air movement and increase the power requirements from the fan. Heavy cleaners and a pressure washer work well to remove dirt from the fans.

Be sure to Continue reading