Many health challenges on the farm can be avoided with a proper herd health management program. During the third session of the 2022 Virtual Beef School held on Monday, March 21st Dr. Justin Kieffer, Clinical Veterinarian for the Department of Animal Sciences at OSU, offered a beef herd health management update.
More specifically, Dr. Kieffer spent a few minutes that evening sharing the core vaccines he believes every Ohio beef cow should receive. Embedded below Dr. Kieffer shares that list of five vaccines.
Many dairy herds are implementing a beef-dairy crossbreeding program for all or a portion of their lactating cows in order to add value to newborn calves. This webinar will provide a practical approach to assess a beef-dairy crossbreeding program with emphasis on the maternity and survival and performance of postpartum calves and cows. The webinar is free of charge, but you must register (available in English and Spanish).
Last week in this publication we shared concerns for frothy bloat in pastured cattle. As a follow up, in this episode of Forage Focus, Host- Christine Gelley- Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources in Noble County and Dr. Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist, dig deeper into the causes and possible solutions for frothy bloat occurrences in pastured livestock. Their discussion includes how pasture managers need to be observant of forage growth, weather conditions, and animal behavior to avoid conditions that commonly trigger bloat and to recognize and treat bloat quickly if it occurs.
The rumen encases a complex ecosystem containing numerous species of bacteria and protozoa that collectively provide the capacity for efficient fermentation of carbohydrates. Among the major products of such fermentation are volatile fatty acids and lactic acid. Wild ruminants and those raised on pasture consume a diet rich in grasses of one sort or another that consist mostly of cellulose. Cellulose is a molecule that might be called a “slowly fermentable carbohydrate”. In contrast, grains such as wheat, barley, and corn are considered “highly fermentable carbohydrates”, meaning that they can be very rapidly fermented to generate – you guessed it – large quantities of volatile fatty acids and lactic acid. Ruminal acidosis results from consumption of a unaccustomed quantity of highly fermentable carbohydrate, almost always well described as grain overload.
Ruminal acidosis is most commonly a disease of dairy and feedlot cattle, and occasionally sheep in feedlots. All of these animals are typically fed large quantities of grain, because such a diet promotes production of milk and enhances growth. The key point is that animals and their ruminal microbes must be adapted over time to a high grain diet, rather than being acutely changed to such feed, otherwise acidosis commonly ensues. In some cases, animals develop acute acidosis “accidentally”, when, for example, they escape from their pen and get into a store of grain.
– Dr. Michelle Arnold, Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Lab; A special thanks to Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler for his contributions to this article.
What is “Grass Tetany” and when are cattle most likely to have it? Grass tetany, also known as spring tetany, grass staggers, wheat pasture poisoning, winter tetany or lactation tetany, is a condition resulting from a low level of magnesium (Mg) in the blood. Maintenance of blood magnesium depends on the amount obtained from the daily diet since the magnesium present in teeth and bones and is not easily mobilized in times of need. Magnesium is required for proper nerve and muscle function so low levels in the blood result in “tetanic spasms” where muscles contract uncontrollably. The disorder in an adult cow begins with separation from the herd and going off feed. The ears are often erect and twitching and the cow is alert, hyperexcitable and may be aggressive. The symptoms quickly progress to muscle spasms, convulsions, difficulty breathing, and death. Often the affected animal is found dead with evidence of thrashing and struggle on the ground around her. Deficiencies occur most often in beef cows when they are nursing a calf and grazing young, green grass in early spring. Fast-growing spring pastures are high in potassium (K+) and nitrogen (N+) and low in magnesium (Mg++) and sodium (Na+) ions. Affected cattle often have low blood calcium concurrently. Fall calving cows may also experience grass tetany during the winter months.
– Dr. Katie VanValin, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
Heat stress is a problem that can affect cattle throughout the United States. However, in Kentucky and across the southeast cattle are at risk for experiencing more frequent and severe heat stress events than in other regions of the country. Heat stress occurs when cattle cannot dissipate or get rid of excess heat, and there are a multitude of factors that can impact how susceptible an individual animal is to heat stress. These factors include things such as breed, stage of production, age, and hair coat color which can make it difficult to predict an animal’s susceptibility to heat stress. Heat stress results in decreased growth and reproductive performance and in severe cases even death; thus, it is not a problem that should be overlooked.
See message below from the Tennessee Department of Ag. Some Knox County Cattlemen have received these phone calls as well!
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is warning livestock producers about a potential scam.
Several Tennessee cattle farmers have recently been contacted by a person or persons indicating they want to buy cattle. The supposed buyer reaches out via text, claiming that a cashier’s check will be sent as payment with money added for shipping, and that the seller should contact the buyer once the payment is received. If the seller indicates they won’t accept a cashier’s check, the conversation ends.
While a cashier’s check is a standard method of payment and typically safe to deposit, sellers should first contact the financial institution where the check is drawn to ensure its validity. There may be insufficient funds associated with the transaction, or the check itself may be counterfeit. To TDA’s knowledge, no Tennessee producers have fallen victim.
“Although at this time it appears that no crime has been committed, we want farmers to be cautious,” Agricultural Crime Unit Captain Greg Whitehead said. “This person appears to be targeting seedstock producers who advertised through reputable agriculture publications. Farmers have avoided being caught up in a possible scam because they’ve alerted each other, their local Extension office, and TDA.”
Good practices to prevent being scammed include researching the potential buyer online before agreeing to a transaction and resisting pressure to act immediately on a sale or purchase. Consumers should be wary of offers to pay over the purchase price, even if there seems to be a valid reason. This tactic is common in check cashing scams.
If you suspect a crime has been committed, please contact the Agricultural Crime Unit at 844-AG-CRIME (844-242-7463) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some logical steps in utilizing artificial insemination (AI) on the farm? We will assume cows and heifers are good candidates for a synchronization program. However, months prior to AI implementation review the desired cow and heifer physiological condition and factors that influence response to AI. As with any new venture, it is beneficial to first observe the AI process. There are many steps to the process, and the timing and flow of work are of utmost importance to the success of AI.