Angus — The Business Breed

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Manage for Marbling

Using implants early in a calf’s life may inhibit its ability to build fat stores later.

Animal scientists know hormone implants affect marbling distribution in the muscles of cattle. For higher quality grades, nutritionists may advise delayed or no implants, but adding value later must be weighed against the near-term payoff of $25 or more per head.

As new implants become available for use earlier and earlier in the calf’s life, forgoing that technology may seem like an economic sacrifice, even for those who will retain ownership and market finished cattle on a packer grid.

Should producers have to choose between high growth and premium quality grade? What are the best options? Read more.

Keeping Balance

Keep grass and grazing animals in proper balance.

Grass and grazing animals evolved together in symbiotic relationships — each needing the other — in various grasslands around the world. The healthiest situation is to have grazers on the land in proper balance with their feed source.

Richard Teague, Texas A&M AgriLife Research rangeland ecology and management scientist in Vernon, Texas, says his goal in research is to discover what kind of management of rangeland results in the best means of restoring ecological function and sustaining farm/ranch livelihoods. Read more.

Transition from Feeding to Breeding

Tips offered on transitioning a bull from a presale feeding ration to being ready to work.

Many bulls purchased at a bull sale have been overfed to some degree and confined during their growing months. Now, they must suddenly adjust to being on pasture and breeding cows. Most of them need a little time to make the transition.

“The first step is to avoid buying a bull that is grossly overfat,” says John Kastelic, veterinarian and professor of cattle reproductive health at the University of Calgary. “He needs to be in reasonable condition, however, since bulls lose a lot of weight during their first breeding season, especially on extensive range pastures. If they are fairly active they will easily drop 200 pounds or more. You don’t want them going out thin, especially if they are breeding cows early in the spring. That early grass looks lush and green, but has high water content and not enough dry matter,” he says. Read more.

Correcting a Malpresentation

Tips for pushing a calf back into the uterus.

In some dystocia situations the calf is not entering the birth canal properly, and cannot be born until you push it back into the uterus to reposition it.

When you put your hand and arm into the cow, this stimulates her to strain and push everything against you. If you push hardest during the moments she’s not straining, and just try to hold ground as she strains, it will be easier. Read more.

Kris Ringwall

Kris Ringwall

Beef Talk

It’s time for a managerial report card.

Spring calving time is the most intense time in cattle operations. It also is the time to “grade” managerial success.

In school, we knew very well where we stood. If not, the pending parent-teacher conference refreshed one’s memory. An “A” was good; a “B” was noticed; and a “C” meant average. A “D” or an “F” had consequences.

So how is our agricultural management report card? This means some assignments and grades.

In the cattle world, calving time is an easy time to gauge if the year’s management effort was successful. The test is fairly simple once the numbers are written down. Read more.

Both Data, Visual Aspects of Cattle Count
when Making Purchases

Expert gives tips on proper cattle conformation.

When buying female replacement cattle or breeding bulls, it’s important to use data and visual observations to make the best selections, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Jason Cleere, beef cattle specialist from College Station, gave a series of demonstrations on conformation at the recent Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Convention in Fort Worth advising the best methods for buying replacements. Read more.

Angus Advisor

Click here for May herd management tips from cattle experts across the nation. Advice separated by region.

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