February 20, 2019 | Vol. 12 : No. 2



Tips on Pulling a Calf

From applying the right amount of pressure to knowing when to call the vet, these tips help save calves.

Intervening can help a cow deliver her calf, but the wrong pressure can end up hurting more than helping.

Most ranchers know they should use a double half-hitch when placing chains on the calf’s legs for pulling, with one loop mid-cannon and the other below the fetlock joint.

“Some people don’t understand where the chain should be, however, between those two points,” says Cody Creelman.

2019 Weather Outlook

Art Douglas explains what weakening El Niño means for ranchers across the country.

Favorable range conditions across many parts of the U.S. cattle industry have been influenced by what Art Douglas calls “a classic El Niño weather pattern.” A year ago, the Creighton University professor emeritus of atmospheric science predicted the coming of El Niño, which is characterized by warm sea surface temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific. Douglas again shared his long-range forecast at the CattleFax Industry Outlook Seminar, hosted during the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La. This time, Douglas told attendees that El Niño shows signs of weakening.

El Niño is credited for wetter-than-average conditions in large portions of the United States, especially in states along the Gulf of Mexico and to a lesser degree in California and the Southwest. At the same time, drier conditions often are observed in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains.

Stuck in the Mud

Rainy days lead to muddy, thinner cows.

Stuck in the mud, some cows across the Midwest might not be putting on enough weight.

Cattle have been getting pretty muddy as a result of the eastern Corn Belt’s extremely heavy rainfall in 2018 and precipitation so far this year. The mud can lead to thinner cows because it takes a lot of energy for cattle to trudge through mud and to keep their bodies warm when cold mud sticks to them, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension.

Fescue Conversion

Tools available to help convert pastures.

Even with all the advantages, converting a pasture from Kentucky 31 fescue to novel endophyte fescue is neither for the cash-strapped nor the impatient. If you aren’t in a position to do all your pastures, University of Missouri State Forage Specialist Craig Roberts recommends converting 25% to novel endophyte fescue, which does not produce the toxic ergot alkaloids that causes fescue toxicosis, and using those acres for your spring-calving cows.

However, he jokes, “It is a gateway drug.”

Gizmos & Gadgets

Technologies demonstrated at NCBA Trade Show.

Learn more about broadleaf weed control, a nutrition optimizer for beef cattle, cow monitoring system, how to test success of deworming, a new breeding indicator, high-fat blocks, and Cattle Care365.

Injection Tips for Calves

Giving injections to calves requires certain considerations.

Important injection considerations include choosing appropriate needle size and length for the product being given, and both the injection-site location and route.

George Barrington, professor of Agricultural Animal Clinic Services at Washington State University, says calves have thinner skin than adult cattle, and often a smaller-diameter needle can be used.

Angus Advisor

Our team of Angus advisors offer regional tips for herd management for the winter season.