May 20, 2019 | Vol. 12 : No. 5

Health & Nutrition


Beware of Poisonous Plants on Summer Pastures

Be aware of toxic plants in your area and on your summer rangelands.

Many western ranchers take cattle to spring and summer pastures on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or Forest Service rangelands. There are always some different plants on these desert or mountain pastures than on the lower-elevation winter pastures, and some of these can be toxic to cattle.

In the Long Run

Study shows extended-release dewormer can lead to lower feedlot morbidity and improved carcass quality.

’Tis the season to think about parasites robbing your beef cow herd. The weather is finally warmer, the bugs and other little things are crawling all over. But what about those you can’t see? Recent estimates put annual losses from internal parasites at $200 per cow-calf pair, so it’s no surprise many research studies say controlling them offers one of the best returns on investment in the business.

Prepare Your Herd for Grazing Season Stressors

Nutrition factors into reducing summer stressors.

After a stressful winter across the country, cattle producers are surely looking forward to the sunshine and turning their cattle out to green pastures. Just as Mother Nature can cause havoc in the winter months, she can also add unnecessary stress to your herd in the spring and summer. However, with proper management, you can take a proactive approach to reducing and eliminating these summer stressors.

Calculating Creep

Calculating the pros and cons of creep-feeding.

Feed conversions of calves fed creep have been quite variable to say the least. Conversions of 5:1, or 5 pounds (lb.) of grain consumed to 1 lb. of extra calf weight, are very rare and the optimum that can be expected using a “typical” high-energy creep feed. Conversions may be poor as 15:1 (or worse) in some situations. Several factors affect the amount of creep feed that is consumed for each additional pound of gain.

Unseen Damage From Parasites Can Steal From Your Bottom Line

Keep some simple tips in mind so performance levels stay strong.

Despite great progress in controlling parasites, too many operations fail to consider active ingredients for specific parasite challenges — or even deworming at all. Failure to deworm calves in the spring can limit the calf’s ability to reach its full genetic potential.

Spring Health Strategies to Turn Up Performance in Calves

Keeping calves alive and cows rebred are two main goals.

For cattle producers, a successful cow-calf program starts in the spring. That’s critically important this year, given the harsh winter that cattle across the country faced. From extreme cold to endless snow and record flooding, cows and calves are emerging from a very stressful season.

Expand Your Approach to Reduce the Risks of BVD

Biosecurity and testing are essential components alongside immunization.

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) continues to be a vexing problem for cow-calf producers. BVDV is spread in multiple ways, and the risk-control effort needs to have a multi-pronged approach.