Advanced planning can help producers minimize the loss of animal lives and the health problems associated with all disasters. Due to the vulnerability of Louisiana to hurricanes and their potential to cause widespread damage due to high winds and flooding, hurricane preparedness is essential. And much of the disaster preparation for hurricanes will also help prepare for other disasters, such as fire, hazardous material spills, animal disease outbreaks, etc. It must be stressed that although help may be available from many sources following a disaster, producers themselves are ultimately responsible for the welfare of their animals and should prepare accordingly. Well in advance of a potential disaster situation, producers should evaluate their herd health programs with their veterinarian. Cattle that undergo evacuation either before or after a disaster will be stressed and are likely to be commingled with other cattle. Herd biosecurity will be breached, which makes increasing herd immunity imperative. Pneumonia and abortions should be anticipated and can be minimized with proper herd nutrition and vaccinations. Animal identification is also important. If cattle get evacuated and commingled, or escape and are later captured, it�s essential to be able to identify the herd of origin through brands or tags. Many cattle look alike, and plain numbered dangle tags and tattoos can be duplicated. So if cattle aren�t branded, producers should identify the farm or ranch on the dangle tag or tattoo, or use electronic identification that is unique to each individual animal. Pictures and/or videos of cattle may also help identify cattle later. ...more
BE PREPARED TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL CALVING SEASON
The fall calving season has kicked off, but are you really prepared for it? Here are a few of the important things to have handy for a successful calving season.
RESEARCHERS STUDY GENES TO ASSIST IN CATTLE BREEDING
Beef cattle selection may soon be as easy as looking at a cow's genes.
FOCUS ON GOOD MANAGEMENT OF A.I. PROGRAMS
The use of artificial insemination in beef cow operations has never reached anywhere near the acceptance of that of the dairy industry. The reasons for this bear discussion as they typically relate to many of the problems we encounter with A.I. in beef herds.
COMPOSITE BULLS HAVE BECOME POPULAR IN SOME AREAS
Heterosis (hybrid vigor) has proven its value in many agricultural sectorswhether production of hybrid corn, hogs or beef. There are three kinds of heterosis; individual (the calf), maternal, and paternal. Of the three, paternal heterosis has had the least attention.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT - SHRINKING HAY LOSSES
Expanding beef production and looming increased calf numbers continue to pressure cattle prices lower, further and faster than many expected.
LOOK AT ALTERNATIVES THAT CAN REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC DEPENDENCE
The handwriting on the wall has become pretty clear. Justified or not, the use of antibiotics in managing the beef animal, at any stage of production, is becoming more challenging.
IT'S THE PITTS -- YOU NEVER KNOW
The bull business is very competitive and purebred people play to win. Because there's a limited number of buyers, breeders spend a fortune on color ads and hire their own field men to exhort ranchers to come to their sale. I knew one breeder who passed out a hundred dollar bill for every bull a ranch manager bought, and once I even saw a bull breeder buy the county fair show steer that belonged to the granddaughter of a large rancher hoping it would pay off.
MAKE A GOOD INVESTMENT WHEN BUYING BULLS
Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important.
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