February 7, 2022

Want a Fat Calf? Feed for Its Personality

Researchers in Norway had questions: Do personality traits, especially sociability, influence feeding behaviors of dairy calves? And, how do personality traits in combination with different weaning methods affect weight gains? The answers to their questions could help producers choose the best weaning methods for their dairy stock. In a natural setting, cows and nursing calves […]

November 22, 2021

Carrot or Stick – What’s the Best Way to Get Your Livestock to Do Something?

The other day I was talking to a friend who was trying to figure out how to get her kid to quit yelling in the house. One idea was to tell him that if he yelled he would lose Gamebox time. But then, if he started out the day yelling, and he lost his game […]

October 11, 2021

When You Move an Animal to a New Place, Don’t Make it Eat New Foods Too

New places cause stress, and stress can lead to animals picking the wrong foods, or not eating at all. Here’s some insight into the reasons why and how you can help.

September 13, 2021

Calling and Leading Cattle is More Time and Cost Efficient Than Herding

To start, I’d like to thank my neighbors Ken and Debbie for inspiring this study. Ken and Debbie raise “stock dogs.” This provides me with endless hours of entertainment during the pleasant evenings of spring and summer as I listen to the strange commands, whistles, and threats that float across the pasture. They sound like […]

July 26, 2021

Stress Spreads: What’s Pee Got To Do With It?

You may have noticed that when a few animals get stressed, others do too, or that a normally calm group of animals just isn’t the same when you add a Nervous Nelly. Here’s what could be going on.

June 21, 2021

Flerds: Sheep and Cattle Grazing Together for Predator Protection and Pasture Management

Multi-species grazing isn’t just about diversifying your operation and making good use of your pastures. It can also be a way to protect small ruminants from predation!

May 17, 2021

Kathy’s Principles for Working With Livestock

Over the last few weeks I’ve been highlighting the importance of principles. To me, principles are the key points to remember. They’re the building blocks for developing a successful plan to accomplish whatever I’d like to do. With that in mind, here are my principles for working with livestock. They grew out of seven years […]

February 22, 2021

What does the cow say?

Alexandra Green sees the humor in her work when she declares that someday she hopes to be a “cowmoonicator.” Green has been studying the vocal behavior of dairy cattle. Her work has shown that individuals have distinct voices, and that there are specific “moos” that communicate information. Working with a herd of 18 Holstein-Friesian heifers […]

February 8, 2021

Moving Bulls Safely

Thanks to the Beef Quality Assurance program for this helpful video about how to be safe around bulls. For those of you who have slow internet speeds, or who prefer reading to watching, I put together a transcript for you, below. Enjoy! Handling bulls is a really different situation and each bull’s going to be […]

December 21, 2020

Why Do Your Animals Eat What They Eat and Do What They Do?

If you entered 2021 with a better understand of why your animals do the things they do, I think you’d be way ahead of the game. So, here’s a four article series by Darrell Emmick. He’ll give you a really strong understanding of what’s going on in your pasture with your plants and animals based […]

November 16, 2020

How Do Animals Choose Where to Graze and Find the Best Forage and Water?

Thirty years of research by Dr. Fred Provenza and his colleagues at Utah State University shows us that what we’ve always thought about how animals choose what to eat and where to live doesn’t work the way we thought it did. How it actually works has completely changed my life. In fact, it’s why you’re […]

October 26, 2020

How Good Are You at Assessing Animal Temperament?

Thanks to University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s BeefWatch, and  Jamie Parham and Dr. Ronald M. Lewis, UNL Professor of Animal Breeding and Genomics for this article. Some edits were made to fit On Pasture’s style guide. We also added UNL chute behavior videos so you can test your skills. Temperament is an animal’s behavioral response to handling […]

October 26, 2020

Answers to Temperament Scores

1. Temperament Score – 5 2. Temperament Score – 3 3. Temperament Score – 2 4. Temperament Score – 4 5. Temperament Score – 1

October 19, 2020

Low-Stress Livestock Handling Part 2 – Observation, Driving and Parallel Movement With a Focus on Sheep

Last week we shared a video from Boyd Holden about best practices for low-stress sheep handling. Boyd is an animal handling consultant from Australia who covers handling of both cattle and sheep in a series of training videos. I appreciate his approach of starting from the beginning and then sharing techniques in little chunks like […]

October 12, 2020

Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Best Practices for Sheep Part 1

If you’ve been reading On Pasture for very long, you’ve certainly seen Whit Hibbard’s articles sharing the ins and outs of moving cattle and other livestock. But sometimes it helps to see the principles in action. So here’s a video prepared by our friends down under, with the help of animal handling consultant Boyd Holden. […]

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