August 8, 2022

Forage Quality is Declining and Grasshoppers and Livestock Aren’t Happy

Something strange is happening to grasshoppers at the Konza Long-Term Ecological Research site in Kansas – they’re disappearing a little at a time. For the past 25 years, their populations have declined 2% per year. That doesn’t seem like much, but as Michael Kaspari, a research professor at the University of Oklahoma says, “It’s like […]

July 25, 2022

Is Multi-species Grazing Right for You? Part 1

While the sheep and goat market has backed off its incredible highs seen this winter, it still is really strong with animals commanding prices that just a couple years ago were unthinkable. The market climate has brought in an ever increasing interest from producers that are trying to figure out if and how sheep and […]

July 25, 2022

Heifer Grazing Compass Helps Farmers Make Profitable Grazing and Replacement Decisions

  To graze or not to graze? The newly debuted Heifer Grazing Compass can help Dairy Farmers answer that question. This spreadsheet tool helps farmers predict and understand the cash flow and long-term financial outcomes of deciding to raise heifers on pasture. It can be used to help dairy farmers assess their options for raising […]

July 11, 2022

I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!

Sometimes we all come in, sit down at our computers, and wish for something silly that will make us laugh and take a good, deep breath.  So that’s what this week’s article in the Livestock Section is all about.  A little breather and a chuckle, with thanks to the Arrogant Worms. I am Cow, hear […]

June 27, 2022

Cows Eat Leafy Spurge

Contrary to what you’ve been told, leafy spurge does not cause harm to cattle, and with a little training, they can and will eat it. So why not turn that pest into forage? Here Kathy shares what she’s learned about getting cattle to eat leafy spurge over her decade of teaching cows to eat weeds.

June 13, 2022

Can Cows Eat Woolly Croton (Goatweed/Doveweed)?

When I was in Grapevine, Texas for a conference several years ago, lots of folks asked me if they could use my training technique to teach cows to eat Woolly Croton. Woolly Croton (Croton capitatus) is also known as goat weed or dove weed, because dove, quail and turkeys love the seeds it produces. That […]

May 23, 2022

Livestock Record Keeping Advice From a Heretic: Stop Writing Stuff Down!

This month we’ve been looking at record keeping and it’s place in our operations. So I asked John Marble to weigh in and share why he keeps almost no records at all. He’ll start with some thoughts about the value of collecting animal data. He’ll talk about other kinds of data in future issues. I […]

May 9, 2022

Lambing On Pasture Part 2 – Be Aware of These Challenges

Since the last article, lambing has commenced for us at Markway Ranch. While it is an exciting time in the year of the sheep, I wish I could say lambing is all sunshine and roses. As with anything in life there are ups and downs, good days, and days we wish would have gone more […]

April 25, 2022

Lambing on Pasture, Part 1

It’s the time of year we eagerly anticipate, as winter moves into hibernation and spring awakens. The greening of the grass, the song of spring peepers, gobbling turkeys, mushroom hunting, fish biting and warmer days are all blessings we look forward to. In the year of the sheep, a new beginning is soon to arrive […]

April 11, 2022

A Shepherd’s Journey – The Beginning

Let me introduce myself. I am Jeremia Markway, a rancher from central Missouri. I know… when most people think of ranching, they think of vast spreads out west with lots of sky, country, some cattle and maybe a few horses. Call it a ranch or farm, we don’t do any row cropping or hay baling. […]

April 11, 2022

How to Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

Our March article on calving on grass talked about the monetary, health and stress reduction benefits of ranchers discovered. Here’s another way to improve birthing season that ensures more sleep, and less stress. Feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s […]

March 21, 2022

Here’s Why You Should Consider Calving on Grass

Graziers who still think that “Spring” calving starts in late February and early March think they have good, logical reasons. They probably cite economics, and the old “this is the way we’ve always done it.” And I’m not entirely unsympathetic. After all, I used to kid my goat herd in February in the middle of […]

March 7, 2022

How Much Forage Do I Need?

Part of planning for the grazing season is getting a good handle on how much forage you’ll need for your livestock. This, along with your forage estimate, tells you how many animals you can sustainably raise. It also helps you plan paddock sizes, when to move animals and what your rotation will look like over […]

February 21, 2022

Caring for Young Animals in Trouble – Resuscitation and Tube Feeding

While these videos and information focus on care of newborn calves, it’s helpful no matter what livestock you’re raising. As an example, the old method I was taught for getting a newborn kid goat to breath by holding it upside down – well, turns out that’s actually harmful. It would be much better to do […]

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 […]

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