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 […]

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 […]

January 24, 2022

Bedded Pack Buildings: Solving the Winter Mud, Muck and Manure Problem

Where is your herd (or flock) spending this winter? Right about now, with snow, ice, mud and manure building up, you may be wishing you had a different option than the one you’re using. Here’s a solution you can start considering and maybe planning for next year!

September 27, 2021

Winter Grazing and Weaning Calves

The ranchers in this 4-minute video don’t bring their cattle in and feed them over the winter. They’ve found that bale or swath grazing is a much more economical, low labor way of carrying their stock through the winter. Here they talk about when and how they wean and feed their calves as part of […]

August 9, 2021

Cattle Are Losing Adaptations to Their Specific Environments

Researchers have uncovered evidence showing that cattle are losing important environmental adaptations, losses the researchers attribute to a lack of genetic information available to farmers. After examining genetic material stretching back to the 1960s, they identified specific DNA variations associated with adaptations that could one day be used to create DNA tests for cattle — […]

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!

June 14, 2021

Turning Out the Bulls – Later

Thanks to Kris Miner, South Dakota Grassland Coalition for sending on this reminder! With the traditional bull turnout date for most producers coming in the next couple weeks, the SD Grassland Coalition would like to remind cattle producers that considering a later breeding and calving season may be beneficial. In South Dakota, that means May […]

June 14, 2021

What is the Best Cow?

The best cow I ever bought was a real beauty. Her name was Miss Unaweep Rafter 145, and she came with some fancy registration papers and a bull calf at her side that my mother thought could be our next herd sire. I know old Unaweep was a good cow. She must have been – […]

June 7, 2021

Shade Options for Grazing Cattle – Natural, Permanent and DIY Portable

It’s that time of year when grazers begin asking each other, “What do you do to get shade to your animals?” Here’s why it’s helpful to YOU to provide shade, and 3 different options for making it happen. Why is Shade Important? Adding some shade to pastures, especially in places where the weather is both […]

May 31, 2021

Reduce Early Pregnancy Loss in Cattle

According to Rick Funston, Nebraska Extension Beef Cattle Reproductive Physiologist, transportation stress, heat stress, diagnosing pregnancy and nutrition at breeding are all factors that can lead to early pregnancy loss in cattle. From his recent BeefWatch article, here’s what to watch for and what to do to prevent loss. Transportation Stress When trailering cattle to […]

April 19, 2021

Here Are the Minerals Cattle Require and What Deficiencies Look Like

This is an excerpt from information provided by the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada, so naturally it’s focused on cattle. Because sheep and goats have different requirements, don’t use this information for them. We can cover their needs in future issues. Minerals At least seventeen minerals are required by beef cattle and are divided […]

April 12, 2021

Key Nutrients Ruminants Need to Thrive

This is an excerpt from information provided by the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada, so naturally it’s focused on cattle. But the descriptions of energy and protein and the definitions of measurements of nutritional value cover all forages and ruminants. You’ll find this helpful no matter what livestock you raise. Cattle require five key […]

March 15, 2021

Grafting Baby Calves Part 1: Should you do it?

Here on the ranch, calving season is generally a pretty happy time. My business model includes buying pregnant cows. These are cows that I don’t really know very much about, as in, we might have an estimate about what month she might calve in, and we know what color she is, but beyond that – […]

March 1, 2021

What Calving Season is Best for Your Bottom-Line?

These graziers focus on calving with nature to reduce inputs and make more money. But while May-June is great for them, it doesn’t fit for everyone. I’ve updated this article so we can revisit it together, paying attention to the principles at work. You’re invited to tell us what works for you and why. How […]

February 1, 2021

Goat Kidding Tips – And an Idea for Timing Births That Works No Matter What You Raise

Back in 1998, when I was two years into my research project looking at the best ways to manage goats to build firebreaks and manage vegetation, a fellow Utah State University researcher gave me 35 does because he was done with his own research. To my project partner and I it seemed like the next […]

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