June 14, 2021

Black Vultures Preying on Livestock is a Growing Problem

Black Vulture populations are increasing and, with warmer winters, their range is expanding too. Once only found in the southeast United States, the birds are now being seen as far north as Indiana. The problem is, unlike their cousin the Turkey Vulture, which only feeds on carrion, black vultures are aggressive enough to take live […]

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 […]

May 24, 2021

Keep Pregnant Sows Cool to Ensure Healthy Piglets

Thanks to Jan Suszkiw, USDA Agricultural Research Service for this fine article on the research showing impacts of heat-stress on piglets. For those of you who raise cattle, be aware that heat stress is also an issue for pregnant cows and can alter offspring immune function, as noted in this Interpretive Summary from the article […]

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 […]

May 10, 2021

Make Sure Young Animals Have Plenty of Water to Promote Rumen Growth and Weight Gain

Making sure calves, lambs, and kids have access to dry feed and water early in life improves rumen development, encourages weight gain, and provides a good start for a healthy growing animal. Karla Wilke describes why in her recent BeefWatch article, using cattle as an example. One-month-old calves begin eating the cow’s feed and small […]

May 3, 2021

What Happens When Johne’s Disease Appears in Your Herd? Part 2

Johne’s disease is a wasting disease with no cure. It is found in more than 50% of dairy herds in the U.S. and can affect beef cattle, sheep and goats. Last week I shared the first part of this story, covering the discovery of the disease in my research goat herd, our first look at […]

April 26, 2021

What Happens When Johne’s Disease Appears in Your Herd? Part 1

Johne’s disease is a wasting disease with no cure. It is found in more than 50% of dairy herds in the U.S. and can affect beef cattle, sheep and goats. Here’s my story of my encounter with the disease in my goat herd and how you can use my experience to save yourself some grief.

April 26, 2021

How to Hand Raise Goat Kids

I first published this story in November of 2017. It’s full of great lessons about caring for young animals and for those faced with hand-raising a lot of baby goats or lambs, the early weaning feed recipe is a life saver. There are a number of reasons you might be raising goat kids by hand. […]

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 […]

April 12, 2021

Pasture Management for Nutrients and Preventing Parasite Problems in Small Ruminants

Thanks to Kim Cassida for this great piece. Here she focuses on practices for small ruminants, but the principles work for cattle as well. A common question among new small ruminant producers is “which forage is best for my animals?” The answer isn’t only about nutrients, but also involves parasite management and sustainable forage production. […]

April 5, 2021

Spring Pasture Bloat Prevention and Cures

This article comes to us from Ron Lemenager1, Allen Bridges1, Matt Claeys1, and Keith Johnson2, Purdue University Departments of Animal Sciences1 and Agronomy2. Bloat is a digestive disorder characterized by an accumulation of gas in the first two compartments of a ruminant’s stomach (the rumen and reticulum).  Production of gas (primarily carbon dioxide and methane) is […]

March 29, 2021

A Grazing Chart for Pastured Broilers

  My family and I operate Wrong Direction Farm in Upstate New York. We sell our pasture raised chicken, turkey and grass fed beef directly to customers in our region. On our farm, pasture raised broiler chickens are the largest and most complex enterprise. The poultry don’t require as much land base as our beef […]

March 22, 2021

Grafting Baby Calves Part 2 – How tos

In Part 1 of this series we talked about choosing the right animals for successful grafting. So, you’ve got a good, loving cow and a ripping good replacement calf. Now is when the work starts. If you have ever observed a normal birth, you know that the cow typically stands up, turns around and begins […]

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