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 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 […]

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 […]

August 23, 2021

Targeted Cattle Grazing Quickly Contains Wildfires

Back in 1997 when I first began my research project on the logistics of using goats to create firebreaks to protect homes in wildland areas, I dreamed that one day, livestock would become an important part of our firefighting toolbox. As I continued my work, my dream expanded beyond goats to what seemed a bigger, […]

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 — […]

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.

July 12, 2021

Alternative to Antibiotic Created to Combat a Major Poultry Disease

Thanks to Autumn Canaday of the Agricultural Research Service for this article. Researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and US Biologic, Inc., have developed an oral solution to an antibiotic alternative that fights against poultry coccidiosis, a disease that costs the poultry industry $3.5B in annual losses worldwide. Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease that […]

July 12, 2021

Test Your Knowledge of Management Practices That Affect Dewormer Resistance

Thanks to Michelle Arnold for this excellent article! There are many important diseases in sheep and goats but none are as common or threaten the herd health as much as internal parasites (worms). Although there are many types of worms that may contribute to a parasite problem, the blood-sucking barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is […]

June 28, 2021

New Vaccine Cocktail Protects Cattle from Johne’s Disease

A few months ago, I shared a two-part series on Johne’s disease. I talked about the disease itself, and my personal story of losing most of my research goat herd to it back in the early 2000s. It’s a devastating disease, and so this news, that scientists are closing in on a vaccine to prevent […]

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 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 […]

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