New knowledge in forage quality and animal feeding, and significant advances in improving the genetic potential of animals used to produce milk, meat and wool, improve efficiency and lower costs. However, to do this, today’s producer must be aware of and utilize the latest information on feed quality and feeding management
Benefits of Early Weaning Range sheep operations traditionally have allowed lambs to graze with ewes until late summer or early fall. In years when pasture is abundant and lamb growth is satisfactory, producers have little or no reason to wean lambs before they are ready to be finished.
The lambing season can be the most exciting time of the year for a sheep producer. The long awaited opportunity to evaluate that new ram or great set of replacement ewes finally arises. So, when the first two ewes abort, the next ewe has a stillborn lamb and the fourth ewe has a set of twins that are weak at birth and soon die, the experience can be very depressing and frustrating. These are all signs of an infectious abortion outbreak that should motivate you to 1) identify the cause(s) of abortion in your flock and 2) develop a plan to control or prevent abortions from occurring in the future.
Plants utilized in the feeding of livestock have long been a fundamental link in the food chain. Native grasses supported grazing animals well before man began to domesticate livestock. Forages have always been an extremely important source of nutrients in livestock rations. Additionally, they provide fiber in the ration which enhances proper digestion in forage-consuming animals. Through their conversion into milk and meat products, forages continue to be one of the primary sources of nourishment in the human diet.
In North Dakota, having wet weather conditions that delay the harvest is not unusual. These conditions can cause small grains to sprout in the swath or in the head, making them unsuitable for use in the milling, brewing and food industries. However, this grain can be fed to livestock.
This publication addresses feeding management guidelines that can improve the success of backgrounding operations and practices that can lower the cost of gain in backgrounding operations.
The drylot beef cow/calf enterprise is an alternative management system to traditional pasture or range beef production. Strictly defined, it is feeding confined cow/calf pairs in a feedlot environment during part or all of the traditional summer or fall- winter grazing season. In a practical sense, it means feeding confined cows and calves forages, crop residues and grains that may have more value marketed through cattle than as a cash crop. Many cattlemen manage their cows in drylot during the winter and after calving until pastures are ready.
This publication is intended to familiarize cow-calf producers with the terminology that feedlot managers may use when discussing custom feeding and feedlots.
This publication will discuss items that a cow-calf operator should consider before choosing a feedlot to custom feed cattle. Custom feeding refers to the practice of sending calves, stockers or yearlings to a commercial feed yard for feeding to slaughter weights. Custom feeding is not without risks. It should be viewed as a potential means to add value to your calf crop and/or evaluate the genetic merit of your cow herd.
This publication offers advice on livestock containment pond maintenance and management.
Leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria Leptospira interrogans. Leptopira has more than 180 different serovars (subclassifi cations). Each serovar is adapted to a particular species or maintenance host.
West Nile fever, which is caused by the West Nile virus (WNV), is a viral disease seen primarily in birds, horses and people. The virus circulates in nature between mosquito vectors and bird reservoir hosts, with humans and horses as accidental or dead-end hosts.
The raccoon roundworm is known as Baylisascaris procyonis or simply Baylisascaris. Humans can develop severe neurologic and/or ocular disease when they accidentally ingest roundworm eggs that are passed by the raccoon in fecal matter that then contaminates the environment. This typically is the result of fecal contamination of a water or feed source.
Giardiasis is a protozoal infection of humans and animals primarily in the upper small intestine. It is caused by an organism called Giardia duodenalis. Giardiasis is associated with drinking water from unfiltered surface water sources. The reservoir for the protozoa includes humans and a wide variety of wild and domestic animals. Transmission occurs by fecal contamination of a water source and subsequent hand-to-mouth transfer. It also can be transmitted via contaminated food.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease of humans and animals caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The biology of T. gondii is complicated, but the life cycle of the parasite begins with felids (cats, wild and domestic). Only felids can shed the infective form (oocyst) of the parasite in their fecal material.
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection of human and animal importance. The organism can affect the epithelial cells of the human and animal gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Many different species of animals, including poultry, fish, reptiles, and small and large mammals, can act as reservoirs for and become infected with Crytposporidium spp.
Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease transmissible between humans and animals. The onset of the disease is very rapid, with symptoms that include diarrhea, abdominal pain, malaise, fever, nausea and vomiting. The illness frequently lasts two to fi ve days and usually ends in 10 days.
Infectious calf scours is found in two forms: those involving excess secretion of fluids and electrolytes from the intestine (such as E. coli K99), and those that have reduced absorption from the intestine into the body (other types of E. coli, Salmonella, rotavirus, coronavirus, etc.).
Liquid feeds are useful for conditioning rations, improving palatability, reducing dustiness and providing nutrients to livestock. Many liquid byproduct materials are available for use in beef cattle rations. In addition, a number of commercial liquid supplement products also are available.
Corn commonly is used as a feed grain in beef cattle diets throughout the U.S. However, until recently in many parts of North Dakota and other northern-tier states, feeding corn was less common. With the availability and improvement of shorter-season corn varieties, corn plantings in North Dakota increased nearly five-fold from 1995 to 2012. In 2011, 216 million bushels of corn were produced. This has resulted in more interest in using corn as a feedstuff for beef cattle.