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Animal Health
Enriching range cattle diet tough call

Desert rangeland forage base may be adequate in spring and early summer, but over the rest of the year, the quality of the resource begins to decline.

Wireless sensors used to monitor chickens

A team of Michigan State University researchers will explore the use of new wireless technology to determine its effectiveness in monitoring the welfare of egg-laying chickens.

Well-timed deworming best value

Deworming your cow herd might be compared to carpet bombing vs. laser-guided bombing.

Watch high producers closely

It’s as plain as the numbers in your milking reports. Cows in early lactation are generally more profitable than cows later in lactation.

Concern about Johne’s in beef grows

A “sleeper disease.”

Stay vigilant to avoid brucellosis comeback

Not long ago it looked like brucellosis might go the way of the screwworm. But it quickly reared its ugly head again.

Technology key for young producer

If you were to make a list of high-tech careers, it is doubtful that chicken farming would be among them.

Vet offers advice for warming cold calves

Calves born in cold weather suffer adverse effects if they don’t get right up and nurse before they chill. “Calves start out with a high temperature of about 103 degrees right after birth. It starts to fall to about 101.5 to 102 degrees within a few hours,” says Robert Callan, Colorado State University veterinarian. “If it drops below 100, this means the calf is unable to thermo-regulate to keep him warm.” If calves are born in cold weather or wind, their temperatur

Cattle quench thirst with snow

Ranchers using fall and winter pastures that are short on stock water, or where water sources freeze in winter can let cows eat snow in regions that get adequate snowfall.

Sanitized barns limit health risks

Cleanliness is next to godliness. Imagine becoming ill, nothing serious or life threatening, just something that requires overnight hospitalization.

Feed menu affects cow performance

A consistent rumen environment every day for every dairy cow is a prime input for financial success, but too often feed variations result in losses, a Diamond V regional sales manager warns.

Cow’s diet critical to calf performance

Dick Fredrickson, veterinarian at Simplot ranches and feedlots of Grandview, Idaho, says protein deficiency in cows is an important factor in whether their calves do well. If cows don’t have adequate protein, they can’t produce adequate colostrum. “This is the key to a healthy calf, assuming cows have adequate forage,” he says.

Genetics may supply solution for BRD

Susceptibility to bovine respiratory disease, commonly called BRD, is 19% heritable, according to new research coming out of Colorado State University.

Native grass works

Native grasses that have proven themselves suitable to the Shackelford County, Texas, environment are the backbone for cattle and wildlife on the Merrick Davis Ranch, operated by H&M Cattle Co.

Coyotes beware

Sitting in a back corner of the garage workshop where Mike Dyer keeps his trapping supplies are the bottles of lure. Some are store-bought, some are homemade and some are a combination. The exact contents are unknown, but we’re talking fish innards, fox urine, groundhog musk, opossum scat, etc. The bottled slop is caught between molding and rotting. Even with the caps screwed on, this is the worst-smelling garbage you can imagine.

Iles Dairy closes after 78 years

It was a tough day back in August when David Iles Jr. milked his cows for the last time. After that last milking, D.E. Iles Dairy of Littleton, N.C., was no more — Iles carried the last of the animals to market that same day.“The cows looked at me like they were saying, ‘What is this all about?’” Iles says.

The public’s view of animal biotech

Animal biotechnology has expanded in the last three decades. Public perceptions will continue to play, a significant role in the development and commercialization of its applications, says a report from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST.

Are genes key to vaccines?

South Dakota State University livestock researchers are trying to determine whether the genes cattle inherit help determine the way they respond to vaccinations.

Look out for rabies

Answer: This time of year usually brings numerous sitings of raccoons, skunks and foxes, both on roadways and around farmsteads. This makes it a good time to review rabies and the potential animal reservoirs.

Less cattle stress, more profit

September in the Southwest conjures up visions of fall — and some thoughts can turn to growing winter wheat pasture for stocker cattle grazing.

Good facilities can help ease job of calving

A good calving facility — even if it is little more than a few panels and a simple head catch — can increase calf survival and health, rebreeding rates, and overall profits — not to mention easier and safer calving for both the cattle and the people assisting them.

Ask the Vet

Veterinarian Monty Belmer details the cause and symptoms of rumen acidosis and explains how long to segregate castrated bulls.

The feed and filth behind egg recall

The recall of hundreds of millions of eggs contaminated by salmonella from two Iowa producers — Wright County Egg in Galt, and Hillandale Farms in New Hampton — illustrate how bad apples can spoil an industry.

Broken promises

For two decades it looked as though Michigan’s free-ranging, white-tailed deer herd was clean of bovine tuberculosis. In 1994 that bubble burst. The slowly developing bacterial disease surfaced again in a deer surrendered by a northeast Lower Michigan hunter.

Cattle in TB zone plummet in value

In 1996 at the Michigan Limousin Association State Show in Midland, Ervin Alexander stood proud as five of his animals took high honors, including Grand Champion Bull, Grand Champion Female and three division winners. Years of selective breeding and more than 40 years of AI work were paying off. Or so he thought. It didn’t play out like that when it came time to sell.

Swine disease rocks pork producers

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, now known as PRRS, is pitting pork producers against each other in Indiana. One lawsuit has already been filed, and the Indiana state veterinarian has been criticized for not adequately protecting Indiana hogs from pigs infected with the disease.

Minimize tissue damage when injecting livestock

Beef Quality Assurance has become more important than ever to producers and veterinarians to ensure they’re producing a wholesome product with no drug residues, meat blemishes or lesions that result in cut-outs in the carcass.

Rein in horn flies

Horn flies will soon be bothering cattle. The best way to give the animals some relief from horn flies is to use several different control methods, say Janet Knodel, North Dakota State University Extension entomologist, and Greg Lardy, NDSU animal science department head.

Nebraska biotech firm serves clients worldwide

GeneSeek Inc., a Nebraska agricultural biotechnology service provider, has grown into one of the largest companies of its kind in the world since it began in Lincoln in 1998.

USDA: Beef supply safe from BSE

On April 24, USDA announced that tests showed a dairy cow in California had contracted the first U.S. case of BSE disease discovered in six years and only the fourth ever confirmed in this country. However, the animal did not enter the food supply.

Steps help rid sheep of roundworms

Roundworm is the most damaging parasite that affects sheep, says Reid Redden, North Dakota State University Extension sheep specialist.

Beef program helps producers ‘PEP’ up their bottom line

Helping beef producers become more profitable and identifying methods to make an operation more efficient are just two goals associated with a program offered by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Range on the rebound

The 2011 record drought and merciless heat hammered rangeland. More than 30,000 fires burned 4 million acres. Hundreds of thousands of cattle were impacted.

NCBA wary of animal rights issue

The pork industry isn’t the only sector of agriculture that opposes federal regulation of animal care. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association opposes a legislative proposal that would take animal care out of the hands of egg producers, concerned it could lead to regulation in other sectors.

Two bulls in Iowa positive for trich

Two bulls in southwest Iowa have tested positive for trichomoniasis, a venereal disease in cattle. State agriculture officials made the announcement June 1 and issued a quarantine order for the facility where the two bulls were tested.

Goat milking becomes reality

Not far over the Hancock/Henry County line in Henry County you’ll find a farm that raises forages, goats and llamas. It’s a goat dairy, one of the few in Indiana, and it’s well on its way to turning milking goats into a profitable business.

Metal ingestion a risk for hardware disease

Austin Hinds, food-animal medicine and surgery specialist at the Caine Center, University of Idaho, says hardware problems are most common in dairy cattle and feedlot beef animals.

Hoof cracking common with dairy cattle

Mature cattle generally have more incidence of hoof cracks than young animals. “Dairy cows that live on cement year-round develop more foot problems, but I do get calls from beef producers that say they have a lot of cracked hooves,” says Mike Mehren, livestock nutritionist in Hermiston, Ore.

Questions and answers about epizootic hemorrhagic disease in cattle

Cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, were reported this summer in South Dakota cattle herds and in white-tailed deer. EHD is viral disease spread by flies. Russ Daly, South Dakota State University Extension veterinarian, answers some frequently asked questions about the disease and its origins:

Work in progress

Construction on the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, in Manhattan is just getting started, and it will be six years before the facility is fully operational.

Top-level research already at K-State

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Center of Excellence targets emerging zoonotic diseases

Three research themes define the Center of Excellence of Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, at Kansas State University.

Biosecurity Research Institute scientists and their projects

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Officials outline response to foot-and-mouth disease

When the topic is foot-and-mouth disease, the phrase “not if, but when” is enough to create terror in the minds of farmers all across cattle country.

Talking turkey

Frank Reese raises turkeys the old-fashioned way at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, near Lindsborg.

Biodiversity seen as key to sustaining poultry industry

Fourth-generation poultry farmer Frank Reese, who raises heritage breeds of turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese near Lindsborg, sees the lack of biodiversity as the downfall of the country’s commercial poultry production system.

What really makes a chicken happy?

MSU’s Poultry Research and Training Center has a new facility like none other in academia across the United States, according to MSU Poultry Extension specialist Darrin Karcher.

Limping sheep? Check for foot rot

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Watch your feed corn for mycotoxins

Last fall’s harvest conditions in many key corn-growing areas were conducive to mold growth and mycotoxin contamination. Even if those conditions didn’t exist in your area, purchased corn may come from miles away and could be a problem.

Test corn before feeding

The recent corn harvest was quite unfavorable, and livestock feeders need a long-term plan for feeding the 2009 crop. In much of the Midwest, corn harvest was later than in any year in recent memory, and the prolonged moist conditions in many cases caused molds to develop on the kernels, as ears were standing on stalks in the field.

Properly use health products

A producer’s ability to correctly use an animal health product determines the product’s ability to perform. Human error is often responsible for a product’s perceived failure.

Ask the Vet: Mastitis pathogens

This month I’ll continue discussing bacteria that cause mastitis. As you may remember, we covered the Gram-positive bacteria last month, so this month we’ll cover the Gram-negative bacteria, which are usually referred to as coliforms. Gram-negatives are common in a cow’s intestinal tract. Because of this, they are everywhere in the cow’s environment. Infections by this family of bacteria can range from mild to very severe.

Preventing PRRS

You cannot see or smell it, yet this silent killer causes reproductive failure in sows and respiratory disease in young pigs.

Upgrade barn, air for better hog health

Some very determined swine farmers and their veterinarians are working toward eliminating a devastating disease from herds in southern Minnesota.

Vet’s dream: No PRRS in 2030

Scott Dee is a veterinarian on a mission: To eradicate pork reproduction and respiratory disease syndrome virus from state and U.S. swine herds over the next 20 years.

Crypto passes from animal to human

Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans are termed “zoonotic” diseases. One of the more common zoonotic diseases is that caused by the protozoan parasite cryptosporidium.

Good bull selection, proper medicine use will improve herd

Choosing a good bull and using medicine the right way can go a long way in improving your herd.

New residue testing procedures

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, has announced new methods with increased efficiencies for testing residues in meat products. Iowa State University Extension swine veterinarian Jim McKean urges pork producers to review their operation and management decisions regarding drug usage.

Take steps to increase dairy profits

Like many farmers, dairy producers want to increase their profits after a sluggish economy while still producing the best milk possible. One way to increase profits is to improve dairy-herd management.

BQA adds value

Drew Gaffney does more than preach to Nebraska producers about the value of Beef Quality Assurance. He pockets an extra $20 per head in value at market time by practicing BQA principles in his cow-calf and yearling operation.

Cattleman strives to improve herd with AI, top bulls

Tim Shelton, a well-known farmer in Dry Fork, Va., grows tobacco and grain, and raises cattle.

Heifers return home ready to produce

In the mid-to-late 1980s, the beef industry paid scant attention to the genetic influence of cows and heifers on the overall performance of a cattle herd. That fact didn’t escape the attention of Patsy Houghton, then a Kansas State University beef cattle Extension specialist. Her focus on heifers intensified when KSU implemented a cow-calf student project designed to help students learn the artificial insemination process.