Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cattle Corner April15, 2009

Hey, its April 15th, tax day. Hope everyone is on track with that fun task!
Lets get right down to cattle business. I just finished reading a GREAT little article from the Ohio State University on cattle. NowI read alot, and I try to discern the good from the drivel. Theres so much information out there it can be a little overwhelming at times. I read online, I read at the table, I read in my car at stop lights. I listen to Public Radio and watch PBS. So much information, not enough time to even use it! (Hence this blog....!)
Well I am really excitied about this one particular article; short and sweet. To the point, understandable, and USABLE. Something you can "take to the bank", literally. I won't go into the details, but I highly encourage you to check this out, send it to others who may find it interesting as well.
The article covers alot of ground (no pun intended) about seasonal losses from calving. When do you like your cattle to calve, and, why? What are the losses at each season, and why?
Obviously, when you prefer to calve directly affects your breeding season. We all know about breeding season, and, its close partner, heat stress. Percentage information on what months are best for breeding, which season are tops for losses, and why. We all know how we feel in the dead heat of mid summer. Well, your cows feel it as well. Check out the data provided.
Endophytes in Fescue; that nasty little fungus that benefits the plant, but wrecks havoc on your cattle during the peak summer breeding season. What to do about that, and, some substitutions. Lastly, and this is going to be given a lot of thought on our farm, is when to calve based on economics. Sure we like to calve on lush spring grass, when the weather is warm and the feed is esentially free. But those of us who raise cattle for breeding stock know how difficult it is to tell potential customers each spring to "please check back with us in the fall at weaning". We all know its alot easier to sell stock in the spring, when the grass is growing and folks are looking for the four-legged mowers in earnest. Maybe we will consider fall calving, with spring weaning? A liitle more hay to feed, but a weaned calf in the spring? Hmmmm, something to think about. Breeding season in the cooler months of fall / winter? Better conception rates, no Fescue...?
These are all things to consider. This article contains the facts to help you make the right decisions for your farm operation, regardless of size.
Please take a moment to read
They will send you a weekly e-newsletter (with articles like this) if you would like as well.

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