Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
Recent Stories by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
Providing assistance to cows or first calf heifers generally concentrates on the survival and health of the calf. However, calving difficulty resulting in prolonged labor can have adverse effects on the cow as well.
It is imperative that the newborn calf begins to breathe as soon as possible. To stimulate the initiation of the respiratory process, here are a few ideas that may help.
If you are targeting selling your calves during one of this fall's value-added or preconditioned sales, be mindful some of the required weaning dates are only days away.
The protein requirements for growth, milk production, and body weight maintenance of beef cattle do not decrease as the “dog days of summer” arrive.
Forage analysis can be a useful tool to remove some of the mystery concerning the hay that producers will feed this winter. The out-of-pocket costs of protein and energy supplements are further fuel to this advice.
Cattle have an upper critical temperature 20 degrees cooler than humans. When humans are a little uncomfortable at 80 degrees and feel hot at 90 degrees, cattle may well be in the danger zone for extreme heat stress.
The amount of water an animal requires can be estimated by the production stage and the weight of the cow or steer, say some Extension beef specialists.
If a small cow operation can market a sizeable number of calves together in one lot, it will realize a greater price per pound (on the average) than similar calves sold in singles or small lots.
Pinkeye has long been a costly nuisance with reduced beef production in the form of lower weight gain, milk production, body condition, and eventually even poorer reproduction can result from eye infections.
Weaning during very hot summer weather is stressful enough to the calves. Therefore, any management strategy that can reduce stress to the calves should be utilized.
Producers who synchronize and artificially inseminate replacement heifers or cows have already begun the process. If hot weather arrives during the AI season, some management and breeding alterations may be helpful.
Spring breeding seasons need to stay on time. Breeding seasons occurring during extremely hot weather can impact pregnancy rates in several ways.
Time is of the essence when a calving cow or heifer has a situation where the calf is coming backwards. If the umbilical cord is totally pinched by the pelvic rim, the calf can only survive about four minutes.
Body condition is categorized by a scoring system based on “1” being very emaciated and “9” is extremely obese. Most commercial range cows will be in the middle three scores of 4, 5, and 6.
Fall-calving herds will be breeding replacement heifers in late November. Now is the time to make certain that those heifers are ready for the upcoming breeding season.