SDSU Extension publishes the Livestock Newsletter to provide South Dakota producers, industry professionals and consumers with timely research-based recommendations.
All Animal Health Content
We are beginning to enter the last 3 months of gestation for the majority of spring-calving cows in South Dakota.
South Dakota 4-H and SDSU Extension will be hosting trainings across SD for youth participating in livestock projects.
Winter weather conditions often present challenges to cattle managers in the Northern Plains. Although we can’t alter the weather, there are management steps that can be taken to help maintain cattle health and performance.
Managing cows through the winter provides different challenges compared to managing those same cows during the growing season. With snow cover, cows should oftentimes receive supplemental feed to meet nutrient requirements during late gestation and into calving season due to low forage or limited quantity.
Happy New Year! Now is a good time to evaluate the year past and make new resolutions and goals for 2019. This usually begins by finding records from the last 12 months, whether that’s in the Red Book or on a scratch pad in the tractor.
While we usually think of a cow’s gut simply as the organ system responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients, it also plays other critical roles. Essentially a long tube from the mouth to rectum, open to the outside world, the digestive tract is the most substantial interface between the cow’s external environment and her body.
Differentiating between protein and energy supplements is key to developing an effective cattle supplementation program, but it can be very confusing. With the multitude of feed options available, understanding types of feeds and nutrient requirements will help ensure cattle perform optimally.
This case report describes a southeastern South Dakota cow-calf herd’s experiences with pre-weaning pneumonia. Unlike many beef herds that experience pneumonia in calves on pasture, this herd’s problems were consistent year after year: widespread calf illness was documented in each of 6 consecutive summers. Anecdotally at least, the occurrence of pre-weaning pneumonia in beef herds is more likely to be sporadic and unpredictable from year to year. This herd’s persistent problems were followed by a year in which, after a change in calf vaccination protocol (informed by herd diagnostics), very little pre-weaning pneumonia was observed.
Winter supplementation often focuses heavily on meeting cow protein and energy requirements and tends to leave mineral nutrition as almost an afterthought. In reality, meeting all nutrient requirements, including energy, protein, minerals, vitamins, and water are equally important.