K-State Animal Science Cattlemen’s Day Event, Annual Legacy Sale, Bull Buying Season, 8 Tips to Prepare for a Bull Sale, Lice in Cattle, Supplementing Cows

Welcome to Episode 44 of BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news about our exciting upcoming guests on both Twitter and Facebook.

1:00 – 106th Annual Cattlemen’s Day Event and Annual Legacy Sale

5:40 – Bull Buying Season

14:29 – BCI Cattle Chat Checklist – 8 Tips to Prepare for a Bull Sale

  • Pre-Sale Preparation
  • Identify what Breed you Need
  • Make a Long List
  • Know Your Price Restraints
  • Use Selection Indexes
  • Know what Your Operation Needs
  • Show Up Early and Shorten Your List
  • Get to Know Your Bull Provider

15:36 – Lice in Cattle

17:38 – Supplementing Cows

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

BCI collaborates with K-State’s housing and dining, animal science, others to celebrate Kansas Day

Beef was for dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 29 for every on-campus student at K-State’s Derby, Van Zile and Kramer dining halls. To celebrate Kansas’s 158th birthday, the BCI partnered with K-State’s Department of Housing and Dining Services; Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the department’s Collegiate Cattlemen and Meat Science Association; and the Kansas Beef Council, to bring burgers and other Kansas-sourced foods to plates across campus. The night fostered promotion of beef in college dining centers and discussion of beef-related perceptions.

Kansas-sourced beef burgers twice the size of the dining halls’ standard menu drew students from across campus residence halls to wait in 20-minute lines.

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Students waited an average of 20 minutes to enjoy the double-sized burgers served at K-State’s Derby, Kramer and Van Zile dining halls on Kansas Day.

The event, spurred by the Beef Cattle Institute’s (BCI) Director of Value Chain Alliances Patti Dollarhide, collaborated with Dr. Kelly Whitehair, instructor with the college’s Department of Human Ecology, to raise students’ awareness of beef.

The menu featured beef burgers from K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, buns from Flowers Baking Company in Lenexa, macaroni and cheese made with sorghum from Nu Life Market in Scott City, chili verde made with pork from the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, rolls made with flour from Grain Craft Mills in McPherson, and birthday cake and K-State’s own Call Hall ice cream.

Students attending the dining halls that evening were greeted with a large image of a cow projected on-screen, and members of the university’s Collegiate Cattlemen’s club and meat science program, who helped answer student questions.

Both Dollarhide and Dr. Whitehair agree the double-sized burgers were a huge hit, but Dr. Whitehair believes the students understanding the products were made in Kansas made an impact.

“Beef is important to sustaining our Kansas economy,” says Dollarhide. “I wanted to feature this healthy, delicious protein in conjunction with our talented K-State dining services team, which has a reputation for serving great food. It was important to have representatives from the Department of Animal Science’s Collegiate Cattlemen and the Meat Science Association available to  answer questions for those unfamiliar with modern agriculture. Telling the story of Kansas beef here in our dorms proved to be one more way we can be transparent about our industry and help people feel good about enjoying beef in their diets. The dining staff executed the meal perfectly, and the long burger lines proved there was no difficulty getting students to celebrate Kansas beef.”

Plans are in the works to hold the event again next year, as well as for more beef education events throughout the year.

Patti Dollarhide is a registered dietitian and the director of beef value chain alliances at Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute. Learn more about her here

Listen to a clip from the Kansas Livestock Association here.

How Big of a Concern is Mud, Sandhills Calving System, Top 5 Tips for Managing and Preventing Calf Scours, When Should I Castrate Bull Calves, Beef Up Your Kansas Day Event

Welcome to Episode 43 of BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news about our exciting upcoming guests on both Twitter and Facebook.

2:16 – How Big of a Concern is Mud?

6:58 – Sandhills Calving System

12:45 – Top 5 Tips for Managing and Preventing Calf Scours

  • Identify sick calves as soon as possible
  • Make sure that cows calve in adequate body condition
  • Make sure that cows don’t congregate in one area of the pasture
  • Separate older calves from younger calves
  • Make every week like the first week of the calving season for as many cows as possible

For a more detailed report of these tips, please click here

14:16 – When Should I Castrate Bull Calves?

17:40 – Interview with Patti Dollarhide – Beef Up Your Kansas Day Event

23:15 – BCI Beef Tip – Take Mud Seriously

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Top 5 ways to prevent and manage calf scours

By Dr. Bob Larson, professor of production medicine

5. Identify sick calves as soon as possible so that you can remove them from contact with other calves and to treat them appropriately with fluids as directed by your veterinarian.

4. Make sure that cows calve in adequate body condition (Body Condition Score of 5 or 6) to ensure that each cow has a sufficient quantity of good quality colostrum.

3. Make sure that cows don’t congregate in one area of the pasture and create an extremely muddy environment for calves. Even if placed in a large pasture, cows will congregate near the feed and water and calves won’t spend time in the parts of the pasture that are clean. As much as possible, separate water sources and feed source and move bale rings frequently or unroll hay in a different part of the calving or nursery pasture each day so that cows and their calves spend time in the cleanest parts of the pasture.

2. Separate older calves from younger calves. Calves are at greatest risk for scours during the first three weeks of life and become fairly resistant by six to eight weeks of age. Even though older calves are not as likely to become sick with scours, they still shed a lot of the germs that cause scours and are a major source of germs to the susceptible young calves. Using several nursery pastures so that each pasture only contains calves of similar age greatly decreases the risk of calf scours.

1. Make every week like the first week of the calving season for as many cows as possible. The Sandhills Calving System recommends that enough calving pastures are available so that once a week all of the cows that calved that week are left in the pasture with their calves and all the cows that have not calved yet are moved to a new, clean pasture. In this system, calves born every week of the calving season are protected from exposed to older calves and are born on clean ground. Although starting new calving pastures each week is ideal, if you don’t have enough pastures to implement the full Sandhills System, starting new calving pastures by moving pregnant cows away from cow-calf pairs every two, or three, or even every four weeks will result in as many calves being born in the first week of their calving pasture as possible.

Types of Risk, Top 7 Risks You May Want to Plan For, In the News

Welcome to Episode 42 of BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news about our exciting upcoming guests on both Twitter and Facebook.

2:10 – Risk

  • Production Risk
  • Price Risk
  • Legal/Regulatory Risk
  • HR Risk
  • How Do You Respond?

Source : K-State Center for Risk Management Education and Research

13:20 – Top 7 Risks That You Should Have a Plan For

  • Calf-Death Loss
  • Open cows
  • Drought
  • Price-Risk
  • Transition Plan
  • Human Resources Risk
  • Financial Risk

15:32 – In the News

BCI Beef Tip – Helping a Newborn Calf Breathe

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Vet Call: Cold-weather concerns

By Dr. Bob Larson, DVM, professor of production medicine
Reprinted with permission from the Angus Journal.

A high percentage of the U.S. beef herd resides in areas of the country where moderately to extremely cold winter temperatures are common. By planning for winter weather, ranchers can avoid being caught off-guard by extreme events and can manage the typical winter conditions so cattle do not have to continually utilize body fat as an energy source to keep warm, leading to excessive loss of body condition.

Situations that are most likely to cause cold stress are: Cattle with thin fat cover and short hair coats (due to movement from a warmer environment to a colder environment, or extremely cold temperatures early in the fall/winter season); cattle with wet hides, or high wind speed accompanying cold temperatures. Wind chill is a better predictor of cold stress than temperature alone because cold wind draws heat away more quickly than still air at the same temperature. Wet or mud-caked hair losses its ability to insulate the animal and a wet winter hair coat only provides as much protection from the cold as a typical summer hair coat. If cold wind is combined with a wet hair coat (as can occur during a winter storm), the effects can be very profound.

Adult cattle with a dry hair coat, adequate body condition, and abundant, adequate-quality forage can withstand most winter situations, especially if they have the ability to find protection from wind and have been exposed to moderately cold conditions for several weeks which allows them to acclimate by growing a thick winter hair coat and increasing feed intake. As temperatures drop, cattle increase heat production which means the number of calories they need for maintenance increases. This increase is met by consuming more feed and moving it through the digestive tract faster, but the cost of this faster movement is that feed is not digested as fully. The effect of needing increased calories for maintenance at the same time that feed digestibility is decreasing means that if cows do not have access to plenty of digestible feed, they will have to “burn” body fat as a calorie source.

Another factor that can limit feed intake in winter conditions is if water sources are frozen or unavailable. If feed intake cannot keep up with energy demands, and body fat is mobilized to meet energy demands, then the cows will have less fat insulation and will be more susceptible to cold temperatures, causing a viscous cycle that can lead to cold stress and even more weight loss.

Cold weather brings a special concern with bulls because of the potential to have frostbite damage to the scrotum and testicles. It is very important that bulls have protection from the wind and adequate bedding if they are housed on concrete or dirt.

Cold temperatures have the greatest potential to cause serious problems in young calves, particularly calves in the first day of life. Because calves are born wet, have thin skin and very little body fat, they lose body heat very rapidly and if they are not able to become dry, can quickly become severely cold stressed. Contact with snow or wet ground will increase the amount of time that a calf stays wet and in danger. Body temperature of newborn calves can drop to dangerously low levels in 3 hours or less.
Calves are born with a body temperature of about 100˚F. When exposed to a cold environment, calves are able to produce heat in two ways: shivering and the heat production of brown fat (fat that surrounds the kidneys of a new-born), and they can conserve heat by reducing blood flow to the body surface and extremities (feet, ears, etc.). In early stages of cold exposure, calves will shiver vigorously and have a fast heart rate and breathing rate. If that does not keep the body temperature up, the calf’s body sends less blood to feet, ears and nose in an effort to minimize heat loss. Severe cold stress occurs when the body temperature drops below 94˚F. At this temperature, the brain and other organs are affected and the calf becomes depressed, unable to rise, unwilling to suckle, and will temporarily lose the ability to shiver. The good news is that if the calf can be warmed up and its body temperature can begin to rise, the shivering response will return and the core body temperature will slowly increase.

During periods of cold or wet weather, newborn calves (less than 1 to 2 days of age) should be checked every few hours with a thermometer and any calf with a below-normal temperature, even if it appears OK, should be warmed. Calves suffering from cold stress must be warmed so that body temperature can rise above 100˚F. If body temperature has not dropped too far, putting the calf in the cab of a pickup out of the wind and rain or snow will warm the calf. In more severe cases the calves can be placed in warm water, specially designed warming boxes, or near a heat source such as an electric blanket, heat lamp, or hot water bottles. To avoid skin burns, the heat source should not exceed 108˚F. In addition to an external heat source, cold-stressed calves should be fed warm colostrum, milk, or electrolyte fluid with an energy source using an esophageal feeder.

Prevention of cold stress involves management to ensure that calves can be born in a short period of time and both the calf and dam can stand shortly after calving so that they can bond and the calf can begin suckling. Anything that prolongs calving or reduces the chance that a calf will suckle soon after birth should be addressed by management changes. Calving difficulties are minimized by proper heifer development, proper bull selection for calving ease, and proper nutrition so that heifers and cows calve in a body condition score of 5 to 6 on a 9-point scale. Cows with large teats or that are not attentive mothers should be culled.

Use of pasture as the primary forage source during calving encourages cows to keep spread apart and minimizes development of muddy areas. If the herd forage plan includes feeding hay, consider feeding hay in early to mid-gestation and saving stockpiled pasture for the calving season. If supplemental hay and grain are fed during calving, these should be provided at locations that are separate and distant from water sources and windbreaks. I discourage the use of bale rings in calving and nursery pastures and suggest that if using large round bales, they be unrolled and the feeding area changed with each feeding. Unrolled bales will have greater hay waste, but reduced chance for mud caused by concentrating the herd into small feeding areas, and unrolled hay provides bedding for newborn calves so that they are not in direct contact with the ground.

In addition to monitoring the weather forecast for severe winter weather events and to be alerted to times when additional feed is needed, minimizing the effects of cold temperatures on newborn calves involves planning ahead and considering calf comfort and protection when making heifer development, bull selection, nutrition and pasture-management decisions. Making sure that cows will have adequate access to forage and water even in situations with significant snow cover is necessary to provide sufficient calories to maintain body fat and heat production. Protecting the cow herd (and bulls) from winter wind and providing bedding if on concrete or mud/dirt will minimize the effects of severe weather.

Dr. Bob Larson is a professor of production medicine with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, Edgar E. and Elizabeth Coleman Chair of Food Animal Production Medicine, executive director of Veterinary Medical Continuing Education, and faculty member with the Beef Cattle Institute. He specializes in the integration of animal health, production efficiency and economic considerations in beef cattle production. This column is reprinted and redistributed with permission from the Angus Journal.

Introduction of Dr.Justin Smith, NCBA Meeting, What is the Minimum Temperature Cattle can Handle, Top 6 Technology Changes Impacting Animal Health

Welcome to Episode 41 of BCI Cattle Chat where we had the opportunity to visit with KDA Animal Health Commissioner, Dr. Justin Smith.  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news about our exciting upcoming guests on both Twitter and Facebook.

1:45 – Introduction of KDA Animal Health Commissioner – Dr. Justin Smith

  • Responsibilities of Animal Health Commissioner
  • Disease Monitoring
  • CattleTrace

12:08 – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Meeting

16:03 – Listener Question – What is the Minimum Temperature Cattle can Handle?

20:45 – Top 6 Technology Changes Impacting Animal Health

  • Advances in Genomic Testing
  • Electronic Transfer of Traceability Data Points
  • Improved Diagnostics
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Hands-Free Identification
  • Electronic Health Papers

22:38 – BCI Beef Tip: Don’t be Afraid of New Business Opportunities

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.