A customer very familiar with how well CRYSTALYX® Brigade® works on stressed calves at weaning time, once told me, “There are only two things wrong with Brigade®, it doesn’t cost enough, and it is too easy.” While that is humorous, there is a lot of truth in that statement. Brigade® will cost about 14 cents per head per day. In a typical 28 day receiving period, that is about $4 per head.
Cost of production – war on costs – cut your costs!! Cost is a four-letter word! Numerous beef extension publications, economic summaries, models, spreadsheets, and more, establish the relationship of Beef Cow-Calf Production Costs with how they impact returns. In reviewing these, one’s mind can become tied in knots on how costs are measured and how to categorize various expenses in a cow-calf operation. Questions and explanations arise of what costs are fixed, variable, cash, opportunity and what percentage of a certain cost is allocated to the cow-calf enterprise. The variability is great and leaves the interpretation of production costs up to much debate by ranchers, bankers, and economist alike. Still, as margins tighten for the cow-calf enterprise, cost control and revenue generation are key.
The sale barn is a great way for producers to discover the value of their calves, yet it can have a negative connotation when talking about animal health. The trip to and from as well as the sights, sounds and smells of the sale barn put stress on the animals, resulting in challenges to the immune system. However, cattlemen can give their animals a helping hand by providing them with proper nutrition to support immune function and gut health.
The cow calf producer is faced with the perpetual question of how to market the calf crop and maximize profit potential. The answer varies each year depending on the forage situation, management capabilities and current economics of the beef market. More calves are on the market with the expanded cow herd. On many operations calves are marketed at or shortly after weaning, and there is typically a glut of calves available in October and November which historically has the lowest calf prices of the year. Feeder cattle prices typically improve in the spring months compared to the seasonal low at weaning. What is required to hold calves to a later date, market them at a heavier weight, and increase the income per calf?
Many of us have seen daily news and social media updates regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In particular, those of us in the ag community have an interest in both livestock and companion animals that have been impacted by the flooding. There has been daily coverage of livestock being moved out of flooded areas, desperate to find higher ground. For those who are familiar with Gulf Coast grazing lands and the endless acres of low-lying, boggy, marshy pastures, we understand the challenges associated with their efforts. The recovery ahead will take not only a few days or weeks, but many months and perhaps even more.
September is nearly here. While some of us wonder where the Summer went, in reality, the quality of our pasture forages are falling like a North Korean missile test.
Here are 10 opportunities you should consider, before you decide to hold off on your fall supplementation program. Remember that your cows are taking care of two calf crops until this year’s calves are weaned.
As breeding season quickly approaches, goat owners should think about whether or not to flush their breeding does. What is flushing? Flushing in simple terms refers to putting the animals on a higher plain of nutrition 30 days prior to breeding and continuing on until 30 days after breeding. The purpose of flushing is to facilitate better ovulation rates and increased implantation rates resulting in better conception rates and increased twinning or even triples. Under the correct circumstances the practice of flushing can reap many benefits; however, it is not ideal for every situation.
Using CRYSTALYX® in weaning & receiving programs is well established and promoted. In a CRYSTALYX® weaning program, products such as Beef-Lyx®, Brigade®, or Battalion® are placed with newly weaned calves or with cow-calf pairs a couple of weeks ahead of cow-calf separation. CRYSTALYX® is then left with calves for about a month until they are on feed and completely weaned. In this blog, I will review these different CRYSTALYX® products. There are distinct fortification differences between the three and one may fit better depending on the weaning strategy.
Stress... it's part of life. Whether it's caused by work, school, neighbors, we all deal with it in our own way and move on. Livestock experience stress too. We tend to focus on stress in calves and feedlot cattle and how that affects performance and ultimately the bottom line. But what about the cows in the pasture? To be honest, I never really thought about it either. This year’s wildfires and weather have brought it to mind several times though, do cow have a memory for stressful events?