Every now and then I get a call from a gentleman who was our neighbor for a number of years when I was growing up. Usually he tries to mess with me, but now and then, he really does need some advice. This time around it was the advice.
A couple years ago, I wrote a blog about the top 10 reasons to use a self-fed protein supplement in the Fall. Today, I will tackle 10 reasons you should consider using a self-fed protein supplement in the Spring.
This is a topic that I have tried on several occasions to write about but thought that it might be too ambiguous in terms of what could possibly be written that would seem valuable enough or intriguing enough to be read by cow-calf producers. What has kept this topic simmering on the backburner have been observations not only at work but also with my kids at home.
The discussion about food and the environment impact of animal agriculture has generated debate for many years. A disturbing trend is how the ultimate goal of eliminating animal agriculture is hidden in the recommendations of some organizations which attempt to tell the consumer what is best for them and the world in general.
Horse folks are often fond of the saying – No hoof- no horse. Well, horses aren’t the only animals in which we need to worry about hoof soundness. Hoof soundness in sheep is absolutely critical. Grazing sheep that are lame won’t venture out and forage well and thus may gain less weight or even lose weight. Breeding rams that are lame will not travel to seek out ewes in heat and may lose libido all together. Prolonged wet conditions make foot rot complaints common.
Weather forecasters are calling for El Nino weather patterns to continue through the spring, meaning wet and relatively mild conditions. Unfortunately, these are perfect conditions for the horn fly to propagate. Excessive horn fly populations can literally suck the profit out of your cattle operation! Biting flies reduce weaning weights, lower milk production and spread disease.
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As winter approaches we need to start thinking about feeding hay. This year has been very hit-or-miss in terms of rainfall. Those who got it, got more than enough. And those who didn’t, well... The problem is that most of the available hay is going to come from those areas that received ample rainfall and faced less-than-ideal harvesting conditions. Under those circumstances, mold becomes an issue.