On the Blog

Feeding for Hoof Health

Late winter/early spring is usually a time of muddy sloppy conditions, which can spell trouble for hooves. From cracked hooves to foot rot, poor hoof health takes a toll on your livestock, no matter what the species. Wet, sloppy conditions just exacerbate hoof problems, softening them up, making them more susceptible to injury and microbial entry. The best way to combat poor hoof health is to grow a strong, hard hoof in the first place.

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Surviving the vitamin crisis

Most of you have probably walked into your local feed store or glanced at your current price list and gotten a shock at how much prices have shot up in the last few months. A global vitamin shortage (particularly vitamin A) has set the feed industry on edge. This shortage is expected to continue well into 2018.

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Flushing Does for the Breeding Season

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.

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Beef as a Functional Food

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to attend professional meetings and learn about the work of other scientists. One of the more interesting sessions at the recent joint meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and Canadian Society of Animal Science was about functional foods of animal origin.

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Does the Fescue Endophyte Negatively Impact Bull Fertility?

Roughly 25% of US beef originates from areas in which fescue forages are predominant. Losses associated with the fescue endophyte are estimated at a whopping $1 billion annually. Within this area of the US, 95% of the calf crop is achieved via natural service, making bull exposure to endophyte toxins a major issue.

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Challenges of Fescue Forages

Fescue toxicity is the costliest grass-related disease in the United States. Cattle consuming endophyte-infected fescue experience production losses exceeding $600 million per year. Fescue is commonly grown throughout the mid-western and southern United States and accounts for over 40 million acres of forage land.

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Better Colostrum. Better Calves.

As a popular pizza chain states, better ingredients make all the difference. The same can be said for our cattle. We need to give them the proper nutritional building blocks to allow them to perform as desired. As we are heading toward calving season, we need to think about making sure that our cows have the best supplements to deliver the nutrients necessary to birth and rear a healthy calf.

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Veterinary Feed Directive Rules are Here

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules took effect January 1, 2017. Some of you may have gone to your local feed store to purchase a medicated feed or medicated supplement, only to be told that they could not sell it to you without your VFD paperwork.

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Tips for Livestock Producers Dealing with Drought

Drought has made this a tough year for many livestock producers in southern Appalachia. Drought-affected pastures rarely produce adequate amounts of forage. Hay is in short supply and what's available tends to be of below-average quality. Drought-stressed plants tend to be nutrient deficient, especially in protein, phosphorus and vitamin A.

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Myths About NPN

If you could get the same productivity out of your cattle for less cost, wouldn’t you consider it? The practice of utilizing non-protein nitrogen (NPN) in ruminant feed does just that! Use of NPN-containing supplements is a long established, successful practice. However, many misconceptions still persist. The purpose of this article is to explore the science behind the use of NPN, including advantages and disadvantages of this practice so that cattle producers may form an informed decision.

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