You may wonder what genetics has to do with herd health. Sure, the neighbor swears that cattle from this breed or that will die as soon as they get off the truck, but thats just an old wives tale, right? Maybe not. Although selection for health still might be only on the horizon, a growing base of research shows they are tied together.
The first step to reaching peak performance is tracking where youve been. If you dont have production numbers, its hard to make comparisons or data-driven decisions. You dont need to make a complicated recordkeeping system, just make sure it includes all the variables that make a difference.
Too much qualitywhats that mean? Its like too much money; theres no such thing. Its like a bull too good, or too much hay; Neighbors too friendly, calves bringing too much pay. No matter what the other cattle made, well I aint never seen too much grade.
When cattlemen trudge through four-foot snow drifts in 30-mile-per-hour winds and single-digit temperatures to check on a sick calf, it isnt exactly the same picture of serenity. At that moment, northern producers must think they must live in the toughest place in the world for raising cattle.
When cattlemen put an asking price on a bull or a load of calves, they set it as high as they can reasonably hope for a sale. At an auction, the sale manager announces the target price before calling for bids. Grocers take a similar tack, but feedback is not as direct at the meat case.
Feeders bid on cattle by penciling out the highest price they can pay and still maintain a shot at profit. Packers need a certain number of cattle harvested through their plants, bought at a particular price, to stay afloat. That cost/sales formula follows beef as it continues toward consumers.
Stop trying to get maximum production. No more topping last years average daily gains. Enough with the peak efficiencies and quit angling for record marbling scores every time. Does that advice cause a pause? Reaching those goals takes years of focus, so it can be hard to let go, even if the long-term profitability of your farm or ranch depends on it.
Farm and ranch freezers are often full of homeraised beef, yet producer families still enjoy the classic steakhouse experience now and again. With a quick scan of the menu and some cowboy math, most producers figure the New York strip list price at a hefty premium to the weekly salebarn reports for beef on the hoof.
How can retained placenta problems be prevented?
Since there are many causes of retained placenta, there is no simple answer. Some of the obvious answers include: (1) don’t allow cows to get too thin or too fat before calving, (2) reduce stress near calving as much as possible, (3) prevent exposure to pine needles, juniper trees, and pine trees (particularly ponderosa pines) before calving, (4) make sure your trace mineral and vitamin supplementation program is adequate, (5) prevent foothill abortion problems, and (6) maintain a sound vaccination program to minimize the chance of viral or bacterial abortions.
Because calving problems often result