Archive for April, 2012

Getting to Know Purina® Noble Goat® Range Cube 20

Friday, April 27th, 2012


Noble Goat® Range Cube 20 is a large pelleted supplement formulated for the optimum growth, development and maintenance of goats. It is designed to meet the needs of goats on range or pasture and delivers the nutrition and performance you expect. The ingredients found in all Noble Goat® products are carefully selected based on Purina’s expert research, so you know that you’re getting quality, productivity and value in each bag.

Nutritionally balanced—Provides high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to enhance performance on range or pasture

Goat-specific mineral fortification—Balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio helps to meet the exacting needs of goats

Palatable—high quality ingredients assure top performance and acceptability to goats

“Cube” feed form—easy to handle and manage with large acreage or large herds

Remember that feed consumption will vary with life stage, environment and activity. Also, be sure adequate amounts of fresh, clean water are always available. This product is available regionally, so check with your Purina dealer for ordering details.

Kidding Tips: Goat Tips

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Good nutrition, good health and sound management are essential to ensuring a healthy kid. Check out the following tips for the safe birth of your new goat.


Good Nutrition

Before breeding your goat you need to begin thinking about nutrition. A doe should be neither underweight nor overweight at the time of breeding. By feeding her a nutritious diet such as Purina® Goat Chow® or Show Chow® Goat Ration along with natural forage, you help ensure that she won’t need to overcome any nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and you can be sure that she’s getting the proper balance of vitamins and minerals she needs to produce healthy kids.


Five months, or 150 days, is the gestation period for goats. During the first three months, you can feed the doe as usual and allow her to maintain her normal healthy exercise routine of walking and grazing. Healthy exercise is important because she’s going to need strength at the end of her pregnancy to carry the extra weight of a fetus or fetuses.


In the last two months of pregnancy, the feeding routine may need to change. During these final weeks, the unborn baby or babies are growing at a tremendous rate in preparation for birth. Depending on the size of the unborn kids, a doe may not have enough rumen capacity to eat as much as she usually does. Without proper nutrition, she’s more likely to have smaller, weaker kids, yet she simply cannot consume enough foodstuffs to get the nutrition she needs (especially if they’re of poor quality).


Now is the time to increase the concentrate (grain) portion of her diet and reduce the hay portion (it’s very important to do this gradually so as not to change the rumen pH too fast). A small amount of fat added to the feed is another way to increase her energy intake. Providing smaller, more frequent meals will also allow her to consume more energy.


Water is the major component of amniotic fluid and milk and should be made freely available at all times throughout the pregnancy and lactation.


Good Health

Pregnancy toxemia is a disease often seen in goats, most often in dairy goats. During late-term pregnancy, especially when carrying multiple kids, a doe may be unable to derive all the energy she needs from feed. As a result, the doe’s body begins to extract energy from its fat reserves. The breakdown of large amounts of fat results in compounds called ketones floating around in the blood. In large concentrations these ketones have a toxic effect and the animal can develop acidosis of the blood. Symptoms include apathy, a rough coat and disorientation. Your vet will need to administer glucose and electrolytes to help your goat get well.


By getting more energy into the later-term pregnant doe you can prevent ketosis or pregnancy toxemia. Simply increase the grain portion of her diet and add fat as needed, as described previously.


In addition, about 30 days before the due date, vaccinate against Clostridium perfringes Types C & D and tetanus. By vaccinating in advance, you will give the doe’s immune system time to produce antibodies that can be passed along to her newborn kids through the colostrum.


Sound Management

It is important during the final two months of pregnancy to keep unnecessary stress to a minimum. Avoid transporting the doe for long distances and don’t perform any routine management activities such as foot trimming.


As the delivery date approaches, you may notice signs that your doe is preparing to go into labor. About two weeks prior to kidding, you may want to consider moving your doe to a kidding pen where you can observe her more carefully.


One of the first signals that the big day is near is a drop in appetite. Some does may paw the ground, become cranky or even vocalize. In fact, any behavior that is out of the ordinary can be an indicator that she is getting ready to give birth.


When the time comes to go into labor, she will probably look for a secluded spot to deliver her babies. At this point, it’s best to allow nature to take its course. Kidding normally takes about 20 minutes. If the doe is straining longer than that, it could indicate an abnormal presentation and she may need your help. Always keep the phone number of your veterinarian close at hand.

Weed Control Planning

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

We’re still in the dead of winter, but Mississippi State University’s Rocky Lemus already is reminding cattleman to protect their pasture grasslands from runaway broadleaf infestation this coming spring.

Lemus, who joined the university’s staff of extension forage specialists seven years ago, urges producers to avoid the understandable temptation caused by other pressing early spring tasks to eliminate pasture weed control monitoring chores or cut corners by relying upon “drive by” scouting.  He said producers can’t gauge the severity of weed infestation without thoroughly walking pastures throughout the growing season.

“One producer told me that he thought his broadleaf population was under control when he checked the pasture’s edges,” Lemus remarked. “But he was wrong. He returned three or four days later to discover severe weed infestation.”

Weeds Steal Nutrients
If highly competitive broadleaf weeds seize control, nutrition-rich grasses are crowded out, robbing grazing cattle of inexpensive and nutritious forage essential to achieving optimum performance.  As a rule of thumb, research data reveal up to a pound of forage is lost per pound of weeds.

That loss comes at the expense of the producer’s profit margin, Lemus observed. Poor scouting or failure to pay attention to weed control can become a very costly issue. Data show a 450 to 500 pound calf can achieve around 800 pounds feeding on good pasture forages.

In warmer Southern regions where winter grazing exists, scouting is a year-around job. Elsewhere, cattle producers should regularly walk their pastures starting in early spring and continue until the first hard frost.  Scouting fosters early detection of correctable environmental conditions that favor troublesome weeds.

Early Warning Protection
Early evidence of so-called “indicator” broadleaf plants can help identify looming weed control problems, much like coal miners once used canaries to guard against odorless and deadly gasses. Broom sedge plants, for example, provide an early warning of low pH conditions or fertility deficiencies that inhibit vigorous grass growth. Other correctible problems where weeds gain a critical toehold in early spring range from poor drainage to overgrazing.

Lemus, who earned his PhD from Virginia Tech, said pasture grasses require the right pH level. Therefore, he recommended that producers conduct soil testing in early spring and again in early fall.  Furthermore, sample timing must be consistent to prevent skewing results due to different seasonal weather conditions.  Lemus said producers can get by with soil testing once every two or three years in pastures, but hay fields should be tested annually due to higher nutrient removal.

If producers don’t control weeds in early spring, the undesirable plants will steal precious nutrients and moisture needed by pasture grasses and grazing cattle, leading to losing a season-long struggle.  Lemus said 50-60 percent of summer’s pasture foliage is produced from May through July.

Either mowing or spraying herbicides provides another opportunity to halt encroachment of aggressive weeds this spring. If producers elect to spray broadleaf herbicides, Lemus stressed the need to be certain the chemical’s label permits forage application. If mowing is preferred, Lemus suggested that producers not clip shorter than four to six inches in height.  Tall grasses can outshine competitive weeds by capturing sunlight while shading out normally shorter stature broadleaf weeds.

If time permits, Lemus said the seemingly endless winter months represent an excellent season to check and calibrate spray equipment, be certain you’re using the right nozzle pressure and map out your entire pasture weed control strategy.

“A producer can really benefit financially by having his equipment and plan in order now,” Lemus concluded, “and by getting off on the right foot in early spring.”

Source: Purina Checkpoint

Nutrition is Important Part of Good Herd Health Program

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Do you equate a good herd-health program only with a vaccination and/or deworming program? While these are important, they aren’t the only considerations, says Christine B. Navarre, Extension Veterinarian, with Louisiana State university.

Dr. Navarre says good overall beef cattle herd health entails the following four basic parts:

1. Nutrition

“The first and most important part of a good herd health program is good nutrition,” says Dr. Navarre. “If adequate nutrition is not provided, deworming, vaccinating and biosecurity practices will fail to make a big impact.”

Cattle need adequate protein, energy, vitamins, minerals and clean water. Not providing these nutrients in the proper amounts will lead to diseases and production losses, according to Dr. Navarre.

“Poor nutrition depresses immunity to diseases and interferes with response to vaccination.” Dr. Navarre says. “Much time and effort can be spent diagnosing, vaccinating for and trying to eliminate a disease, but if nutritional problems aren’t addressed, other diseases will move into a herd.”

2. Deworming

Parasite infestations can cause significant losses in beef herds by depressing weight gains of growing cattle and causing infertility and poor milk production in cows. Parasite infestations also mimic poor nutrition as they rob animals of protein and other nutrients. Like poor nutrition, parasites lower immunity to disease and decrease vaccine responses. A good parasite-control program is an essential part of a successful herd health program, says Dr. Navarre.

3. Vaccinations

Although good nutrition and deworming boost immunity to all diseases, some diseases can overwhelm that immunity and can cause losses even in well-fed and dewormed herds. In these cases, says Dr. Navarre, vaccination programs can help boost immunity to specific diseases, providing extra protection against common diseases.

4. BioSecurity

Even well-fed, dewormed and properly vaccinated herds still have a risk of introducing diseases and suffering losses. that’s why a sound biosecurity plan is needed to help prevent the introduction and spread of diseases in a herd, says Dr. Navarre. “Preventing foreign animal diseases from entering cattle herds is important, but many diseases already here in the united States are costing the beef industry billions of dollars,” she says. “You need to also keep these diseases out of your herds or keep them from spreading if your cattle already have them.”

Source: Purina Checkpoint Newsletter Winter 2010

Purina Introduces New 30% Protein High Energy Cattle Tub

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Purina introduces a new 30% Protein High Energy Cattle Tub this month for producers seeking a more convenient delivery method of protein supplements. Purina’s new 30% Protein High Energy Cattle 60 pound Tub product with controlled consumption technology provides your cattle an excellent source of protein in a convenient to handle, weather-resistant delivery method.

The new 60-pound tubs from Purina supply free-choice supplements when beef cattle need more than forage in their diet for protein supplementation. The protein tubs enhance intake and utilization of available forages, reducing labor for producers. The tubs are weather resistant and able to withstand rain or wind. And because they’re easy to handle, store and manage, producers can ensure their herds receive all the nutrients necessary when forage availability changes.

Purina’s 30% Protein High Energy Cattle Tubs use low-moisture, cooked molasses product technology. This allows consistent intake and nutrient delivery, which helps eliminate over-consumption and manage intake variability. And, it provides readily available energy to help stimulate rumen fermentation, which helps cattle extract more energy from forage. Tub supplementation can also help keep weight and body condition.


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April 2012
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