If you’re using a mineral form of fly control, like Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, consistent intake is key. Calculate consumption to know if cattle are eating enough mineral to control the flies. Aim to hit the target intake listen on your feed tag. Target intake for loose mineral is two or four ounces per head per day if you are using either low salt or complete cattle mineral formula. Mineral tub target intake is six to eight ounces per head per day.
Remember, the active ingredient in Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, Altosid IGR only prevents hatching of new flies. It does not control existing flies. If you start using fly control mineral after flies are present, you’ll need other methods to combat adult flies. Work with your veterinarian or animal health supplier to find another method like spray or pour-on.
Managing and feeding cattle in winter can be tricky. Maybe you can’t tell the difference between 15 and 32 degrees F after spending a few minutes outside, but your cattle can. Slight changes in temperature can have a considerable impact on energy and cow nutritional requirements.Cold stress occurs when cattle require more energy to sustain basic bodily functions at a specific temperature, called the lower critical temperature (LCT). The LCT helps us understand when cows start experiencing cold stress. See the chart to the right for LCT broken down by hair coat. As temperatures decrease, cow nutritional requirements increase. Add in precipitation or wind and requirements increase even more.
If cows are shorted on nutrition during cold stress, it can have a domino effect on performance.
Nutritional deficiency resulting from cold stress can lead to cows producing lighter and weaker calves. Low-quality colostrum and later return to estrus in the breeding season
can also result, compromising conception rates and weaning weights.
Strategies for managing and feeding cattle in the winter can help alleviate cold stress and support cow nutritional requirements.
How can you mitigate cold stress?
Cold stress mitigation should start with keeping cattle warm. Offering protection from the elements like bedding, windbreaks, snow breaks and a place to get out of the mud can all help keep cattle warm and dry. Protecting cattle from wind, rain, and snow isn’t always enough, however.
Snow often reminds us to think about cow nutritional requirements and supplementation options. But what if the snow never falls? Temperature is the underlying factor in cold stress.
When feeding cattle in winter, provide them with nutrition to meet their needs during cold stress. Plan out feeding strategies early, before cow body condition scores start to slip, to help your cows weather cold temperatures.
Know your forages.
Feeding cattle stored forage can be challenging. Testing forages gives you a better understanding of what you’re feeding cattle in winter when temperatures drop.
Testing total digestible nutrients (TDN) will provide an estimate of the total amount of nutrients that could be digested by the animal. The greater the TDN value, the more energy cattle get from forages.
Forage intake is another consideration. Cows will likely spend less time grazing as temperatures decline. Less grazing time results in reduced forage intake which makes it challenging to meet cow energy requirements. Feeding cattle in winter with low-quality hay might not be enough to offset reduced forage intake.
Once you know forage nutritional value and assess intake levels, monitor cow body condition score (BCS) and temperature to identify cow energy requirements.
Evaluate cow nutritional requirements.
A cow’s energy requirement, or TDN, increases by 1% for every degree below the LCT as a rule of thumb.
However, cow body condition scores impact nutritional requirements. A cow in a BCS 5 needs 30% more energy to maintain body condition than a cow in a BCS 6 at 32 degrees. The same principle holds true as BCS decreases below 5.
A third trimester 1300-pound cow requires 13 pounds of TDN at 32 degrees. However, at 0 degrees the same cow needs an additional 4 pounds or roughly 17 pounds of TDN. For comparison, the temperature drop means the same cow now requires 8 more pounds of 50% TDN hay.
When feeding cattle in winter, consider a high-quality supplement to help fill a cow’s energy gap while helping cows get the most out of existing forages.
Purina® Accuration® supplements are a great option to provide additional energy, balance forage nutrient deficiencies and support performance.
Vitamins are an important nutritional component in cattle diets. Vitamins are a specific class of nutrients that are required for efficient metabolic processes and enable cattle to utilize other nutrients. For cattle, it is only essential to supply the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E because rumen bacteria can synthesize vitamin K and the B vitamins to meet animal requirements. The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, and in the case of older cattle, it can take 100 to 150 days to deplete these stores. Consequently, not replenishing lost body stores of vitamin A could result in production and economic ramifications up to 6 months later.
Vitamin A needs special attention in beef cattle rations as it is important in many metabolic functions. Night blindness is the classic symptom of Vitamin A deficiency. One of its functions is the maintenance of epithelial tissue, such as the skin and lining of the respiratory, digestive and reproductive tracts to keep them in healthy condition. It also plays a role in eye health, proper kidney function and normal development of bones, teeth and nerve tissue. Other signs of vitamin A deficiency in growing cattle include low intakes, rough hair coats, lethargic movements, reduced daily gain, and feed efficiency. Most of these symptoms are common in other diseases or deficiencies and may not be easily recognized as a vitamin deficiency.
Green leafy and yellow plants contain carotene, a pigment in which animals convert to vitamin A. In the spring and early summer months when plants contain high amounts of carotene, Vitamin A deficiency is not usually an issue. However, during the rest of the year when cattle are consuming mature, stored forages or processed feeds, the chances of vitamin deficiency increase. Fall and winter seasons are when the body stores might become depleted and deficiency symptoms may develop.
In the breeding herd, Vitamin A is important for the maintenance of pregnancy in the cow and spermatogenesis in the bull. At parturition, colostrum is the source of vitamin A for a newborn calf which demonstrates the need for proper supplementation of cows prior to calving.
Vitamin D is formed by the action of sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light rays upon certain sterols. If cattle have exposure to sunlight, or harvested hay, a deficiency is seldom an issue. Young, growing animals have a greater requirement for vitamin D than mature animals. The requirement for young, weaned or starting calves is approximately 300 IU of vitamin D per 100 pounds of body weight. While it is easy to meet the cattle requirements of Vitamin D, that does not reduce its importance in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps regulate blood calcium levels and the conversion of inorganic to organic phosphorus. It also aids in the formation of sound bones and teeth.
The primary functions of Vitamin E are to form structural components of membranes and inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. There is a close relationship between selenium and vitamin E as both nutrients work in conjunction with the other. White-muscle disease in calves has been prevented and cured by the use of vitamin E and selenium supplementation. Vitamin E is important for muscle and vascular function as well as supporting the immune system and disease prevention. Green forages and whole grains are sources of vitamin E.
Good winter cattle management practices help cattle tolerate the wind and cold temperatures. During the cold winter months, close attention should be paid to herd nutrition. Taking shortcuts on your cattle nutrition during the winter months could risk next year’s calf crop, this year’s weaning weights and the long-term viability of your herd. According to information from university of Minnesota extension beef experts, winter feeding programs vary for each cattle enterprise.
Feeding programs are dependent on variables such as:
• Forage quality.
• Cost and availability of winter supplements.
• Animal type (mature cows, replacement heifers or back-grounded calves).
• Body condition of your cattle.
• Calving date, if applicable.
The Minnesota beef experts explain that generally, winter feeding can be accomplished with harvested forages such as hay and silage. Grazing crop residues can also be utilized, but may not always be feasible in areas that receive significant amounts of snowfall during early winter months.
Cows can graze through up to 9 inches of snow to get high quality forages, but reduced forage intake will occur with as little as ¼ inch of ice covering the snow. Plus, cold temperatures and precipitation can decrease the feed’s nutritional value.
Regardless of whether you feed stored forages or graze crop residues, the cow’s diet must be sufficient to uphold a body condition score (BCS) of 5 at weaning, a 6 at calving, and no less than a 5.5 score at breeding. At this level of condition, a cow is able to maintain its body weight and support production functions such as lactation and fetal growth. Maintaining adequate body condition in pregnant cattle is crucial in the two to three months prior to calving.
Depending on the quality of forage, supplementation may be needed by cows when nutrient demands are not met by the basic diet the cow is offered, say the Minnesota experts. Typically, diets of late gestating beef cows will meet nutrient needs if they contain a minimum of 55 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN ) and 8 percent crude protein (CP). However, lactating cow minimum requirements during the winter increase to 62 percent tDn and 11 percent CP, such as with fall calving cows.
When feeding pregnant first- and second-calf heifers due to calve in the spring, maintaining a diet with tDn at 60 percent and CP at 11 percent from the beginning of winter through early lactation should be sufficient.
It is important to compare nutrient intake of the diet with nutrient requirements of the cow based on animal type and pregnancy status, and to determine what additional nutrient(s) are needed for supplementation.
Evaluate Cow Performance
Throughout the winter,it’s important to evaluate cow performance by observing body weight and condition Herd Health Program changes resulting from your feeding program. This will tell you if you are correctly supplementing your cattle through the winter and preparing those spring calving herds for the calving season.
Purina has made it easy for you to maintain your production level by designing supplemental feed products to help economically manage your herd’s nutrition needs in all life stages. these products include Sup-R-Lix®, Sup-R-Block® and Accuration®/Cattle Limiter, all controlled intake products featuring IM Intake Modifying technology®.
Purina also offers Wind and Rain® mineral supplements that have been specifically designed to meet mineral deficiencies based on forage quality and cattle nutritional requirements. These minerals are weather resistant and are proven to enhance consistent consumption.
Contact J&N Feed and Seed at 940-549-4631 with questions and how we can help you get started with this program.
Winter cattle feed booking has ended for the winter 2019-2020 season.
Winter cattle feed booking is now available at J&N Feed and Seed. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Stop by the store now and lock in your feed price for the winter month contract season. Make sure you get the BEST available nutrition for your animals at the BEST price booking with J&N Feed and Seed. Please call the store at 940-549-4631 or stop by for current pricing.
J&N Feed and Seed
450 Pecan St
Graham, TX 76450-2524
At J&N Feed and Seed we’ve got the quality feeds and the booking proposition you need to stay on top of the cattle business.
Make the most of calf development during cow gestation.
When you think of the first moments of a calf’s life, you might picture a newborn calf vigorously nursing a healthy mama cow. You probably don’t think of that calf in utero. But a calf’s lifetime performance can hinge on the nine months before birth. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the 283 days of a cow’s gestation and reduce the potential “bad days” she has during her pregnancy. “A bad day is when a pregnant cow loses weight due to stressors like poor nutrition, disease challenges or harsh environment,” says Ron Scott, Ph. D., director of beef research for Purina Animal Nutrition. “External stressors can impact the cow’s entire metabolism and how nutrients flow to the growing fetus.” Limiting the cow’s bad days and improve your chance of positively influencing fetal growth, which is important during every trimester.
Building a foundation
“You might wonder, ‘why is a little-bitty fetus such a big deal?’” says Scott. “It’s simple: The first trimester is when you’re building the foundation of life for a calf. During this time the placenta develops and serves as a hotel room service for the fetus for the rest of the pregnancy.” The placenta is a direct connection that provides oxygen and nutrients from the dam to the developing fetus. If the placenta is not well developed because of cow stress, reduced blood flow can negatively affect fetal nutrition throughout gestation.
The first trimester is also when the fetal brain, heart, liver and reproductive organs form.
“We typically don’t think about replacement heifer development until there’s a live calf on the ground,” says Scott. “But developing a successful replacement heifer begins in the first trimester when germ cells start forming the reproductive system developed in utero will affect a heifer’s fertility throughout her life.
During the second trimester, the fetus continues to grow organs and establish internal systems that influence those organs for a lifetime. Fetal muscle fiber development also begins during this time. “Cattle produce muscle we sell in the form of weight, but a stressed cow can lead to reduced muscle fiber development and, ultimately, lower carcass weights,” says Scott. “When you think about what we sell as an industry, the second trimester is vital.”
Preparing for parturition
Growth skyrockets during the last trimester, and lung development is critical as the calf prepares for breathing on its own.
“The calf has, hopefully, been in an excellent environment, getting all of its nutrition and oxygen from the dam,” says Scott. “But once it’s born, it’s going to need to breathe on its own. It’s also going to need a nutritious diet. Stress and nutrition for the cow during the third trimester impacts colostrum quality and quantity.”
The most critical time
Is there a most important trimester?
“That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child,” says Scott. “Each trimester is vital in its own way.”
Historically, the last trimester was considered the most important because of 75 percent of fetal growth occurs during this time. Recently, more attention has been paid to the first trimester when the foundation of life is occurring. More research is being conducted to determine exactly how important this stage really is.
“One thing is clear – each trimester plays a significant role,” says Scott. “Consistent, daily nutrition to the dam can help avoid bad days that shortchange a developing fetus and its future performance.”
Take out the guesswork
What does all of this mean for you nutrition program?
“You don’t want to overfeed because it means you’re overspending,” says Scott. “However, feed is an investment, and good-quality forage is essential, especially during extreme heat or cold when energy intake is compromised.”
Cattle nutrition requirements change with the season, and it can sometimes be challenging to know what to provide your cows. One solution that helps eliminate guesswork is Accuration Supplement with Intake Modifying Technology. Accuration Supplements are designed so cows only consume them when they need them, which allows cows to get the nutrition they need.
Three trimesters and zero bad days. Take a look at your herd. See if there are ways you can reduce stress, provide more consistent cow nutrition and set your calves up for a bright future.
Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Ron Scott, Ph. D.
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We focus on balancing cattle diets for energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals, but we tend to overlook water. Every physiological process involves water, and it’s requirement for cattle performance.
Here are some quick water tips:
Water quality and quantity can impact feed intake. Limited access to water or low-quality water typically results in reduced intakes.
Water quality is affected by microbiological contaminants, nitrates, sulfates, and salinity (the amount of salt dissolved in water). Test your water quality by contacting your local extension agent for sampling instructions and information.
Water needs increase as temperature increases. For example, a 900-pound lactating cow only needs 14.5 gallons of water per day when it’s 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but she needs as much as 18.2 gallons per day when the temperature hits 90 degrees.
Cattle weight also influences water needs. As cattle gain weight, their daily water intake increases. For example, a 1,400-pound mature bull typically consumes 13.4 gallons of water per day when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but a 1600+ bull consumes just over a gallon more per day (14.5 gallons) at the same temperature.
Summer can get busy, but for your cattle things can heat up, which makes water even more important. Ensure cattle always have access to fresh, high-quality water. Also, ensure there are enough easily accessible waterers especially when temperatures spike.
J & N Feed and Seed offers bulk and liquid cattle feed (Cattle-Lac liquid feed) to the Graham and surrounding communities. We have trailers available for use with purchase in addition to bulk delivery. Bring your trip-hoppers and pick up or we can arrange delivery to your ranch. Talk to us about your needs, give us a call at (940) 549-4631.
Cattle-Lac Liquids helps farmers get the very most out of their valuable pasture land. The CATTLE-LAC supplement actually stimulates beneficial bacteria in the cattle rumen, allowing the animal to break down grass roughage faster and easier. The cattle then eat more grass, which means a healthier, heavier animal. The bottom line is that farmers who feed CATTLE-LAC supplements get the maximum amount of meat per acre of pasture.
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2018-2019 Livestock Shows for the upcoming season are right around the corner!
The calendar is set for the 2018-2019 Livestock Shows in Texas. Here are the dates and locations happening throughout Texas. Go to the links for each Stock Show to learn more about event schedules, entry forms, ticket information and more:
These are simple things you can do to make the most of forages today and further on down the road:
1. Implement a grazing plan
Rotational grazing gives pastures a rest compared to grazing them continuously. You can rotate cattle between pastures as often as once a day to as little as once a month. Either way, rotational grazing can help ensure quality and quantity of forage throughout the summer. Simply splitting a pasture in half can help.
2. Consider it soil fertility
Just like you need to look at cattle requirements each winter and determine if you need to supplement, the same holds true for soil. Work with an agronomist to test your soil. Test results will tell you if you need to fertilize to combat caps in soil fertility. Remember soil fertility will impact not only forage quantity but will influence quality – especially protein. What your cattle eat is a direct result of soil fertility.
3. Hone in Harvest
There’s no “right” time to harvest. Harvest typically occurs when there’s a happy medium of quantity to match quality. Time harvest to match the quality of forage desired. Keep in mind that as forages mature digestibility and protein tend to drop. Also look at ways to minimize leaf loss and consider the use of a preservation to help with storage.
4. Manage the summer slump
As you get into July and August, forages mature and pasture quality declines. You may need to supplement to meet cattle requirements. Supplementation is especially vital in spring-calving herds with cows still lactating. Don’t overlook calves; as pasture quality declines, consider offering calves supplemental creep feed.