Archive for the ‘Cattle’ Category

Best Practices For Managing Forage

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Best practices for managing 4 types of forage. Capitalize on your forage management to optimize cattle nutrition.Best practices for managing 4 types of forage. Capitalize on your forage management to optimize cattle nutrition.

Each forage type comes with its own challenges and management considerations. And, honing in forage management can help support cattle nutrition needs – and your bottom line.

Take advantage of these best practices for each of the four different forage types

Cool Season Forages: Fescue is the dominant forage in the U.S. because it’s a hardy forage that can stand up to grazing pressure. However, it doesn’t come without challenges. The predominant fescue variety comes with the risk of endophyte toxicity. Endophyte toxicity occurs when livestock consumes fungal endophytes present in the seed head of grass. Fungal endophytes contain ergot alkaloids that can be detrimental to livestock, causing lower feed intake, reduced weight gain, and decreased fertility.

An easy method to manage endophytes in fescue is to clip the grass using a tractor-pulled mower before the grass heads out. You can also manage endophytes by inter-seeding legumes like grazing alfalfas, white clover, and red clover. These legumes provide additional forage sources and offset the risk of endophytes. Legumes also benefit overall pasture health by providing nitrogen fixation for the soil and extending the grazing season.

With any cool-season forage, whether it be fescue, brome, or another grass, watch out for grass tetany during the early spring flush. Feeding a mineral high in magnesium, like Purina® Wind and Rain® Hi-Mag, can help supplement your herd.

Warm Season Forages: There are many options to graze cattle effectively with warm-season forages, from improved forages in the southern U.S. like Bahiagrass and Bermudagrass to the native tall grass and short grass ranges to the west. Warm-season grasses tend to take off when cool-season grasses lose productivity. If you have access to both warm and cool-season forages, you’ve got a complimentary program.

The biggest challenge with warm-season forage is stocking density. Warm-season forages typically can’t support the same grazing pressure as cool-season forages. Maintain moderate stocking densities for your area and use a rotational grazing system that moves cattle from grazed to rested pasture. If your pastures are too large to fence for rotational grazing, consider using mineral or supplement sites to maximize forage use. Cattle will seek the pasture for minerals and supplements, which you can use to your advantage.

Another challenge with warm-season forages is that stem growth tends to outrun leaf growth as the growing season continues. When the stem-to-leaf ratio gets too far out of line, forage quality drops because there are more carbohydrates and less protein and energy. Keep supplemental nutrient sources available to cattle on warm-season pasture to ensure their nutrient needs are met throughout the grazing season. Purina® Accuration® block or Purina® RangeLand® protein tubs, along with minerals, can help extend the grazing season and make best use of forages.

Cover Crops: It’s been trendy the last few years to use mixes of cover crops like turnips, forage sorghums, rye and clover to get more grazing from crop fields. But, grazing systems with mono-crops have existed for a lot longer. Wheat pasture, for instance, has been used to grow calves and maintain cow herds before the grain crop goes to head. Sudangrass has made efficient summertime grazing, too.

An important factor in grazing any forage, particularly cover crops, is to have mineral available year-round. Cover crops might be the lushest forage your herd has all year, but cattle may not fully utilize it. Offering mineral helps maintain an animal’s rumen microbes, which in turn impacts forage utilization and feed efficiency.

Much like traditional perennial cool-season grasses, you should feed a high-magnesium mineral in the spring and fall due to grass tetany risk. Bloat can also be a concern in lush cover crops. Feeding a mineral with an ionophore, like Purina®Wind and Rain® minerals, or keeping bloat guard blocks at the mineral site can help.

Monitor nitrate and prussic acid poisoning when using cover crops containing forage sorghums, Sudangrass, millet, and green grazed corn, or even if field edges have Johnson grass. Have fields tested, especially if forages get too far ahead of cattle before or during grazing. Drought years also increase concern for nitrates since the stalks of those stemmy plants naturally hold more nitrates when dry.

Hay & Silage: Stored forages help extend forage use throughout the year, and both hay and silage have their unique places in beef cattle rations.

Silage quality is particularly important, whether the forage is fed to weaned calves or mature cows. Harvest silage when it’s at its peak for protein and energy to maximize the quality rather than yield. Once harvested, storage should be your next emphasis. Focus on packing silage piles tight, using an inoculant to reduce mycotoxins, and covering piles to prevent spoilage.

Also, focus on hay quality. The term “cow-quality hay” is often used to describe poorer quality forages used to feed beef cows. Yes, you can feed fibrous, low-quality hay to cows, but you’re likely going to need more supplementation to keep them in an adequate body condition score 6. Putting up good-quality hay to start helps reduce the need to feed as much supplement.

Before you start feeding hay or silage, pull samples for testing. A forage test helps determine protein and energy levels. With those levels as your baseline, you can determine the amount of supplement needed to support your herd. If everything goes perfectly, you may only need to feed mineral to balance the ration. Connect with your Purina® dealer to work on a forage management plan. Please personalize this line.

Source: Ted Perry, Purina Cattle Nutritionist T

 

Cattle Mineral Quick Tips

Monday, February 28th, 2022

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. The target intake for the 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 the 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.

Source: Purina Checkpoint – By Kent Tjardes

ProFusion Drench Now at J&N Feed

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

ProFusion Drench significantly improves trace mineral status within 48 hrs of administration, making it ideal for stressful periods when cattle are off feedProFusion™ Drench from Zinpro Specialty Products provides a multi-day supply of essential trace minerals and other nutrients lost by cattle during weaning, shipping, receiving, vaccinating, and other times of stress when cattle are likely to go off feed. Formulated with patented ProPath® performance minerals, ProFusion Drench significantly improves trace mineral status within 48 hours of administration, making it ideal for stressful periods when cattle are prone to go off feed.

ProFusion Drench is available without a prescription at J&N Feed and Seed. Stop by and talk to us about your cattle operation. We’re here to help.  Click here to view the product information sheet.

 

Cattle Mineral Tips For Fall

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

It’s a great idea to use Purina® Wind and Rain® Storm® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® (IGR) 30 days after the first frost to prevent flies from overwintering and jump-starting spring populations.

Fall is approaching, which means it’s time to prepare your herd for the months ahead. Cattle nutrient requirements vary from season to season, so it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of your feed program. Check out these tips for creating a healthy mineral program and preparing your cattle for fall.

QUICK, TIMELY CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR PURINA CATTLE MINERAL PROGRAM.

  • Understand your phosphorus levels as grasses dry down. For grass low in phosphorus, consider a high-phosphorus cattle mineral to meet animal needs.
  • Continue using Purina® Wind and Rain® Storm® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® (IGR) 30 days after the first frost to prevent flies from overwintering and jump-starting spring populations.
  • Building base mineral and vitamin stores pre-weaning can help calves stay healthy. Provide Purina® Stress Tubs for calves in the creep feeder cage. If you don’t creep feed, make sure calves have access to a cattle mineral feeder with the rest of the cowherd.
  • Cows may crave salt more as grasses dry down. It can be helpful to provide additional salt in a granular mineral mix. Provide free-choice salt if using a cattle mineral tub that does not contain salt (i.e. non-complete).

Try Purina® minerals today through the Feed Greatness® Challenge and prepare your cattle for fall.

Source: Kent Tjardes, Ph.D., Field Cattle Consultant

Cattle Feed Booking at J&N Feed

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

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
(940) 549-4631

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.

 

Benefits of Cattle Tub & Block Supplements

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Do you know the benefits of cattle tubs and block supplements? Cattle Tub and block supplements are a good way to supplement when forage is poor.Do you know the benefits of cattle tub and block supplements? Cattle Tub and block supplements are a good way to supplement when forage is poor. Supporting cattle’s nutrient needs as forage quality declines is a must. But how can you accomplish this in an efficient, easy-to-manage way?

Cattle Tub and block supplements are a great option to keep cattle performing at their peak without the stress of additional labor or management needs. Here are three reasons to choose blocks or tubs for your supplementation needs:

1. Labor savings
Tubs and blocks offer easier management to save you time and labor compared to other product forms. With tubs and blocks being convenient self-fed forms, they provide nutrition 24/7, allowing all cows a chance to consume the product when they need it. Since you don’t need to deliver supplements every day, you save on feed delivery time and costs.

New ClearView packaging for Purina® RangeLand® Protein tubs expands the labor savings and convenience even more. With colored tubs, you need to get close to the tubs to see how much product is remaining. With the new clear tubs, you can see the product from a distance. You can easily see how much product is left and better monitor intake while saving time and labor checking tubs.

2. Supports intake
Tubs and blocks offer a convenient way for cattle to get the nutrition they need when forages decline in quality and are deficient in protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. They allow cows to eat what they need when they need it.

Putting out supplement tubs as soon as forage quality starts to decline, or before, ensures cattle don’t miss a beat. And, with blocks containing Intake Modifying Technology®, cattle can consume small amounts of supplement and gradually increase intake as forage quality declines.

Protein or high-fat tubs and blocks are designed as a supplement to forage, not a substitution. Intake levels can give you an indication of whether or not you need to adjust your available forage. If supplement intake reaches the upper end of the targeted intake levels on the tag, it’s an indication there’s probably not enough forage available, and you may want to provide additional hay or other forages.

3. Flexible product options
Both blocks and cooked tubs accomplish the same thing – stimulating forage intake, delivering protein, energy, vitamins and minerals, and aiding digestion. The difference is in how they are manufactured and used. Regardless of form, you have options based on your specific needs.

Cooked tubs, like Purina® RangeLand® Protein tubs, are molasses-based and provide very consistent intake at 0.5-1 pound per head per day. They are formed by cooking molasses under a vacuum until very low in moisture. Dry ingredients are then mixed with the cooked molasses, poured into tubs, and cooled over 24 hours. The end product is very hard and has a crystalline texture. This hardness is what controls the level of consumption. Cooked tubs absorb moisture from the environment or animals licking on them. The moisture dissolves a thin layer of product for cattle to eat.

Block products, such as Purina® Accuration® Hi-Fat block, are formed by blending molasses with the dry ingredients. The resultant mix is poured into the container, and as the mix cools, it hardens. Poured blocks are softer than cooked tubs and have more variable intakes, around 1-3 pounds per head per day, based on the nutritional needs of the animals and forage quality. Purina® Accuration® Hi-Fat blocks with Intake Modifying Technology® allows the intake of the block to go up or down as forage quality improves or declines.
Both cooked tubs and poured blocks are options to deliver supplemental nutrients to cows grazing fair to poor quality forage to aid in maintaining body condition. There are also additional options to meet your exact needs, including high-fat and higher-percentage protein products.

See the benefits cattle tub and block supplements in your herd with self fed tubs and protein blocks from J&N Feed and Seed.

Source: Chris Forcherio, Ph.D. Purina Beef Research Manager

11 Tips To Beat Heat Stress in Cattle

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Water, shade, and the right nutrition can help mitigate heat stress in cattle. Read our tips for beat heat stress in cattle and keep your herd cool.Water, shade, and the right nutrition can help mitigate heat stress in cattle.

The weather report says it’s going to be a scorcher, and sure enough – the temperatures start steadily climbing. Cattle start grouping in shady spots. A few cows start panting to stay cool. The flies settle in. And, suddenly, you’ve got a herd struggling with heat stress.

The heat may be unavoidable, but you can take proactive steps to mitigate its impact on your herd. First, let’s look at the dangers of heat stress in cattle.

When temperatures rise

Cattle have sweat glands, but it’s not a very efficient way for them to cool off. Instead, they rely on respiration, or opening their mouths and panting, to help them dissipate heat. When it’s 80 degrees or hotter out, their ability to regulate their own temperature becomes a big challenge. You start to see behavior changes – more time in the shade, less time grazing, and increased water consumption.

To make the heat even more challenging:

  • A cow’s rumen activity naturally increases body heat. Fermentation occurs in the rumen, producing heat as bacteria break down and digest forages.
  • Cattle seek shade to help keep cool. Grouping up in the shade sometimes has the reverse effect and creates a lot of radiant heat between cows. The thermometer might read 90 degrees, but the temperature in the middle of the group could be much hotter.
  • Crowded cattle attract more flies, causing animals to move even closer together to protect themselves.
  • Animals with dark hides have a higher risk of suffering heat stress than those with lighter-colored hides.

Suddenly your herd feels overheated and cattle are less likely to graze.

When grazing stops

Forage is the number one nutrition source for cows on pasture. If they aren’t grazing as much during a heatwave, they’re probably not meeting their cattle nutrition requirements.

When cows don’t get adequate nutrition, they’re at risk of:

  • Losing body condition
  • Taking longer to rebreed
  • Producing less milk for their growing calf
  • Generating a weaker immune response to health challenges
  • Long-term fertility consequences

If cattle are too hot to graze, they may also be too hot to consume mineral at target intake levels. If you’re using a fly control mineral and intakes are below target levels, cows no longer benefit from it because they aren’t getting a full dose of fly control.

Curb heat stress in cattle by planning for proper shade, water and the right nutrition program.

11 hot weather tips for cattle

  1. Ensure access to fresh, clean water. A brood cow drinks 25 to 30 gallons of water on a normal day. She’ll drink even more in hot weather.
  2. Check water tanks often to make sure they are clean and free of contamination (algae, feces, organic material, etc.). You might need additional portable tanks to ensure adequate access.
  3. Place water tanks in shaded areas to keep water cool if possible. Keep waterers several feet away from buildings or fences, so cattle can access water from all sides.
  4. Offer supplements to help cows make the most of their forages. Accuration® Supplements with Intake Modifying Technology® help feed necessary rumen microbes to keep cattle eating and encourages snack eating behavior.
  5. Choose a mineral designed for consistent consumption during hot weather, like Purina® Wind and Rain® Summer Season Mineral.
  6. Control flies to prevent further stress and grazing disturbance. Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral contain Altosid® IGR, an insect growth regulator offering a beneficial mode of action to deliver fly control via cattle nutrition. Consider Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral to stop the horn fly life cycle by preventing pupae from developing into biting, breeding adult flies.
  7. Supply ample shade. Whether it’s provided by trees, a manmade building or portable structures, shade is critical. It might be necessary to move cattle to a pasture with trees or additional shade.
  8. Strategically move rotational grazing herds to fresh pastures in the late afternoon/early evening instead of the morning. Cows will have access to fresh grass when temperatures are beginning to cool and will be more likely to graze.
  9. Work cattle as early in the day as possible when temperatures are lower.
  10. Don’t graze pastures short before moving cows to another. Pastures with taller, thicker grass feel cooler than pastures with short grass where more soil surface is exposed.
  11. Observe cattle frequently and take precautions when hot and humid weather is forecast.

Source: Chris Forcherio, Ph.D.
Beef Research Manager

Hay-Rite Alfalfa Cubes & Mini Alfalfa Cubes

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Hay-Rite Alfalfa Cubes and Mini Alfalfa Cubes are now available at J&N Feed and Seed. At J&N we strive to bring you the freshest feed and nutrition options for your horse. Hay-Rite alfalfa cubes offer tremendous quality put in every bag to help your horse look and perform better.

HAY-RITE alfalfa is grown on high desert farms located in southern Utah, CERTIFIED Noxious Weed-Free, and contains NO beetles. It’s always sun-cured, chopped, and cubed in the field, the “Superior Way” to make cubes. Learn more here.

HAY-RITE cubes are 100% Natural with NO dyes, chemicals, mold retardants, preservatives or flavorings added; only sun-cured WESTERN alfalfa enriched with Bentonite minerals to increase absorption of nutrients, detox the digestive system, and improve cube quality.

Hay-Rite Alfalfa Cubes and Mini Alfalfa Cubes now available at J&N Feed and Seed.Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein No Less Than 16%
Crude Fat No Less Than 1.4%
Crude Fiber No More Than 30%
Moisture No More Than 12%

Ingredients:
Sun-Cured Alfalfa Hay
Bentonite Minerals Added

All Natural – No Chemicals – No Dyes

Feeding Guidelines:
Recommended feed amounts are 1% to 2% of the animal’s total body weight, fed daily.

Feeding at ground level is recommended for horses. Cubes may be softened with water for seniors or animals with dental problems. Hay-Rite Premium Alfalfa Cubes can be used as a complete source of protein and roughage for most horses and other livestock. Stop by J&N Feed and Seed and find out more about Hay-Rite and grab some bags for your horses.

Managing and Feeding Cattle in Winter

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

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

Lower Critical Temperature (LCT) broken down by hair coat for cattle. 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.

Elizabeth Backes, Ph.D.

Nutritionist, Beef Technical Solutions

Importance of Vitamins in Cattle Diets

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

cattle dietsVitamins 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
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
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.

Vitamin E
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.

Ted Perry -Beef Technical Solutions

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