Archive for the ‘Livestock’ Category
Posted by romeethredge on December 11, 2014
Posted by romeethredge on November 7, 2014
We had 3 frosts recently and they can cause problems for grazing plants in the sorghum family.
Here’s some Sorghum that was frosted so it should not be grazed for a week or so until the Prussic acid can dissipate.
Prussic acid or hydrocyanide is formed in certain plant species during water stress or frost
conditions. Under normal growing conditions, these plants produce a nontoxic substance
called dhurrin. When plants are injured by frost or wilting, enzymes come into contact
with dhurrin and liberate toxic prussic acid. Concentrations of prussic acid can also be
high in young, rapidly growing tillers.
Plants in the sorghum family are susceptible to prussic acid formation and include
johnsongrass, sudangrass, sorghum and sorghum-sudan hybrids. Wilted wild cherry
leaves can also contain lethal amounts of prussic acid. Unlike sorghums, pearl millet does
not produce prussic acid (but does accumulate nitrates) and can be safely grazed
following a frost.
This Pearl Millet can be grazed with no problem after frost unless there’s a worry about nitrates if the field had been fertilized and /or under drought conditions and had recent rain. A sample can be sent for nitrate testing if it is a concern.
Prussic acid is most concentrated in young leafy tissue which is also the plant part
preferentially selected by grazing animals. Therefore, unlike nitrate toxicity, grazing
pastures lightly to reduce toxin intake is unlikely to succeed.
Prussic acid is lethal to animals because it interferes with the animal cell’s ability to
generate energy. This ultimately results in death. Simply put, cyanide prevents oxygen
transfer from the blood and animals suffocate at the cellular level. Because blood from
prussic acid poisoned animals does not release oxygen, venous blood is normally a bright
cherry red color when a postmortem examination is performed. This is a good indicator
that prussic acid poisoning has occurred.
Prussic acid poisoning occurs rapidly. The time from ingestion of toxic forages to death
is usually short with animal losses sometimes occurring within 10 to 15 minutes of
grazing affected pastures. Typical animal symptoms include excessive salivation, rapid
breathing, and muscle spasms. Because the tissues cannot receive oxygen, mucous
membranes often have a purplish color. Animals are occasionally observed staggering
through the pasture before collapse and death. Successful treatment is almost impossible
because of the rapid progression of symptoms. Animals must be removed from toxic
pastures immediately. Preventative management is the only reliable method to avoid
For more forages info go to georgiaforages.com.
Posted by romeethredge on August 21, 2014
I like this article by Dr. Lee Jones,UGA Vet, in the Southeast Cattle Advisor blog. Here’s the link to the blog with the full article. http://www.secattleadvisor.com/
Stockmanship, Dr. Lee Jones, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine | Southeast Cattle Advisor
“Stockmanship, like sustainability, is a commonly used word that many might find hard to clearly define in a few words. Stockmanship has been defined as the knowledgeable and skillful handling of livestock in a safe, efficient, effective, and low-stress manner and denotes a low-stress, integrated, comprehensive, holistic approach to livestock handling (Stockmanship Journal). However, stockmanship is more than just handling. It is concerned with the whole life of the animal in our care. We used to call it animal husbandry or stewardship. First and foremost, stockmanship is livestock centered. By that I mean, we must consider the natural behavior and needs of the animal or group. There are 3 essential elements of good stockmanship: an environment that provides protection and comfort appropriate for the species; adequate, well designed facilities that enables low stress handling; and a comprehensive, herd health management program……….
Stockmanship and Resources
The good stockman knows his/her resources and is a good business manager. Bud Williams was fond of telling folks that “ranchers have 3 things in their inventory: money, grass and animals. You can never have too much money or too much grass but you sure can have too many animals.” It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into a lot of detail but good stockmen manage grass and soils and let the cows harvest the grass. To some degree herds on understocked pastures can increase production (calf weaning weights) to make up the difference but herds on overstocked pastures not only don’t reach their full potential the overall herd production is severely diminished, soils become depleted or degraded, future pasture health is compromised and cow herd fertility suffers as well as calf weights and calf health. Calves from overgrazed pastures are more likely to experience health problems after weaning. Good stockmanship means knowing what the carrying capacity is of the pastures and stocking appropriately.
Principles of Cattle Handling
Slower is better. Obviously this has its limits but for the most part slower is better and faster than getting in big hurry. Pressure from the side and only when cattle see where to go. When cattle are pressured from the rear they are likely to turn around to face the pressure. Cattle want to see you. Once cows can see the opening and are facing that direction then we can push them in that direction from their side behind the point of their shoulder. Cattle must be comfortable to go by you and stay straight. Cattle naturally face any threat. If cattle feel threatened by you they won’t walk straight or go by you. When working cattle in an alley, going with the flow slows them down and going against the flow speeds them up. This seems counter intuitive at first but it works. Try it and see. Cattle can only process one thing at a time. Many folks like to talk to their cattle. If cattle are used to this then it probably won’t cause problems. However, multiple stimuli including sight, sound and touch creates confusion for cattle and thereby increases stress and the flight response. Cows work best when they are ready; it’s up to us to get them there.
Simply put, I think good stockmen are students of their cattle. Good stockmanship is like a timely rain, sunshine and hybrid vigor; it doesn’t cost anything extra but the benefits to cattle health, welfare and performance are tremendous.”
Posted by romeethredge on July 29, 2014
Foliage eating caterpillars have been serious in pastures and hayfields for a while now and maybe worse the last week or so. I looked at 2 Tift 85 Bermudagrass fields today that are infested with fall armyworms. They feed very quickly, often with in a few days they can leave stems, no leaves.
Often white cattle egrets are seen in problem fields, eating on the worms. Unfortunately they don’t eat enough to control them.
Posted by romeethredge on May 29, 2014
This is the link for more information about this conference.
Posted by romeethredge on May 1, 2014
Seminole County 4H Poultry Judging team has done well again this year in regional and state contests. We have no real commercial poultry….well we do raise some backyard birds and we have some quail we raise, I suppose. I would say we have more alligators than poultry in our county. But we all eat chicken and eggs and we enjoy learning about poultry and eggs. We do grow lots and lots of field corn here to feed these hungry birds.
Our Senior (9th through 12th grade)team placed 3rd in the regional contest in the highest scoring region in the state.
Our top 4 scorers advanced to the State Competition up near Athens, where they didn’t do as well, but we were thankful to be there.
Posted by romeethredge on April 18, 2014
The Tifton HERD Sale is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. To view the catalog and sale order now, simply click on the following:
Scroll down to Tifton HERD Program. Click on Catalog (pdf). Click on Sale Order for 4/22/14 (pdf).
Posted by romeethredge on March 8, 2014
I went by Seminole Stockyard this past Wednesday, Sale Day, and things were really hopping as they usually are. Edwina and Wanda were in the back totaling things up, talking to customers and answering phones. Mr. Bryant was all around the sale area, touting the attributes of the cattle coming into the ring. The auctioneer and clerk were busy with the auction calling out the bids, keeping things straight.
There was something different though…the prices cattle are bringing. They are very high, and they were high last week too. And UGA economists say that they will be high for a while. I saw lots of steers and heifers sell for a dollar and a half and a dollar seventy five a pound. That’s good money, if you are selling and you would say… expensive cattle if you are buying replacement heifers for your farm, for instance.
At the bottom of this post I have a link to the Georgia auction prices that you can go to, to get a good rundown on prices here in Donalsonville and across Georgia.
Here’s a cattle update submitted by UGA writer Clint Thompson.
Georgia cattlemen are struggling to feed their herds and fighting the affects of poor quality forages. With calf prices at a high, selling off stock may be the best option, says one University of Georgia expert.
“For cattlemen that are in the situation where they’re having trouble feeding their cows and the calves are big enough to sell, that’s probably a real smart move for them to go ahead and move those calves right now,” said UGA Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy.
Calf prices are extremely high, with 300-400 pound steer calves fetching $2 to $2.25 per pound or around $700 per head. Calves weighing 500 pounds are selling between $1.50 to $1.70 per pound or around $800.
Cattle prices are highly tempting for cattlemen due to an extreme short supply, which has been declining for the last six years. Several factors have contributed to the smaller number of cattle, including drought and high commodity prices for other commodities.
Cattlemen are also taking land out of pasture production and putting it into other crops, so fewer small calves are available to be bought. Lacy said the supply is the lowest since 1951.
Another supporting factor to the cattle market is low corn prices, which are hovering in the $4 to $4.50 range, considerably less than last year’s $6 mark.
By selling their calves early, cattlemen accomplish two goals: They get money in their pocket and relieve the nutritional burden from the cow.
With their calves sold, cows do not have to worry about producing enough milk to feed a calf and can focus on maintaining their own body weight and getting in good physical shape for the upcoming breeding season.
While selling early is a viable option, Lacy cautions against acting too hastily.
“If they want to sell now, they can. Nobody would fault them for going ahead and selling some of those calves now,” Lacy said. “If cows are in good condition, though, they may want to just keep them on the cow and sell them when they normally would sell them.”
Due to the short supply and high demand for cattle beef, Lacy believes cattle prices will be high for the next several years.
Georgia Cattle Auctions Report website
Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2014
This past Saturday we had the 2014 Seminole Chamber Hog Show with 53 FFA and 4-H Exhibitors showing 76 market hogs. It’s a good project for young people and our community supports it well. Thanks to the Hog show committee who put a lot of work into this event.
Here are the K through 5th graders. then the 6th through 8th graders and in the third photo are the high schoolers.
Here’s Kyle Temples who won the Sportsmanship Award.
Chamber President Brenda Broome awards Jesse Ethredge the Fennell Memorial Chamber Scholarship.
Katie Cofty had the Grand Champion Barrow which was also named the Supreme Champion of the Show.