Cattle Buildings, Shelter and Accessories
When you pasture cattle, a good barbed wire fence is a necessity. However, one of the most detested jobs cattle producers have to do is fix fence. It seems that every spring several days are devoted to fixing downed or sagging barbed wire fences. For 41-year old western South Dakota rancher, Beau Bendigo, fixing fences has always been part of his way of life. Even as a child, he had to fix fence with his dad. “It was one of the jobs I hated the most,” says Bendigo.
The title pretty much says it all, and for all intents it comes as no surprise. In October, the WTO publicly released their awaited opinion from the dispute settlement body on the US Country of Origin Labeling rule. The rule, placed into effect in 2008 requiring all beef be labeled as to its origin, was found not to be compliant with our international trade obligations, first in 2011. It was amended in May 2013 by the USDA to include born, raised and slaughtered information. The intent according to USDA, was to bring this rule into compliance.
When raising livestock, even the gentlest cows may unintentionally cause injury to a handler. In fact, the National Agricultural Safety Database statistics show that one in three farm worker injuries involve handling animals.
Many of these injuries include broken bones and crushed limbs that lead to missed days of work and unnecessary medical expenses due to a lack of safety awareness. That’s why an understanding of animal behavior is essential to prevent accidents.
We have been running British Whites here, on our ranch in northwestern South Dakota for years. They are truly a wonderful breed of cattle. I realized recently, however, that these unique animals have a very desirable trait that I’d overlooked or just not thought about. Now I call them “Timesavers.”
Cattle people are constantly trying to improve their herds. It’s automatic. When the shadows get long in the evening, and the cattle are grazing so placidly, we stop by and critique and evaluate mothers and the offspring there at their side. We want them to be prospering happily under our management and maybe even making us a little more money.
Every winter cattle producers across the Snowbelt face the challenges of the harsh conditions that the winter season brings. It’s tough on both the cattle and the producers who work diligently to keep their herd in the best condition possible. As below-freezing temperatures set in, animals need additional feed and water to replenish the energy they expend to keep warm. In this food/water equation, it is their water consumption that helps keep everything in balance.
As many cattlemen and women know all too well, one of the greatest threats our industry faces is regulation from Washington, D.C. And for many years now, the industry has braced for a rule-making by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would substantially impact all uses and users of land, not just farming and ranching. That rule-making came this spring in the form of the EPA and Corps’ Waters of the United States proposed rule, or WOTUS.
As previously stated “the objective of feeding a total mixed ration (TMR) is to provide a consistently uniform mix, with the intended ingredient and nutrient composition, across the entire length of the feedbunk with every batch.” And while a number of factors such as ingredient variability and moisture content, consistency of mixing procedures, operator error, and weighing system variability contribute to batch-to-batch variation, it is the characteristics of the mixer itself that essentially control within batch variation, and uniformity across the feedbunk. In this article we will discuss TMR mixer characteristics that affect mix uniformity and a sieving technique that can be used to evaluate it and make adjustments to improve animal performance.
Flies are notorious nuisance and public health pests because they have the ability to transmit serious pathogens to both humans and animals. These flies typically occur and breed in a variety of filthy areas, including manure, soiled bedding, spilled feed, garbage and other types of organic matter. One pound of manure can contain more than 1,500 fly maggots, so it is not hard to see how fly numbers can reach enormous proportions and threaten your livestock and workers. To prevent and reduce the instances of fly infestations, be sure to utilize the following best practices in your control plan:
Few families have influenced the livestock handling industry as significantly as the Priefert family from Mount Pleasant, Texas. For half a century, the Prieferts have been designing, building, and marketing cattle handling equipment, and, in the process, changing the way the American rancher handles cattle. Marvin Priefert founded Priefert Manufacturing in 1964 with the invention of the first fully front-opening headgate. 50 years later, Marvin’s son Bill, and his grandsons, Eddie, Nate, and Travis, still own and operate the family business, with the goal of continuing to improve upon the design and functionality of today’s livestock handling equipment.
Whether you install your own fencing or hire a company to do it for you, one thing is certain — it isn’t a task you want to have to redo every 5, 10, or even 15 years. It only makes common (and fiscal) sense to do it right the first time. When done correctly with the right materials, a high tensile fence can last as long as 50 years and is less maintenance than a traditional fence. In fact, you can build a longer-lasting high tensile fence for about half the price of a conventional low carbon fence. The folks from Bekaert recently discussed some of the basics of fencing with American Cattlemen. They also shared some of their best tips for picking the proper fencing materials for your needs and correctly installing them — and these folks definitely know what they are talking about.