Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
Recent Stories by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs. Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations.
Cull cows represent about 20% of the gross income in commercial cow calf operations, so understanding the major factors impacting cull cow prices is important to your bottom line.
Selecting against ill-tempered cattle has always made good sense. Wild cattle are hard on equipment, people, other cattle, and now we know that they are hard on the bottom line.
Selling cull cows when they will return the most income to the rancher requires knowledge about cull cow health and body condition.
Providing assistance to cows or first calf heifers generally concentrates on the survival and health of the calf. However, calving difficulty resulting in prolonged labor can have adverse effects on the cow as well.
If we have a return to late summer high temperatures, a late heat wave may reduce bull fertility for several weeks after the weather has moderated.
It is imperative that the newborn calf begins to breathe as soon as possible. To stimulate the initiation of the respiratory process, here are a few ideas that may help.
As we move closer to the first of September and the fall calving season begins, understanding what to expect during the normal delivery can help to determine when a cow needs assistance.
If you are targeting selling your calves during one of this fall's value-added or preconditioned sales, be mindful some of the required weaning dates are only days away.
Bred replacement heifers that will calve in late January and February need to continue to grow and maintain body condition as two-year-old heifers should be in a body condition score 6 at calving.
The protein requirements for growth, milk production, and body weight maintenance of beef cattle do not decrease as the “dog days of summer” arrive.
Forage analysis can be a useful tool to remove some of the mystery concerning the hay that producers will feed this winter. The out-of-pocket costs of protein and energy supplements are further fuel to this advice.
Cattle have an upper critical temperature 20 degrees cooler than humans. When humans are a little uncomfortable at 80 degrees and feel hot at 90 degrees, cattle may well be in the danger zone for extreme heat stress.
During hot summer months, the water needed for a cow herd often determines several other management decisions, but you should expect most spring calving cows need at least 24 gallons per day.
Producers should exercise caution and test forages before cutting or grazing shortly after a drought-easing shower. Some of the greatest concentrations of nitrate in forages will be recorded at this time.