The saying goes that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. This is especially true when it comes to feed. Given that feed costs account for over 80% of the cost of raising livestock, managing feed supplements is of utmost importance in maintaining productivity and profitability. In this regard Ridley Block Operations has developed technology to help you better manage your supplements.
As we approach the hot summer months, more and more producers are dealing with the nuisance of pinkeye. Pinkeye is a highly infectious bacterial disease. Although pinkeye is nonfatal, it costs cattle producers over $150 million per year. These expenses result from decreased weight gain, reduced milk production and treatment costs. Additionally, infected animals are worth less at sale time. Pinkeye is second only to scours/diarrhea in terms of diseases affecting calves.
Judging from the number of phone calls I’ve received, I know that there is some confusion out there regarding the new labeling of sheep products. Some of you are wondering why the label to your favorite sheep supplement now lists a copper minimum and maximum when you thought that there was no added copper. No, you haven’t lost your mind, you DO see copper on there. This article is intended to explain the reasons for the change and what it means.
Hoof health probably isn’t a top worry for most sheep and goat owners. But did you know that lameness reduces the overall health and profitability of your herd? Lame animals do not travel freely to water and forage and thus have lower feed intakes than animals with healthy hooves. This translates into less milk production, slower growth rates and even diminished conception rates. Lame rams or bucks will not actively seek out ewes and does in heat and may not breed even if they do mount. Fortunately, most lameness can be significantly reduced or eliminated with proper management. Lameness is an issue for both the commercial and the pet owner.
Ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, etc.) have the unique ability to utilize materials which are undigestible by humans (grasses, forbes and other roughages) and convert them into highly nutritious food for human consumption. This is made possible by the symbiotic relationship between rumen microbes and the ruminant. The ability to convert inexpensive, underutilized roughages into high quality meat and milk is the main advantage ruminants have over other commercially raised livestock (pork, poultry, etc.). Given that forages are among the least expensive feeds available, it goes without saying that anything we can do to maximize forage intake and/or utilization is going to positively affect economic returns.
Flies are among the most difficult horse pests to control. Some species of flies are blood feeders. Non-biting flies can also cause problems as they can carry diseases and can be very annoying to both horses and humans. As rural areas are increasingly encroached upon by urban sprawl, nuisance lawsuits are on the rise too. With this in mind, it is no wonder that fly control is of vital importance to today’s savvy horse owners.
Many of you may have already heard of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed by FDA. In a nutshell, previous FDA rules were focused primarily on identifying food safety problems after they occurred and responding accordingly. FSMA seeks to help prevent food safety issues in both humans and animals through preventative controls throughout all levels of production, storage and distribution. Part of the fallout of FSMA is the topic of antibiotic use in meat animals. With debate still ongoing, one thing is clear, that reliance on antibiotic use in food animals is on a downward trend. With this in mind, it is going to be more important than ever to build strong immune systems in our calves through sound nutrition.
Excessive fly populations can literally suck the profit out of your cattle operation. Biting flies reduce weaning weights, lower milk production and spread disease. Why should your hard-earned money go toward feeding flies? In today’s economic environment, it is more important than ever to keep fly populations in check to maximize efficiency and profitability.
Many horse owners unwittingly sabotage their mineral supplement program by providing plain white or yellow salt blocks in place of, or in addition to, loose mineral supplements or mineral blocks. Unfortunately, most who do this think they are doing the right thing by their horse. This article is meant to educate horse owners on proper mineral management and nutrition.
With calf prices at near record highs, it makes more sense than ever to utilize Rumensin® to maximize weight gains on high quality small grain forages this spring. Rumensin® makes additional energy available to the animal through manipulation of rumen fermentation. Based on research growth trials, it can be calculated that the additional energy derived from feeding 200 mg of Rumensin daily to growing calves is equivalent to the energy derived from roughly 1.0 lb of corn. With so many Rumensin® supplement options available, why are STOCKADE® Rumensin® Pressed Blocks the best option for stocker cattle operators wishing to feed Rumensin®?