Cattle

Managing Weeds Crucial During a Drought

Recent drought conditions have made herd care difficult for Alabama livestock producers. As conditions worsen and desirable vegetation declines, established weeds are often the last plants standing. Weed management is crucial during a drought. Managing Weeds During Drought Once weeds…

Calculating the Energy Requirements of Brood Cows in Cold Weather

How much do the energy requirements of cows increase during the cold weather? This depends on the magnitude of the cold, and if it occurs under dry or wet conditions. See the calculations below. Under cold, dry conditions:  Lower critical temperature…

Keeping It Clean: Livestock Water Tank Maintenance

The quantity and quality of water required by livestock are important considerations for the overall maintenance of herd health and productivity. If water is suspected of causing a health problem, seek veterinary assistance to determine a diagnosis. Water Quantity and…

Tax Consequences Related to Drought Related Sales of Livestock

Parts of Alabama are experiencing moderate to severe drought issues (according to the US Drought Monitor). Six primary counties and 15 contiguous counties were declared secretarial disasters as of September 25, 2019.¬†¬†Producers are often able to mitigate the effects of…

Alternative Feeding Strategies for Beef Cattle During Drought

Dry climatic conditions that persist into the summer and early fall may limit grazed and stored forage availability in beef operations. When dealing with dry periods, it is important to design a feeding program that fully utilizes local feed resources.…

Protein Supplementation: Natural vs. Non-Protein Nitrogen Sources

Protein is an important nutrient in beef cattle diets. Young, rapidly growing animals and high-performing lactating animals often require protein supplementation. Because of the high cost of protein supplementation, optimizing the use of protein in the ration is needed. This…

Nitrate Poisoning of Cattle in Alabama

Nitrate poisoning in cattle is caused by the consumption of feed or water containing high levels of nitrate nitrogen. Under most circumstances, forage crops do not contain levels of nitrates high enough to be toxic. When this does occur, however,…

Prussic Acid Poisoning of Livestock

Prussic acid poisoning, also known as cyanide poisoning, is a metabolic condition in livestock that can periodically occur in operations. Forages such as Johnsongrass, sorghum, sudangrass, and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids can contain toxic concentrations of hydrocyanic acid (HCN) after a frost…

Preventing Ruminal Acidosis When Using Supplemental Feeds for Beef Cattle

Ruminal acidosis is a digestive disorder characterized by low rumen pH (more acidic than normal). Cattle are at greatest risk for acidosis when consuming feed that is high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, particularly when they have not had adequate time…

Low Prices and Drought

The cattle industry in Alabama has faced some challenging periods since the record high prices a few years ago. The prices experienced from 2014 until 2016 seem like a distant memory, and the prospect of prices improving significantly in the…