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Fenceline: July 5, 2012

by Jody G. Holthaus
Meadowlark Extension Agent
Livestock & Natural Resources
Thinning the herd is not a bad idea for those of us that did not receive rains recently. With the outlook of limited fall pasture and even more serious problem of lack of hay or feed resources to adequately winter the cow herd, some measures may need to be implemented in order to stretch the available feed resources.

Thinning the herd is not a bad idea for those of us that did not receive rains recently. With the outlook of limited fall pasture and even more serious problem of lack of hay or feed resources to adequately winter the cow herd, some measures may need to be implemented in order to stretch the available feed resources.

I have a small herd of cattle that sit on a shelf in my office. A collection of very colorful ones. Our custodian must think the herd needs to be thinned. This Monday I found a smashed cow, with a note she’d left on my desk. It was signed the lonely heifer. Seems she found out she was pregnant and couldn’t take the stress so leaped from the window shelf. She sustained a broken arm and internal injuries.

What an active imagination Teresa has. This is what happens when a 5-foot nothing is sweeping with a 6-foot something broom. I think maybe she was riding it!

Thinning the herd is not a bad idea for those of us that did not receive rains recently. With the outlook of limited fall pasture and even more serious problem of lack of hay or feed resources to adequately winter the cow herd, some measures may need to be implemented in order to stretch the available feed resources.

The first measure would be to have all cows pregnancy examined by a veterinarian or qualified professional. All cows that are open need to be culled. There is no need to use limited feed resources on animals that will not provide any returns. At the time of the pregnancy examination, evaluate all cows for structural soundness to include udders and teeth. Cows with structural problems and bad udders or no teeth will likely not perform to their genetic potential.

Also, cows with bad attitudes (temperament) should be candidates to cull. It would be best to eliminate these cows before they begin to lose too much flesh and reduce their value.

Secondly, if you have maintained production records on your herd, they will be a tremendous value in determining which cows offer the most probable least returns for utilizing forage resources.

Late Monday, the custodian found a note that the sheriff had been called to investigate animal cruelty in Room 105 and she was the main person of interest. Love you Teresa!

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Posted by on Jul 17 2012. Filed under Columns, Fenceline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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