Livestock

Movement Risks Checklist for Organic and Alternative Livestock

Items moving on and off your farm or ranch can bring disease. Recognizing movement risks can help you prevent them. The Livestock Project has created a Step 1: Movement risks checklist that can help you recognize and think about the types of movements that happen on your operation. In addition, the checklist can help you take the necessary steps to make those movements as safe as possible. The movements themselves and how often they occur are the key ideas to keep in mind. Major categories of movement risks are – animals and animal products, vehicles and equipment, visitors and personnel, and wildlife and pests.

Fly Control

With summer in full gear it is a good time to evaluate how your fly control program is working. When horn fly numbers are greater than 200 flies per animal we see significant production losses associated with blood loss and decreased feed consumption. Numbers of face flies and stable flies are harder to assess because they only spend a small amount of time feeding on cattle but are still significant pests.

How Many Horses Can Your Pasture Maintain?

Stocking rates provide information on how many horses a pasture can carry in a month. In general the approximate pasture needs per average-sized mature horse, with pasture providing most, if not all, of the nutrition is:

  • 1 -  2 acres with an excellent, dense sod, permanent pasture
  • 2 - 2.5 acres with an average permanent pasture (spring growth will be OK but summer forage is average)
  • 3+ acres with a thin, poor sod that is unmanaged (supplemental forage will likely be needed)

Managing March Madness: Mud in Iowa

Significant presence of mud can increase energy requirements by as much as 30%. Wading through mud burns more calories, resulting in reduced gain for developing breeding stock and fed cattle as well as reduced milk production for cows. Confounding things further, cattle to tend eat less by simply avoiding putting in effort to get to feed.

Optimizing Ventilation in Small Scale Production

The environment inside our livestock and poultry houses is important for maintaining a productive and healthy herd or flock. Ventilation or fresh air exchange is important to remove undesirable moisture and noxious gases during winter months and in summer, make sure the indoor temperature is not too much warmer than outdoors.