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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies

Will cold weather increase birth weights?

There has long been a sentiment among producers that in cold years, calf birth weights are increased. There are many inherent challenges in proving whether this is actually true. Differences in bull as well as nutrition are the biggest hurdles. Research that evaluates this question is limiting. However, one study conducted by researchers in Nebraska during the 90's attempted to follow b...

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Understanding and Utilizing Economic Indexes in Sire Selection

Posted by Travis Meteer - Genetics

Pedigree, scrotal measurement, EPDs, accuracies, actual weights, $ values, DNA tests.... and you haven't even looked at the bull yet. There is no doubt that sire selection can be a daunting task, but economic indexes may be the tool to help simplify your selection process. Economic indexes are a collection of EPDs that are weighted depending on their economic importance in a given scena...

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Calving Season Tips

Calving season is either here or fast approaching for many Illinois cattlemen. I would just like to share a few tips that I have gathered through some of our winter meetings. Perhaps the most important tip is to have a good relationship with your local veterinarian. Sometimes the difficult decisions during calving season are best made by your veterinarian. Just a few of the basic things...

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Mineral Nutrition: Part 5 of 5

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

With calving season getting closer, or already here for some, cattlemen may want to deploy strategies to ensure mineral nutrition does not rob them of potential profits. The value of a live calf is more than ever in the face of a shrunken and rebuilding cowherd. As cows came through the chute this fall, administering a Selenium and Vitamin E supplement should have been recommended along...

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Mineral Nutrition: Part 4 of 5

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

There are options when it comes to mineral supplementation. The most common methods are loose mineral, mineral blocks, including mineral in-feed with other supplemental protein or energy, or injectable minerals. All of these can be effective mineral supplementation strategies. Providing loose mineral is the most common. In most cases, bagged mineral is placed into a feeder and cows have...

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Mineral Interactions

Mineral Nutrition: Part 3 of 5

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

As I have stated in previous posts, proper mineral nutrition relies on a balance. This is critical to avoid mineral interactions. Mineral interactions can result in one mineral restricting the bioavailability of another. Thus, reducing the amount of that mineral absorbed by the animal. This can lead to deficiency. One of the most common mineral interactions in beef cattle is the interac...

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