Blog

  • A small herd of white cattle gather near a wood fence.

    Multiple-species grazing has been proven over the years to increase carrying capacity and benefit the range environment, if done correctly. Each type of ruminant we manage, cattle, sheep, goats, and deer all use a unique combination of the different …

  • A small herd of white sheep gather around a feeder.

    Producers often ask me whether they should feed a meal, pellet, block, or textured feed for their livestock.  The answer is that the best form of feed will depend on many factors: the type of livestock, if there is more than one species to eat the …

  • A white cow with a yellow ear tag looks toward the camera.

    We are always happy to answer customer questions at any time.  This week, one of our clients asked:

    "My veterinarian said my sheep have coccidiosis.  What is that and what do I do about it?"

    Coccidiosis is a condition caused by organisms of the …

  • A photo of a rolling plain with green and yellow grass, blue sky and clouds.

    For those of you that graze improved pastures, or have reseeded native pastures to grasses that are supposed to improve growth, are you getting the production you think you should?  Maybe your soils are not up to producing the quantity and quality …

  • The view inside the top of a bag full of whole cottonseed.

    Every year at least one person asks me whether or not whole cottonseed can be fed to their livestock.  And after all of these years, I am still surprised at the question.

    Upland cottonseed is one of the best supplements, from a nutritional …

  • A man with a hat and a bucket looks on as a small herd eats whole cottonseed off the ground.

    "I enjoyed your article about cottonseed, but what about gossypol and aflatoxin?"

    Good point!  I concentrated on the nutritional aspects of cottonseed and did not cover the potential problems with cottonseed.  Gossypol is always present in …

  • A block of salt sits on a black background.

    Probably the most overlooked, but most frequently used mineral for our livestock is salt, chemically known as sodium chloride.  Everyone knows that livestock need salt, but how much do they need, and how do you use this requirement to your advantage? …

  • A white goat with floppy ears appears to smile at the camera.

    Potassium is probably the Rodney Dangerfield of the minerals in ruminant nutrition.  It doesn’t get any respect, or attention.  However, it is an extremely important nutrient that is involved in maintaining the acid-base relationship in the body, …

  • A small brown and white goat looks toward the camera.

    When you look at nutrition as a whole, it is really hard to say that one nutrient is more important than others.  Without energy, the body and the microorganisms would not have the fuel to function.  Without minerals, the chemical reactions that …

  • Water droplets sit on green blades of grass.

    I use the term “effective rainfall” because not all of the moisture that hits the ground is usable to the plants.  Much of the rainfall that you get each year never finds its way into the soil to be used by the plants.  And much that does reach the …

  • Horses graze on a green pasture and drink from a river.

    Of all of the minerals we work with in livestock production, selenium has the narrowest tolerance between deficiency and toxicity.  And when you add that we know very little about the actual amount of selenium in most of the forages and browse that …

  • A brown and white cow and calf look toward the camera.

    As fall approaches, many of you will be selecting your replacement females to grow and develop to be future producers.  How well you do this can be a great influence on the future profitability of your livestock operation.

    Growing and developing …

  • A small herd of white cattle gather near a wood fence.

    Zinc is still looked on as one of the more important trace minerals in livestock nutrition.  It is involved not only in development of the immune system, but also sexual maturity and reproductive capacity.  Zinc is also involved in the growth of …

  • Small herd of black angus cattle stand in grass and look toward the camera.

    Just what is ruminal protein? 

    Basically, it’s the protein produced by the microorganisms in the rumen.  They take the nitrogen and amino acids that are available to them in the rumen and use it to reproduce themselves.  As some of these …

  • A small herd of goats sit in tall grass.

    Many of you are once again having to make a decision as to how many animals your pastures can carry this winter without abusing the resource.  How to make that decision accurately sometimes takes the wisdom of Solomon. 

    However, there is a …

  • A buck walks through a wooded area in winter, the grass is frosted and there are no leaves on the trees. He looks toward the camera.

    Have you noticed the number of deer on the highway lately?  Deer grazing on the highway right of way is a sure sign of poor nutrition in the pasture.  Deer don’t like interaction with people, or their vehicles.  So when you see them out on the …

  • A doe and her fawn stand behind a high fence and look toward the camera.

    Nearly every day, I have a conversation with someone, either in person or over the phone, about feeding deer in hopes of improving the “quality” of their deer.  “Quality” in this case generally refers to an increase in body size and antler growth.   …

  • Three small, young deer lie in tall grass next to a high fence and look toward the camera

    There is a lot of discussion going on about the ethics of high fencing of deer ranges.  Many traditional ranchers view the phenomena of high fencing as blights on the land as large ranches get broken up into smaller acreage.  And from a purely …

  • Two deer walk under a feeder.

    Many of you that are serious about the wildlife part of your operation are looking for ways to improve the quality of your deer.  Quality is generally defined as larger body size and increased antler scores.  For any particular age group, these …

  • Two young deer stand next to a high fence and look toward the camera.

    Feeding deer is becoming a very popular function for many landowners whether for the pleasure of seeing the deer come to a feeder, or to improve their productivity in fawn production or antler growth.  Knowing that deer need supplemental protein in …