Options for keeping winter water open

Water supp􏰅􏰅lies need to be reliable but also safe

Providing adequate stock water can be a frustrating challenge during colder months. Having adequate water and keeping it ice-free is not a simple task. In some pastures, water availability is also an issue. Trey Patterson, CEO of Padlock Ranches in Wyoming, says one of the challenges is keeping water thawed. “If you have multiple groups […] Read more


Ease weaned calves into backgrounding

It is difficult if not impossible to recover losses due to sick animals

Some ranchers hold calves over as yearlings, and some buy light calves in the spring to put on grass and gain weight. Some calves go into a confinement program and are fed a growing ration until they are ready to enter a finishing facility. Backgrounding covers a spectrum of situations that includes preconditioning before and […] Read more




Tips on horse foot care

Horse Management with Heather Smith Thomas

“No foot, no horse” is the old saying. A horse is only as sound as his feet. Care and management of feet will depend on the individual horse, his conformation and hoof structure, environment (including climate), and use. Whether or not the horse needs to be shod will also hinge on these factors. A shod […] Read more



Spring coming as water begins to run

It's a good time of year to do some fencing and clean up around the corrals

February 23 Last Tuesday Michael, Nick and Robbie started replacing the old, falling-down fence along our lane. Michael used the backhoe to dig out chokecherry trees and old fence posts. Lynn went to town for a doctor appointment to have his hip checked; the doctor wants him to have an MRI to try to figure […] Read more


Safety reminders when working cattle

Put yourself in the animal's place to identify hazards

Most cattle herds are routinely gathered and worked for brand­­ing, vaccinating, pregnancy testing, weaning and other necessary management tasks. With many cow herds put through the chute twice or more annually, it is important to make sure these tasks are accomplished smoothly and safely for the cattle and the crew. Nora Schrag, a veterinarian with Kansas State College […] Read more



Even a small dose of ergot is harmful

Research may lead to new feeding regulations

Ergot is a fungus that can grow on certain grasses and grain plants, often under certain growing season moisture conditions, but other crop fertility issues can be at play as well. Ergot becomes a problem mainly after a wet season, rarely during dry conditions. The fungus replaces the seed head with a dark brown/black mass […] Read more


When to act, when to call for help during calving

There are no hard and fast rules — watch and be prepared to act

Most cows and heifers progress normally through the stages of labour; uterine contractions in early labour get the calf aimed toward the birth canal, the cervix dilates and the calf starts through. The calf entering the birth canal stimulates abdominal straining and second stage (active) labour begins — to push the calf out. Sometimes, however, […] Read more



Strong immunity key to calf health

It all starts by making sure newborns have adequate and timely colostrum

Illness occurs when the body is overwhelmed by infection. A healthy animal with strong immunity is less likely to become sick. Immunity refers to the body’s ability to fight off bacteria or viruses, and this ability is developed in a complex process in which the body creates specific weapons for fighting specific invaders. Antibodies When […] Read more


Get newborn calves breathing and eating

Events immediately following birth are important to future health of the calf

Two of the most important steps after a calf has been born are to make sure it breathes properly, especially if the calf had to be pulled. And then shortly after, make sure they find the udder. In most normal births, the calf will begin breathing within 30 to 60 seconds after delivery. If it […] Read more