We use many different tools on our operation, but here are a few we love.
Our vaccines, feed, treats and supplements are subject to change as the needs of our cattle change based on their life stages and the environment. Our process will change because we are continually learning how to improve our Red Angus herd.
This late summer we began offering a big white salt only block. We stick it in one of the compartments of the loose mineral feeder to keep it dry.
We offer a loose trace mineral supplement all year around. This red label is formulated by our vet specifically for our Western Washington soil. You can do a web search to educate yourself on the importance of mineral supplements for beef cattle. There are a lot of great articles on the subject.
Tahoma Veterinary Hospital: http://www.tahomavet.com
A brand of a more generic loose mineral option.
An inside look at a loose mineral feeder.
An example of a loose mineral feeder. It is important to keep minerals dry.
In the past we offered protein tubs. Different ones offer varying amounts of protein, fats, minerals etc so read the labels. Often we offered tubs to pregnant first calf heifers and then again once they calved and became pregnant 2 year olds with a calf at the side. We have also offered tubs over winter/pre-breeding to bring cows into better body condition. However, the last two years we have done a better job of selecting and keeping the right genetics, deworming properly and getting better hay so we haven’t needed the tubs which has cut back on the expense of them.
Purina Hi Energy 20 AN Cube
Right now we don’t feed measured amounts of any type of grain or feed supplement to our cows on a schedule. We do however “treat” our herd at times with range cubes. These are large enough that the cows can eat them off the ground without waste. We are pretty sure we could train the cows to do back-flips with these cubes. I call it “bucket training” because once they understand that when they hear these treats shaking around inside a bucket, they will follow you anywhere. King Feed on 304th and TSC have these in stock.
They’ll eat it right out of your hand.
An inside-the-bag look at Cattle Crack aka Range Cubes, Cattle Cubes or Cake.
At birth, our calves are given a subcutaneous injection of Multi-Min 90 (Rx), Vitamin E-AD 300 intramuscular injection, probiotic paste (if we have it). They are weighed by hand with a calf scale and ear tagged for identification.
Annually we vaccinate our herd against-
IBR, PI3, BVD types 1&2, BRSV and Manneheimia haemolytica. There are a few options on the market. Read carefully to ensure you cover everything.
Using an 8-Way vaccine like Ultrachoice 8 or Vision 8 will protect against: Clostridium(Black Leg), septicem(Malignant edema), haemolyticum(Red Water), novyi(Black disease), sordellii and perfringends Types C&D bacterin and toxoid.
In 2018, we will try Ocu-guard MB-1 as a preventative for Moraxella Bovis Bacterin (Pink Eye).
*We recommend asking your veterinarian which is best for your herd in your area.
Dewormer comes in different forms: oral pellets, oral liquid, a lick, injectable and pour on. Do your own research to find out what would be best for you. Feed inefficiency by way of decreased body condition on an animal that is eating normal rations is a good sign it might be time to deworm. Dewormers contain different active ingredients to treat different types of worms. We are still learning the type and time of year for outbreaks of worms. Changing dewormer often is a good idea to keep worms from developing resistance to the medication. There is a withdrawal period so read the label before you slaughter. Your veterinarian can also help with choosing a dewormer.
Rx injectable. Usually given in Spring.
Pellet to be fed a measured amount per lb of body weight.
A lick. Read label for dosing.
Over the counter injectable. A pretty general dewormer. We use in Spring.
We give this after the first hard frost in Winter.
Cattle eat about 25 pounds of hay a day. They require about 10 gallons of water a day. We feed local grass hay when green grass isn’t available. Calves, heifers pre-breeding, bred heifers, nursing cows and finishing steers often need a little more by way of haylage, grain or alfalfa. We are still learning and don’t always do the same exact diet each year. Factors like availability to the other feed, field availability to separate calves, heifers, steers, etc. to feed differently than cows, timing on grass growth, breeding and the number of head we have change each year and so does the exact way we learn to feed. We encourage you to do your own reading and research on the best way to feed your animals.
Local round bales.
A hay feeder lets the cows eat without walking on the hay.
Local square bales.
Rectangle hay feeder.
We have a vet box. As we learn more about taking care of cows and with each new thing that happens we add to the box. Basic items include: 16 & 18 gauge 1″-1.5″ locking hub needles and 3ml, 12ml and 36ml syringes. Antibiotics, bolus pills for calves, pill shooter, probiotic paste, ear tags, disposable gloves, Multi Min 90, Vit E-AD 300, Iodine, paper towels, digital thermometer, stomach tube and bag, auto syringes, dewormer, bloat medicine, ob lube, calf chains, calf scale, paper, pens, black Sharpie, calf book, scissors, wean rings, rope, rags, Vetricyn sprays, anti fungal and antibiotic wound sprays, saline solution, a small first aid kit, blood clotting powder, wound wrap, Re-Sorb and electrolyte packets, and more. When we work the cows we also like to have a garbage bag or box, and a bucket of hot, soapy water.
Cows and calves should be ear tagged for easy identification. The letter and number combinations for ID are a personal choice.
ight ear, 1204 (born in 2012, 4th calf) dam ear number on top, sire ear tag number on bottom.
left ear E011 (born in 2017, 1st calf, in January), dam on top, sire number on bottom. This tag also has this heifer’s number E011 on the back side of the tag.
left ear, 7080 (born in 2017, 80th calf), dam ear tag number on top, abbreviation of sire name on bottom.