Producers cannot completely control infertility in their cow herds. However, understanding and addressing the factors that affect infertility will help producers implement management practices that can improve fertility and reduce the negative impacts of infertility on the profitability of beef cow-calf operations. This 4-page fact sheet discusses reasons why beef cows fail to become pregnant or wean a calf, identification of infertile beef cows, and economic impacts of reduced fertility and infertility in beef cattle. Written by Chris Prevatt, G. Cliff Lamb, Carl Dahlen, Vitor R. G. Mercadante, and Kalyn Waters, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, revised September 2018.
Body condition score (BCS) is both a good indicator of the past nutritional status of a cow and a way to determine future nutritional needs. The BCS technique is easy to learn and can help with management decisions. This new 5-page fact sheet discusses reasons to measure BCS, ways to evaluate BCS, and important assessment times. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, August 2018.
This 6-page document provides a list of common hazards to consider in the manufacturing of cattle feeds. It discusses the importance of preventing hazards, methods of prevention, and common physical, biological, and chemical hazards. Written by Taylor Langford, Matthew Hersom, Luiz Ferraretto, Antonio Faciola, Chad Carr, and Jason Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2018.
Everyone likes a good bargain, but when it comes to hay, low price often equates to low nutritional value. Because hay is often sold on a large round-bale basis, savings from the good bargain can decrease substantially if there is a negative impact on the cow herd nutritional program. This 4-page fact sheet discusses intake limitations, energy limitations, protein limitations, examples of hay quality, and bad hay’s impact on cow body condition. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
Shrink in beef cattle is weight loss that occurs between an animal’s departure from one location and weigh-in at another. Shrink in beef calves constitutes a potential economic loss to both the seller and the buyer if it is not fully considered. This 3-page fact sheet discusses factors that affect shrink and the effects of shrink on calf price. Written by Matt Hersom, Todd Thrift, and Joel Yelich, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, December 2015.
A well-run, profitable business is usually more efficient than its competitors. In the case of the beef cattle industry, competition can come from two sources: other producers who sell similar classes of cattle, and other protein-producing species, such as pork and poultry. Measuring efficiency across the entire integrated beef system can be difficult due to the differing classes of cattle, breed differences, and ways in which the biological systems interact. There are a multitude of measures of efficiency in beef production, with feed efficiency being one of the most economic. This 3-page fact sheet is a major revision that covers feed to gain ratio and residual feed intake in beef cattle. Written by Travis D. Maddock, Darren D. Henry, and G. Cliff Lamb, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences. Original publication date: May 2009. Revised October 2015.
Body condition score (BCS) indicates how much fat a cow has on its body, which is an important factor in cow health and reproductive capacity. Growers can use BCS to understand and manage the health of a herd and maintain a profitable operation. This 6-page fact sheet explains how BCS is measured, what different scores mean, the economic impact of various scores, and how changing cow nutrition can move BCS in a desired direction. Written by Matt Hersom, Todd Thrift, and Joel Yelich, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, September 2015.
Getting cattle to put on a lot of muscle quickly is a crucial part of a beef cattle operation’s profitability. Growth promoting implants are one of the most cost-effective ways of increasing lean tissue in cattle and work by releasing hormones into the cow’s body that encourage muscle growth. This 4-page fact sheet explains implants’ mechanisms of action, how implants are administered and used, and concerns associated with implants. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, August 2015.
AN246, a 4-page illustrated fact sheet by Jorge R. Rey, is the Spanish language version of AN240: Florida Cracker Cattle. It describes this small to moderately-sized breed of cattle descended from the original cattle brought to Florida by the Spanish in the 1500s — history, breed characteristics, beef, organizations, and contacts. Published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, July 2010.