Feed Lot

FEB 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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C old windy weather is hard on cattle, and bulls may suffer scrotal frostbite. This can lead to tempo- rary infertility and in severe cases permanent infertility, according to John P. Kastelic, DVM, PhD, Pro- fessor, Cattle Reproductive Health (Theriogenology) Department of Production Animal Health, Univer- sity of Calgary. "Factors that can lead to scrotal frostbite include not only cold tem- peratures and wind, but also lack of adequate bedding and dietary energy. Scrotal frostbite is most common in older bulls because they have a more pendulous scro- tum," he says. A windbreak is essential during winter storms, since wind chill g reatly increases risk for frostbite. Trees and brush serve as natural wind- breaks. "Where there's no natural shelter, the ideal m a n - m a d e w i n d b r e a k has 20% porosity (space between boards)." This slows down the wind but doesn't stop it completely; if you stop the wind it just blows over the top and down and there's less protected area behind the windbreak. "Inadequate bedding is another problem for bulls if they have to lie in snow or on frozen ground. Inad- equate dietary energy also predis- poses them to more cold stress," he says. Cattle need extra calories in 22 FEED•LOT  February 2018 Scrotal Frostbite Can Hinder Fertility COW/CALF CORNER By HEATHER SMITH THOMAS cold weather to generate body heat. Damage from scrotal frostbite can vary. "It's not the actual cold that causes the problem. Damage comes from subsequent inflamma- tion and heat in the tissues after the cold insult. After tissue freezes, the inflammation that follows is the problem," he says. Evidence of scrotal frostbite is scab formation, usually on the bot- tom and back of the scrotum. "Fer- tility problems depend on how extensive these lesions are. Fre- quently we see small scabs at the bottom and these may be of little or no consequence. There may be a short-term problem and it re- solves fairly quickly. Prognosis gets worse with larger lesions. Rule of thumb: if the scabby area is less than half the scrotum, there's a bet- ter prognosis," he explains. "The worst prognosis is when ad- hesions form between scrotum and testes. You can detect this condition by restraining the bull and palpating the testes, trying to force them high- er in the scrotum." If they are im- mobile, that's a serious problem. "If the testes don't move, or draw the scrotum up with them because of adhesions, there's little or nothing you can do to over- come this problem because those adhesions tend to be permanent," says Kastelic. Every bull should have a complete

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