Feed Lot

MAR 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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10 FEED•LOT  March 2018 MANAGEMENT By MICHAEL J. THOMAS T he additional moisture, freez- ing, and thawing of the winter season adds stress to most aspects of the cattle business. In central Idaho, the later part of January and early February brought abnormal day-time thawing, which resulted in more ice than we are accus- tomed to for that time of year. The additional ice brought problems ranging from poor footing on feed grounds/yards, poor traction for trucks and tractors, and excessive wear and tear on facilities and for- age processors. As winter gives up its grip and the pens and yards dry out, many of us begin to go over our facilities and equipment to find and repair problems brought on by harsh win- ter and spring conditions. The warmer weather will allow us to remove built-up manure from feed bunks and pens, and make it pos- sible to remove chaff, mud, and de- bris from hard to reach locations on forage processors, feed wagons, and trucks. As we clean up the fa- cilities and equipment, we can lo- cate and repair problems. Arlan Tobyne, who trains em- ployees for feedlots near Dodge City, Kansas, said, "Once things thaw out we go over the pens, bunks, tub, snake, and chute. You want to make sure there is not any metal rusted out, and that there is not any sharp points sticking out that might cut a calf or cow above the hoof. These injuries get ugly real quick. Most of the time they'll n e v e r g e t o v e r i t . I n a f e e d l o t they're in manure. You can give them antibiotics, but you can't keep them clean enough." It is important to check the chutes and facilities for cracks in the framework and grease or oil moving parts. This is not only to in- sure the safety of the cattle, but the operators as well. SPRINGTIME REPAIRS Winter Adds Stress to Cattle Feeding Facilities and Equipment A mud hole in the gate is dangerous to cattle and pen riders. It should be filled with materials that will withstand traffic when wet. Photo by Arlan Tobyne.

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