The dog-days of mid summer are a critical time for maintaining good nutrition and health in the cowherd. Twig Marston, extension cow-calf specialist at Kansas State University, offers some tips for assuring good nutrition over the coming weeks.
- Check and maintain summer water supplies. Provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
- Provide free-choice mineral to correct any mineral deficiencies or imbalances.
- Monitor grazing conditions and rotate pastures if possible and/or practical.
- Consider early weaning if drought conditions develop and persist.
- Consider creep feeding if cost effective.
If you plan to use ammoniated wheat straw for winter feeding, keep the following in mind:
- The best time to ammoniate is immediately after harvest, before the weather deteriorates.
- The ammoniation process is temperature sensitive. Fastest during hot days.
- Apply 3 percent anhydrous ammonia – 60 pounds per ton of straw.
- Do not ammoniate wheat hay or any other intermediate or high-quality forage. Production of imidazole can cause cattle hyperactivity and death.
- Ammoniation will double crude protein intake, and be cost effective.
- Monitor and treat infectious keratitis (pink eye) cases.
- Provide fly control. Consider all the options. Price and efficiency will dictate the best options to use.
- Monitor and treat foot rot cases.
- Avoid handling and transporting cattle during the hottest part of the day to reduce heat stress.
- Vaccinate replacement heifers for brucellosis at four to 10 months of age.