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We use AI extensively in our herd and can boast some outstanding conception rates. I like to tinker with my protocols, too, and am now pretty certain that there is a higher incidence of twinning associated with one of my protocols. For several years, all of my cases of twins have resulted from that one protocol… high pregnancy rates but lots of twins.

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From year to year, I will hear of producers having more sets of twins than usual. Most of the time, the higher twinning rate can be attributed to better nutrition during the preceding breeding season. Recently, I heard of a producer who claims to have fixed his twinning problem — he quit feeding minerals. It is often the least apparent losses that cost us the most! Sure, there is an obvious upside to twins - you get two calves to sell or you are able to cross-foster calves onto cows that have lost their calves; here is why I am so cynical.

Twin pregnancies are at a much greater risk of abortion and dystocia and very often, one or both twins can have contracted tendons or other congenital anomalies. Twins left on their mother, if she takes them both, are probably equivalent to 1. Not many of us have.

Have you ever figured out what it will cost you to raise a calf on milk replacer, not to mention your labour? Maybe you can buy a dairy cow to feed the extra calves but most vets will tell you not to do this, because the risk of bringing in a new disease is just too great. The beef business has changed a great deal in the last few years. Small producers like me have off-farm jobs and large producers have to keep more cattle. Either way cows need to calve on their own!

Spring 2011, Issue 26

Plain and simple as that! Breeds that require most of the calves to be born by C-Section or tend to have high maintenance calves are not viable in the main stream. I think this is also. As a purebred producer, I will admit that a nice pair of twin bulls or heifers is a bonus, if they are healthy and you can raise them right but this is the exception not the norm. Mixed twins are a real pain! So, around our place a set of twins is more of a cause for grumbling rather than celebration and I am pretty sure there are others that share the same view.

Class 1, Split 1 1. Jones Cattle Co. Laurent Charron. We are also pleased to announce that our Limousin Bull Test Station will have a new home in September.

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Details to come. We would like to congratulate Richard Potvin who had a successful dispersal. We hope to see you at our annual field day. The field day will be August Not only will we attend the National Limousin show at the Royal but farm visits will also be included. Please confirm your participation with Laurent Charron as soon as possible.

You may request a copy by contacting the Quebec fieldman or the CLA office. While travelling to numerous events and consulting with bull buyers, the message is clear from commercial producers. Docility, muscling and ribeye size should be the breeding focus of Limousin breeders as we move forward.

Laurent Charron, Fieldman Continuons dans la bonne direction. Laurent Charron, propagandiste Quyon Bull Sale.

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Sur la photo M. High Selling Yearling Bull. Lot 39 - N. Slope Poll X-Ponent sired by N. March 17, Feed accounts for 65 to 80 percent of total beefproduction costs. With grain prices growing, finding a way to lower those costs is important to cattle producers. Feed-management practices go only so far, however. A more promising tool for cattle producers is genetic selection for improved feed efficiency. One measure of feed efficiency is residual feed intake RFI , which is the difference between actual and expected feed intakes. It is the net value if any that remains after an animal meets its requirements for maintenance and growth.

When cattle consume less feed than expected, they have a negative RFI value, which indicates better-than-average feed efficiency. Selection for reduced RFI in growing animals should reduce feed costs for beef cattle in all stages of life, including the cow herd. The day test showed that the Limousin steers had a dry matter intake of Compare that to the dry matter intake of What does this mean financially?

While cattle rustling has been around for as long as cattlemen have been ranching, when it actually happens, it can take any cowboy by surprise. The Jensens turn out some of their cattle to graze on rented private pasture every spring, just as they did in May of , but when they rounded up their cattle that fall, four head were missing.

Eventually, the brand inspector phoned us and the two calves ended up in the Spiritwood Auction Mart on Oct. The calves were not sold that day at auction and were returned to the Jensens. The suspect was turned into the RCMP, along with the evidence the brand inspectors collected.

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But the mother cows of the two calves were still missing, temporarily. The brand inspectors, they did a great job. They were out talking to neighbours and we had a good description of the cows. We had good yellow dangle tags in them, and I knew the description of the cows and they were noticeable, so I could pass them on. They were just in the ditch running up and down the side roads. Anderson and Wasden were assisted in their investigation by district supervisor Ron Sabin, out of North Battleford. However, the Jensens were very upset to learn that tag tampering charges would not be going forward.

And I was madder than hell, so I asked her who had contacted her and she told me and I phoned him. Bob says he spoke to Dwayne Galambos, who works in Saskatoon within enforcement investigation services for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. However, she said that like the Jensens, she was personally disappointed as well.

However, the extra financial burden has been a heavy cross to bear, during the seven-year slump in the cattle industry after BSE was discovered in In calving season, ranchers have to invest heavily in vaccinations, medications, vet bills and now, tags for every new calf born. After a tough winter during a hay shortage and high feed costs, spring can be a tough go for any cow-calf operation. Robertson says cattle theft happens more often than most people would think. Earlier this week, it was learned that 20 pair went missing from a Bottrel, Alberta ranch sometime in October.

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  7. If cattle prices continue to rise, thieves may be more likely to attempt to rustle. I am really surprised at how prevalent it cattle theft is. Robertson says Saskatchewan relied heavily on its brand inspectors to catch acts of theft — more so than its provincial neighbour to the west. The Jensens say they have seen CFIA inspectors out in the field performing inspections at community pastures, checking to make sure that every animal has a RFID tag before being turned out to graze. Bob believes that since ranchers are doing their part to make the system work, the CFIA must work with cattlemen, not against them, by prosecuting those who have deliberately done wrong and by not focusing on the average rancher who may have forgotten to tag an old cow or two.

    Bob estimates that 25 per cent of cattle will lose their tags over their lifetime, based on what he has observed. When a tag is lost, ranchers are required to report the number associated with the lost tag to the CCIA to retire it, and to report the number of the new replacement tag to ensure traceability.

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    And, he says like most ranchers, he has adhered to the new policies for the good of the industry. He says he recently had to re-tag two full-grown bulls because both had torn out their RFID tags. But yet, I had to do that, I did my part. What would be the point? Bull sales are fun…it has been a long time since we have had bull sales with as much action as this spring. I had forgotten just how much fun it is to be a part of this industry when times are good.

    This spring, both the purebred breeder selling bulls and the commercial breeders buying them are smiling. For good reason, purebred breeders have been selling more bulls for more money. Finally getting some payback for all of their extra effort and expense involved in producing bulls and commercial breeders are willing to give more; with proof in the sale ring that their reward is there, not just promises that things will get better. We have definitely entered unprecedented times, strong cattle prices coupled with strong grain prices and a high Canadian dollar. It is definitely refreshing to see primary producers having a reason to smile.

    We are starting to see things happening that many people said would never happen again. Abandoned cow yards getting restocked with cattle and grain farmers, as well as other investors, calling and wanting to put money into beef cows. Just the other night when I went to town to vote, I had a neighbor who farms about seven thousand acres, two horses and a dog, tell me he was considering adding a herd of two hundred and fifty cows to his operation.

    Just as breeders need to be diligent in the quality of bulls they supply, commercial breeders and yearling grass producers need to be conscientious of females that are turned out with a bull, to supply the demand for our product. For now, get cows and calves out to green grass, turn out those new herd sires and enjoy beauty of spring.

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    Spring is a time of promise and not since have cattle headed out in spring with so much promise. Purebred breeders need to keep their knife in a handy spot so they will not forget where they put it. Sparrow Farm s Ltd. Cell: E-mail: irl telusplanet. Davis-Rairdan International P.