Monthly Archives: October 2013

Joint Injections in Equine

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There are many different opinions regarding the issue of equine joint injections. Some are against it and think its doing more harm than good. Others believe it’s completely safe and effective. I personally am undecided about the issue. I see both good and bad points as to whether people should inject their horse’s joints, coming from someone who has never done joint injections in a horse. If a horse does have problems within the joint and a vet can diagnose the lameness, I think the treatment of the condition is important to be taken care of. It is essential to give the horse better mobility, less pain, and reduce the swelling. As long as the treatment is done in a proper manner and whoever is administering the injection is well qualified for the procedure. Although injecting a horse’s joint can help a horse, it can also harm a horse. Sometimes when performing the injection it may not help the horse as desired. It can potentially cause infection and is something that will have to be repeatedly administrated that can be very costly. Joint injections can be very dangerous; the needle can get stuck in the horse, which can cause more serve damage to the horse. All in all I think that injecting a horse’s joint should be done very cautiously. I think that people should be aware of the outcome of the procedure. Having a well educated vet administrate the injection and do it, only if necessary is the safest way. Some get injections for prevention, but I believe the injections should only be used for critical injured horses and done properly. I also think if there are other ways to help strengthen horse’s joints, such as therapy, that it should be done before giving an injection.

Feedlots

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Feeding beef cattle has slightly declined over the years. Although major of feedlots have fewer than thousand head, those operations market eighteen percent of cattle fed each year. Since cattle feeding is a high-risk business, the scale of economies favor larger operations. This then requires less land for cattle feeding operations than for a cow-calf operation. Successful operations come with the proper planning and preparation. It is also very essential to have a feeding management plan and proper health program for the facility. The facilities themselves should be well managed and taken care of, to keep clean and functioning. It is also important to have some type of shelter, a shed and wind blocks, but most importantly should be designed for the number of cattle being fed. Also it would be sufficient to make use of the manure or to at least have a runoff. When purchasing feeder cattle, the price tends to fluctuate every season of the year. Cattle in better shape usually assigned a higher grade and therefore sell for a higher price per pound. It is always good to stay up-to-date on market conditions when purchasing feeder. The greater the health usually comes with an increase in price, as where thinner cattle require higher medical treatment, lower resale value, and higher death-loss rates. Establishing a health program is very important when running a cattle operation. Purchasing preconditioned calves are a good investment for the cattle feeder. They should all be properly vaccinated, preferably before they are moved to the feedlot. It is also wise to control or reduce parasites, which can be treated with the correct health program established. Another important factor is nutrition. The ration of the fed should depend on the type of cattle and the desired market grade. Increasing forages in the diet of feedlot cattle will in return increase the cost of weight gain when grain prices are low. The fed should provide a balanced diet, and reach desired endpoints for the market.

PolyFace Farming

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My roommate has influenced this blog. A few weeks ago she started to read a book about Polyface farming by Joel Salatin. This of course sparked my interest because I have never heard of such thing. So I googled and read up on this “Polyface farming” as well as Joel Salatin. I must say, that I very interested to read his book, as I hope you are too. Joel is a 56 year old full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He is a third generation sustainable farmer and he returned to the farm full-time in 1982 where he continued adding to his parents’ ideas. Joel earned a bachelor’s degree in English and he writes in magazines such as STOCKMAN GRASS FARMER, ACRES USA, and FOODSHED, making him a well known writer. Their farm services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing. Their family has done everything they can to make their farm sustainable and eco friendly. They encourage others join them and teach others ways of farming to make it the most beneficial to the environment and for the animals. I think it’s so cool that they are able to make living and be successful doing so, but that’s not even what’s important to them. They are more concerned with producing the best products they can without being considered and industry. I think more people should be enlightened by Joel Salatin and his family. Anyone can do it, and he says you don’t have to have land; it can all start with simple things, such as a garden. I hope to have more to blog about once I have read the book and I encourage others to read it as well.

Blizzard in October…?

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As I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, an article caught my attention….a Blizzard in October. I clicked on the link and after reading it I was devastated. In western rural areas of South Dakota this past weekend, they suffered a dramatic blizzard. Ten of thousands of cattle died from the blizzard that swept through the state Friday. Not only is it a multi-million dollar impact to the state, but with the government partial shutdown and the Congress failing to pass the farm bill, the farmers and ranchers of South Dakota are at a complete and total loss. Timing couldn’t be any worse for this early October blizzard. Many of them are used to the harsh storms during the winter, but they were unprepared for the catastrophic storm as were the cattle unprepared as well, with no winter coat to protect them from the freezing wind and snow. With this being one of the hardest hit storms reporting twenty to fifty percent of rancher’s herds being killed. It worries me that since the government is in partial shutdown, what are they farmers and ranchers to do now? The government has programs to help those who suffer losses from weather, but those programs are ineffective since the farm bill failed to pass. Those in need have lots of questions and concerns, but who are going to answer those questions with the shutdown down employees being “furloughed?” Even if they are repaid for their loss, twenty percent of their herd being gone, it will take years for them to re-establish from that. All they can do now is record and document everything that they have lost in hopes that in the future they will receive the help to rebuild. As they continue on with their lives, looking for cattle that have blown miles away, unbury ones they lost, and depose of the carcasses of the cattle, I will pray for them and that they receive any amount of help they can get. Agricultural and cattle are too big in this world for something like this to go unnoticed.

Ozark Farm Neighbor Talk

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In my public relations class this past week I had to privilege of listening to Lynzee Glass, the managing editor of the Ozark Farm Neighbor Newspaper speak to us. She shared with us statics and struggles they are under gone with their Newspaper over the past few years. With fifty-eight thousands readers throughout their viewing area, they were looking into using social media to increase that number of readers. The forms of social media that the Ozark Farm Neighbor Newspaper are currently using are directly with their Newspaper and they have more actively started using Twitter and Facebook to help expand their name and capture more readers. The newspaper also wanted to a target younger audience and using social media is the greatest way to do so. With most of their readers being males between the ages of thirty-five and sixty-four, cow-calf operators managing an average 329 acres Ozark Farm Neighbor was looking to broaden their reader horizon. Therefore they looked to social media to help them. With Lynzee Glass’s help they have been able to join and be more active within the social media network gain a more diverse demographics of readers. It’s one thing to have social media, but one the struggles businesses face is using that social media to their advantage. Updating and posting pictures and likes is a must. Having the most update information and using the most popular technology out that targets the younger audience the Ozark Farm Neighbor Newspaper is looking for. Adding to their business they have gained more followers on Twitter and Facebook as well as more likes throughout their posts. With their paper only going out every two weeks, they are able to publish and post more current information. The paper still caters to the already established readers by still publishing their usual paper, they are only adding to the readers and expanding their name.