United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

. (page 53 of 56)
Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 53 of 56)
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should be fed at blood temperature, say 98 to 100 F., and a thermom-
eter should be used in ascertaining the temperature. The feeding-
pail should be kept scrupulously clean by scalding once a day, a pre-
caution often neglected.

Scouring, the bane of calf rearing, usually indicates indigestion, and ,
is brought 011 by overfeeding, irregular feeding, giving the feed too
cold, or the animal getting chilled or wet. Prevention of disease by
rational feeding and systematic good care is far better than poor care
and unskillful feeding, followed by attention and solicitude in giving
medicines. To check indigestion we have found the use of a table-
spoonfnl of liinewater in each feed very satisfactory. Successful man-
agement of the calf lies at the veryJfbundation of the stock business,
and calls for regularity of attendance, discerning at once all the little
wants of the animal, and a generous disposition to supply every need
as soon as apparent.

FEED AND CARE OF YOUNG STOCK.

With well -bred calves, thrifty and sleek coated, the foundation of a
good herd is laid. Though the subject will be discussed more fully
later on, it is well to remind the reader at this point that gain is never
so cheaply made as with the calf, and that for financial reasons if no
other it should be pushed ahead as rapidly as possible. Our table of
feeding stuffs shows that milk contains a large amount of protein or
muscle-making food, and it also contains a large amount of ash for build-
ing* up bone. From the composition of milk, nature's food for the
young animal, we get a hint at the formation of rations for young ani-
mals. Pasture grass has a nutritive ratio by the table of 1 : 4 . 9, so that
it is also high in muscle elements. But nature put a large amount of
fat in cow's milk, and calves reared on full milk show a very consider-
able development of fat. They should not grow poorer after wean ing-
time, but the first fat, as the stockman calls it, should be kept on all
representatives of the beef breeds, whether intended for breeding pur-
poses or for beef. This can be accomplished with oil meal and corn : a
little oats will do no harm. Counteract the tendency of the grain foods
to making a rigid dry flesh, by using roots or silage, which, combined
with grain, make the animal growthy while keeping it plenty fat. For
roughage use cornstalks, clover or alfalfa hay. The dairy calf should
never be allowed to become as fat as those intended for beef, yet this
does not mean that it should be the sorry representative that we often
find it. Very little corn should be used in its ration, and the propor-
tion of oil meal stinted, while oats should form a larger part of the
ration. This, with silage or roots and plenty of roughage in winter
and pasture in summer, will give animals of the desired quality. Calves,
like colts, pass through a period of growth when they are not particu-

THE FEEDING' AND MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE. 455

larly attractive, nor do they need very close attention at this time;
yet the watchful eye of the master should note the development from
day to day and see that all the wants are fully supplied.

STEER FEEDING PASTURES.

There are two theories in regard to the proper time of turning steers
to pasture, each of which seems based on good reasons. That gener-
ally advocated by agricultural writers is to keep the stock in the barn
and yard on the same food as given during the winter mouths until the
pasture^ arc well along and able to furnish an abundance of nutritious
grass. Often when stock are turned on such pastures the ration of the
feeding stable is cut off at once. The other system is to turn to pasture
just as the grass begins to shoot, when the sparse blades are watery
and furnish very little nutriment. The lack of food in the pasture
forces the stock to rely mainly on what is obtained in the stable to sat-
isfy hunger. The first grass is washy and has little nutriment, but has
its effect on the digestive system and gradually prepares the animal for
the change from grain to pasture. It is a fact that stock often shrink
badly when changed from stable to pasture, and I suspect the practice
of early turning to grass, at the same time keeping up heavy stable
feeding, is better than holding the cattle longer and then turning at
once to full pastures. If stock is turned to pasture early, and in any
event, let food in abundance be offered them at the stable. It is trouble-
some to bring them back to the barn each night, yet it is little atten-
tions like these that pay.

The question of large or small pastures is one frequently discussed.
I believe the majority of experienced American feeders are in favor of
single ranges rather than numerous small pasture lots. The grasses,
both in variety and quality, are never quit<? the same all over a large
pasture, and cattle soon learn to detect the little differences and satisfy
their like for variety by ranging from one sort of feed to the other.
The habit of the herd in large pastures becomes very regular; they
will be found in the morning on this side in the valley, a little later
o\, i on the hillside, while at noon they are resting at still a third point.
Continuity of habit in grazing and feeding conduces to comfort and
quiet, and are of great importance to profitable returns. Where the
i ires arc cut up into several lots of course the fresh bite which
(nines with changing from one lot to another is tempting, but this leads
to irregularity and unrest.

GAINS OF 8TKKKS OK PASTURE.

I'i of. Morrow, of the Illinois Kxperimont Station, has made some inter-
e-ting studies on this point. He reports the gain per head of steers
maintained wholly on pasture during the season from May 1 to Novem-
ber 1 to be as follows:

456 DISEASES OF CATTLE.

Yearlings.

Pounds.

4 head of steers showed an average gain of 332

10 head of steers showed an average gain of 285

2 head of steers showed an average gain of 440

Tiro-ycar-olds.

Pounds.

7 head of steers showed an average gain of 466

8 head of steers showed an average gain of 384

4 head of steers showed an average gain of 406

I think these figures are very satisfactory, and probably up to the
average which can be attained on good pastures by grade steers in fair
flesh when turned to pasture. Xo doubt animals in thin flesh when
turned to pasture will show larger gains. An interesting phase of the
same question is the amount of gain made by steers from an acre of pas-
ture land. In different trials Prof. Morrow obtained returns of 240. 200,
and 138 pounds of increase live weight per acre from steers on pasture.
The average of these gains shows that when beef brings a reasonable
price such pastures have- a value of something like $100 per acre. FEEDING GRAIN TO STEERS ON PASTURE. J. B. Gillett, Illinois's great stock-feeder of the last generation, used to say that he could not afford to fatten steers in winter. His cattle were mostly summer and fall fed, getting their grain from boxes in the pasture fields. Unfortunately we have little accurate data at command to show the value of grain feeding on pastures. Prof. Morrow has made several trials, but the results so far do not seem to confirm the state- ments of Gillett and others. Prof. Morrow sums up the experience at the Illinois Station as follows : The results from two years' trial indicate that a grain ration to young steers on good pastures is not usually profitahle. The value of the increase in weight by the grain-fed steers over those having grass only will hardly repay the cost of food and labor. The increased value of the animals from earlier maturity and better quality may make grain feeding profitable. While his results to date do not show very favorably for grain feed- ing on good pasture not overstocked, he strongly advocates the addi- tion of grain or other feed before grass fails in the fall. INDIAN CORN FOR STEER FEEDING. Corn is the great fattening food of America, and no other grain is so cheaply raised or equals it in the economical production of wholesome meat. Our stockmen long ago learned this facj:, and have used corn so exclusively that not always the most economical results have been obtained. With the almost continual plethora of grain careless habits have been acquired in handling the crop, some of which will cost much to unlearn. The roughage of the corn crop, the stalk portion, has been largely wasted through ignorance of its real value and how it should THE FEEDING AND MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE. 457 be fed to stock. Dr. Armsby lias uiadfe some very careful studies of the corn plant, and some of his results are given in Tables IV and V. Table IV shows the proportion of ears to stover. By stover is meant all of the dried corn plant less the ear, or practically shock corn with the ears removed. TABI.K IV. Showing the actual weights of ear corn and storer at four experiment stations. Name of experiment station. Ears. Stover. Pound*. 4.774 Pound*. 4,041 4. 210 4,300 Wisconsin 4.941 4.490 3,727 2 4(R) 4 415 3 638 We see that nearly half of the weight of a corn crop is in the stalk, husk, leaf, and top. In Table V is given the digestible portions of the ear and stover. TABI.K V. Showing the yield of digestible matter in pounds per acre. Constituents. Ears. Stover. Total crop. I' rot <-iii (inrliiiling amides) J'uvndt. 244 Puvndf. 83 Pound*. 327 ( 'artxili \<l ratcx 2 301 1 473 3 774 125 22 147 ToUl > 670 1 578 4 248 This table shows that of the digestible matter in an acre of corn 2,670 pounds are in the ears and 1,578 pounds are in the stover or cornstalks. ( )n many farms the stover is almost wholly wasted, or at least but poorly saved and carelessly fed. Can the farmers of the Mississippi Valley nuirli longer afford to waste 37 per cent of this great crop after they have gone to the expense of producing it? Of course I do not hold that all the cornstalks produced in a corn crop can be fed to fattening steers, for this would mean the consumption of too much roughage in proportion to grain. But there are always on the farm horses, cows, and young things that can well be maintained on the surplus stover of the (Mm crop. That farm which can hot utilize all of the cornstalks pro- timed Hhould change its management. I <lo not think the heavy corn-feeding commonly practiced at the \\rst nearly so wasteful as many have thought. The corn is fed with a prodigal hand, but this does not necessarily mean a heavy loss when the cost of material and the economical conditions under which it is often fed are all duly considered. But now that the price of beef is lower and the price of land and corn rising, it is time for a careful study of the problem in order to save as much as possible. Corn may 458 DISEASES OF CATTLE. be fed to a steer as the only grain for a couple of months, with excellent returns, even without grinding or shelling, providing the grain is not too hard or the ears too large and good shotes follow the steers to utilize the waste corn in the droppings. But steers can not be fully fattened on corn alone with profit, for the concentrated grain soon burns out the digestive tract and the steer comes to make poor use of his food. Whole corn may be fed early in the period, but generally, and always later on, it should be crushed or ground into meal. I think crushed corn or coarsely ground meal will be found preferable to that which is finely ground. In all cases where much meal is fed care is needed lest the animal get oif feed. Some oil meal or bran should be fed to lighten the ration, starting with 1 pound of oil meal and gradually increasing the amount until, toward the close of the period, as much as 5 pounds may be fed. In the same manner from 2 to 8 pounds of bran may be fed. The effect of oil meal is to give good handling qualities and a fine, glossy coat of hair, besides affording much real nutriment. Bran is likewise cooling and lightens the heavy corn very materially. Boots or silage have much the same effect. I know objections will be raised that if all feeders were to use oil meal there would not be enough to go round, but why be solicitous when in 1800 we shipped$8,000,000 worth
of oil meal to the feeders of the Old World ?

With the grain there must always be fed coarse feeds in order to
properly distend the rumen, and nothing is better for this purpose than
good corn stover. Most stockmen know how satisfactory shocked corn
is for steers. That portion of the stover not needed for the steers
should be given to other farm stock.

BALANCED RATIONS.

Iii order to show what sort of a ration a steer should receive if fed
according to the German standard, two rations are here presented
which conform fairly near to the requirements. The first is one which
may well be used in the corn belt where corn is cheap and oil meal
close at hand. The second presents more variety, and has silage and
cotton-seed meal for two of its constituents.

TABLK VI. Showing rations for fattening steers.
KATIOX XO. I.

Character of rations.

Organic
matter.

Digestible

Protein.

Carbohy-
drates.

Ether
extract.

Required by standard ..

27.0

2.50

15.00

.50

Corn fodder. 8 pounds

4.41
1.57
12.31
3.41

.22
.13
.98
1.13

2.36

.70
8.88
1.29

.08
.03
.55

.28

Clover hay, 2 pounds

Corn (maize), 14 pounds

Oil meal, o. p., 4 pounds
Total

21.69

2.46

13.23 j .94

THE FEEDING AND MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE.

459

TAHLK VI. Showing rations for fattening steers Continued.
RATIOX NO. II.

Character of rations.

Organic

matter.

Digestible-

Protein.

Carbohy-
drates'.

Ether
extract.

5.85
4.29
8.24
8.M

!.':>

36
.08
1.26
.26
.74

3.54

2.W
4.41
L 1 . IT.
.36

.18
.04
.29
.11

. -5

Total

23. 41

2.70

1-J.iij

.88

In botli tables there is less organic matter than called for by the
standard, but this is not important. The carbohydrates are less than
the standard, but this lack is nearly made up by the excess of ether ex-
tract or fat.

SILAGE FOR STEER FEEDING.

The llritish farmer leads the world in the perfection of farm stock,
and while this may not be altogether due to his system of feeding, yet
that must be a large factor. Under the English system farm animals
do not go for any long period on dry food. The cattle go to pasture
early and remain late, and when in the stable or yard still have succu-
lent feed in the shape of roots. How different the American system,
where our cattle are on pasture a few months in summer and then
return to the stable and yard to subsist on dry food of limited variety
for nearly six months! It may not pay. in many cases for farmers to
grow roots for stock, but wo have a means of providing a cheap sub-
stitute for turnips and mangolds in corn silage. I do not at this time
wish to discus^ tin- relative merits of silage and roots, but rather to
pi i -ad tor more general introduction of the silo with those farmers who
do not lake kindly to root culture. The wonderful development of
mat liinei y for planting and cultivating corn enables the farmer to pro-
duce a large amount of excellent feed with very little labor. If by
some means the juicy, tender stalks can be carried over to winter we
have a very fair substitute in cheap form for the root crop, and this is
accomplished by the silo, which gives us at a very small cost u succu-
lent food, palatable to horses, cattle, and sheep.

The use of silage came through dairymen, and to this day the steer-
feed IT . . i n;s to hold that silage is only suitable for dairy cows and too
sloppy and sour for beef-making. Gradually the prejudice is breaking
away and Wef-iuakers as well as butter-makers are beginning to appre-

I he silo.
SILAGE COMPARED WITH ROOTS FOR STEER- FEEDING.

Tin- -K at silage material is Indian corn. In the corn belt from 10 to
L'(> tuns of green fodder may be raised on an acre of fertile land. If
we put the average crop at 15 tons as it goes into the silo, it will feed

460

DISEASES OF CATTLE.

out 12 or 13 tons. AVhen corn is planted to yield the material above
stated the stalks stand thin enough to produce a good many ears, or
nubbins. To show the value of corn silage for steer-feeding I present
the results just published by Prof. Shaw, of the Ontario Agricultural
College, where six grade Shorthorn steers were fed in three groups of
two each.

To Group 1 was fed all the steers would eat of corn silage, with about
12 pounds of corn meal.

To Group II were fed 30 pounds of silage per day, about 12 of meal,
and all the cut hay the steers would eat.

To Group III were fed 45 pounds of sliced roots, and about 12 pounds
of meal, with all the cut hay they would eat. The hay was timothy
and clover, the roots turnips and mangolds, and the meal consisted of
equal weights of ground pease, barley, and oats. The hay was chaffed
and the food mixed at the time of feeding and given in three feeds per
day.

The food actually consumed per animal per day was as follows :

Group I.

( 57.47 pounds silage.

( 11.72 pounds meal.

(30.6 pounds silage.
Group II < 11.13 pounds meal.

' 9.3 pounds hay.

{ 43.07 pounds roots.
Group III ^11.12 pounds meal.

' 11.22 pounds hay.

The following table shoAvs the results of the trial, beginning Decem-
ber 1, 1890, and lasting 146 days.

TABLK VII. Showing results of steer-feeding trials at Ontario Agricultural College.

Group I.

(2 steers.)

Group II.
(2 steers.)

Group III.
(2 steers.)

Pound*.
2 789 00

Pounds.
2735 00

Pounds.
2672 00

555 00

448 00

537 00

277 00

224.00

268 00

1 90

1 53

1 84

Prof. Shaw places the following value on the feeds :

Oats 24 cents per bushel.

Peas 47 cents per bushel.

Barley 38 cents per bushel.

Sliced roots 8 cents per bushel.

Cut hay $5. 00 per ton. Com silage 1 . 75 per ton. Six cents per bushel allowed for grinding grain. THE FEEDING AND MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE. The financial results are presented in the following table: TABLE VIII. Shoving financial results. 461 Value of animals and cost of feed. Group I. Group II. Group III. Valiif of two steers in beginning fill. 56$109. 40

$106 88 1 '~t .it' I'ci'll 42.92 41.45 51.75 6 08 6 08 6 08 183.93 175. 10 17; .'.:( 13.14 13.14 13 14 Total value . 197 07 188 24 189 G7 Gain 38.51 31.31 24.90 22.70 20 00 15 20 At the commencement the steers were valued at 4 cents per pound, live weight, and were worth 5 cents per pound at the close. It will be seen that the heaviest gain per day was made by the steers receiv- ing silage, and further that they returned the best per cent on the investment; the root-fed steers gave the poorest returns of the three groups. At this station we have fed silage to steers with most excellent results. In one trial four 2 and 3-year old steers were fed corn silage alone and made a gain of 222 pounds in thirty six days, or 1 pounds per day. It required 3,558 pounds of silage to make 100 pounds of gain. Four steers from the same lot were fed silage with a mixture of coi a and bran, when it was found that 654 pounds of corn silage with 394 pounds of corn and 180 of bran produced 100 pounds of gain. Four shotes running with the steers were fed only 02 pounds of corn to make a gain of 100 pounds, showing that they must have received most of their food from the droppings. Let the feeder place any reasonable value he may choose on the silage in these two trials and he will see that we produced 100 pounds of gain at a very small cost. The objec- tion to our experiment is that the steers were only fed silage forty three days, the first week not being counted, but further feeding with a heavy grain ration and hay showed that the gains from the silage were well held \\ln-n the animals were placed on dry feed. This brings me to the point I desire to make in favor of silage for steer feeding. AH with roots, silage makes the carcass watery and soft to the touch. Some have considered this a disadvantage, but in it not a desirable condition in the fattening steer! Corn and roughage produce a hard, dry carcass, and corn burns out the digestive track in t lie shortest possible time. With silage and roots digestion certainly inu.Nt be more nearly normal and its profitable action longer continued. The tissues of the body are juicy and the whole system must be in, just that condition which permits rapid fattening. While believing in a large use of silage in the preliminary stages and its continuance during most of the fattening period, I would recommend that gradually more dry food be substituted as the period advances, in order that the flesh 462 DISEASES OF CATTLE. may become more solid. Used iii this way I believe silage will become an important aid in steer feeding in many sections of the country. Results from Canada, Wisconsin, and Texas, given in this chapter, show the broa'tl adaptation of this food for stock-feeding purposes. BEEF-MAKING AT THE SOUTH. Few realize the possibilities of beef production over a large portion of the South. For centuries the study there has been toward cotton production, which demands scrupulously clean culture ; grass has been despised and considered a pest, but now it has overrun some of the old plantations, and while restoring the soil to something like its former fertility, is giving good annual yields of nutritious food for cattle. Many a cotton plantation can be made to return in Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, or Japan clover an amount of feed that would surprise even a northern stockman. Equally important with the growth of grasses is the enormous production of cotton seed, which furnishes a most nutritious feed. For every pound of cotton fiber there are about 2 pounds of cotton seed. A ton of cotton seed yields about 35 gallons of oil and 750 pounds of cotton-seed meal, besides nearly a thousand pounds of cotton-seed hulls. The cotton seed itself, when boiled, and the cotton- seed meal are valuable stock foods, and recently even the hulls have been found to possess considerable feeding value, proving a very good substitute for hay. The following table shows results obtained by Prof. Gulley in feeding cotton-seed nieal at the experiment station. TABLE IX. Showing feed consumed for 100 pounds gain in weight at the Texas Experi- ment Station. Ifo.cf steers. Daya of experi- ment. Average weight at beginning. Cottom seed, raw. Cotton seed. cooked. Cotton- seed hulls. Cotton meal. 6 90 90 90 90 90 90 79 79 79 Pounds. 755 737 780 713 785 725 C71 662 636 Pounds. Pounds. 417 Pounds. Pounds. 4 217 228 259 178 247 154 3 561 759 724 579 365 4 4 ... g 10 9 194 3 147 X<>. of steers. Corn in ear. Corn and cob meal. Silage. Hay. Cost per 100 pounds gain. 6 Pounds. Pound*. Pounds. 1,230 1,676 595 Pounds. 218$2. 70
3.83
3.71
3.72
4.09
4.1;!
2.72
- 2.67
3.86

4

3

4

-

4

212

8

261

10 ...

630

411

9 ....-

219
519

167
254

3

THE FEEDING AND MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE. 463

The values placed on the food articles in this table are as follows:

Cotton seed, raw or cooked per ton . . \$7. 00

Cotton-seed bulls v do 3. 00

Cotton-seed meal , do 20. 00

Corn and cob meal per bushel.. .40

Mixed hay per ton . . 6. 00

These gains are very satisfactory, and I doubt if in any other section
of the United States a pound of beef can be produced at so low a cost
for food as is here given.

FOOD REQUIRED FOR MAKING A POUND OF BEEF.

Our experiment stations are helping in the matter of determining the
amount of food required to produce a pound of beef, and the results
are proving most interesting reading. In the following table is sum-
marized the amount of food required to produce 100 pounds of gain,
live weight, with calves and steers at different ages. It will bear care-
ful study.

464

DISEASES OF CATTLE.

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Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 53 of 56)