I was going to write something myself on stress, but then I came across this post Mom wrote on the main Stockmanship.com website. I can’t improve on it, so will just put the link here and encourage you to read it all:
I have come to the conclusion that most livestock don’t feel safe in their home pastures, no matter where they live, which is why, when Bud moved them,they were convinced that the place he left them was safe and the place they wanted to be. The increase in production and the decrease in illness bolsters my feelings on this. The fact that it makes the stock easier to handle and utilize your pastures better is frosting on the cake. Bud felt that the modern way of moving animals with feed has created neurotic cows that instead of the cow taking stress off of her calf, actually puts stress on it. Read the rest here.
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We attended the 2014 Grassfed Exchange conference in Columbia, MO Wednesday through Friday. What an excellent line-up of farm tours on Wednesday and speakers on Thursday and Friday! Here’s some photos from the farm tours.
Greg Judy telling the crowd what we would see at his farm tour.
Since we will be teaching a session at the 2014 Eco-Farm conference on placing cattle in large paddocks, we wanted to get some video to show. We needed to find someone with a large herd of cattle, large paddocks, and horses to get the best video. Special thanks to Wally and Doris Olson of Vinita, Oklahoma for letting us come over and play with their heifers! Here’s some photos of Richard and Wally driving the heifers and placing them so we could get video to show at our session.
As those of you who attended a Bud Williams Stockmanship School know, Bud didn’t like to give any sort of a “recipe” for handling cattle. However, here are three “steps” and several very important notes to keep in mind when you receive new animals or wean your own.
When your ratio of money, feed, and cattle changes, you need to adjust your management to meet that change. Thursday afternoon a fire took out about 15 acres (out of 80 acres) of our pasture and browse.
Because we are in a severe drought with no signs of letting up (though it might rain today!), that meant we needed to adjust the other two values in our equation. This morning we loaded up 5 cows/calves and hauled them to the auction. We will continue to haul animals to the auction BEFORE we run out of feed and/or money. We can always buy more cattle when it starts to rain again (and it will . . . someday . . .), but we won’t spend ourselves out of feed or money just to try and keep some cattle around.
The gather, sort, and load just took 32 minutes of low-stress (on us and the cattle) stockmanship.
Richard and I stopped by the Brown Ranch near Bismarck, ND to visit with Paul Brown on our way home from the Baker, MT school. We met Paul when he attended our school in Arcola, SK last August. He’s also setting us up with a two day stockmanship school in Bismarck November 16-17.
This book by Walt Davis is the irreverent and sometimes humorous effort of a multi generation rancher to help people keep from making all of the mistakes that he made in fifty + years of ranching. It is drawn from real life though some names are changed or not given to protect the guilty.
Buy your copy at http://waltdavisranch.com/books