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Animal Science: Today and Tomorrow

November 6, 2014

   Dr. Tom Troxel                                                                            Dr. Michael L. Looper

UA Equine Team Proves Talent

The Department of Animal Science’s horse judging team, proved their talent at a national competition on Oct. 15 in Columbus, Ohio.         “The All-American Quarter Horse Congress Collegiate Judging Contest was a big and important test for us,” Coach Casey Orr said, and his team rose to the occasion. The competition included halter, performance and reasons divisions. The team placed third overall, finishing only one point behind the first and second place teams, who were tied in points.

 

In a field of 14 teams, the team was first high team in performance, second high team in reasons and third high team in halter. “All of these team wins are propelled by the incredible individual performances the team had,” Orr said. In each division, the team had no less than two members finish in the top 10, and claimed the individual overall winner. The individual team accomplishments include:

 

  • Becca Schlote (Flippin, Ark.) was the high individual overall; finishing seventh in halter; second in performance; and sixth in reasons;
  • Mike Schultz (Stillwater, Okla.) first in reasons, third in halter, 12th in performance and placed seventh high overall individual;
  • Rylie Bevil (Calico Rock, Ark.) finished 18th in halter, fourth in performance, 12th in reasons and ranked fourth high overall out of 74 students;
  • Lauren Cheevers (Fayetteville, Ark.) placed 47th in halter, 32nd in performance, 26th in reasons and ranked 32nd overall; and
  • Travis Hefley (Fayetteville, Ark.) was 29th in halter, 55th in performance, 22nd in reasons and ranked 40th overall.

This is the first complete judging season for the team, and it was competing at a national level with some of the best teams in the country.  “I am proud of this team,” Orr said. “They earned this major win and proved that the University of Arkansas judging team is a strong contender.”

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 UA Equine Judging team: Coach Casey Orr, Rylie Bevil, Mike Schultz, Becca Schlote, Travis Hefley, and Lauren Cheevers placed third overall at All-American Quarter Horse Congress Collegiate Judging Contest in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Much attention is being paid to the higher cost of beef, yet sales data and market research show demand for beef remains strong. Beef continues to be a cornerstone of the retail meat case, it’s featured on almost every restaurant menu, and Americans continue to purchase beef, even at higher prices.  New BQA Guidelines

 

The following set of BQA Guidelines represents recommendations and is the collaborative efforts of veterinarians, animal scientists, cattle industry leaders, production managers and producers to put forward a consensus opinion for achieving optimal outcomes. It should be understood that several different applications and techniques exist for the performance of many of these procedures. This set of guidelines is not intended to be exclusive of any one specific technique over another. These guidelines focus on the animal and are aimed to satisfy scientifically valid and feasible approaches to meeting cattle health and welfare needs.

Castration of Cattle

Castration of beef cattle is performed in many production systems to reduce inter-animal aggression and injuries, improve human safety, and avoid the risk of unwanted pregnancies in the herd. Methods of castration used in beef cattle include surgical removal of the testes, ischemic methods, and crushing and disruption of the spermatic cord.

 

Where practical, cattle should be castrated before the age of three months, or at the first available handling opportunity beyond this age. The use of method(s) that promote the well-being and comfort of cattle should be encouraged. It is recommended that all animals not used for breeding purposes be castrated and allowed to heal before ever leaving their farm of origin.

 

Producers may seek guidance from a veterinarian on the availability and advisability of analgesia or anesthesia for castration of beef cattle, particularly in older animals. Operators performing castration of beef cattle should be trained and competent in the procedure used, and be able to recognize the signs of complications.

Dehorning of Cattle (including disbudding)

Cattle that are naturally horned are commonly dehorned in order to reduce animal injuries and improve human safety. The selection of polled cattle is an alternative for horn management.

 

Where practical, cattle should be dehorned while horn development is still at the horn bud stage, or at the first available handling opportunity beyond this age. This is because the procedure involves less tissue trauma.

 

Methods of dehorning (disbudding) at the horn bud stage include removal of the horn buds with a knife or dehorning spoon, thermal cautery of the horn buds, or the application of chemical paste to cauterize the horn buds.

 

Producers may seek guidance from a veterinarian on the availability and advisability of analgesia or anesthesia for dehorning of beef cattle, particularly in older animals, where horn development is more advanced. Operators performing dehorning of cattle should be trained and competent in the procedure, and be able to recognize the signs of complications.

Branding of Cattle

Branding, ear-tagging, ear-notching, tattooing, and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) are methods of identifying cattle. Hot iron or freeze branding may be the only practical method of permanently identifying cattle. If cattle are hot iron or freeze branded, it should be accomplished quickly, expertly and with the proper equipment. BQA guidelines recommend branding on the hip area.

 

Cattle should never be branded on the face or jaw. Operators performing hot iron or freeze branding procedures may seek the guidance of a veterinarian, and should be trained and competent in the procedure, and be able to recognize the signs of complications.

Tail Docking of Beef Cattle

Tail docking has been performed in beef cattle to prevent tail tip necrosis in confinement operations. Research shows that increasing space per animal and proper bedding are effective means in preventing tail tip necrosis. Therefore it is not recommended for producers to dock the tails of beef cattle.

 

For more information about cattle production, visit www.uaex.edu or www.arkansas-livestock.com or contact your county extension office.

 

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