Dr. Patrick McCue, DVM and Dr. Ryan Ferris, DVM just released their second book on real clinical cases they've treated in the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory on iTunes. I had the pleasure of compiling the book and editing the videos.
Just like the first book in the series, this book has built-in interactivity that allows the reader to view videos, tables, charts and photos, define words in the book, connect to outside resources, make study cards, highlight text, and make notes.
Volume 2 is comprised of 25 clinical cases: seven in the non-pregnant mare, three in the pregnant mare, two in the foaling mare, three in the postpartum mare, five in foals and five in the stallion. The book is geared towards the practicing veterinarian, student, and horse owner. It provides invaluable information on specific cases, how they were diagnosed and treated, and their final outcome.
The eBook is available on iTunes for $9.99 and includes a free preview chapter.
Pinterest may be well known as a digital scrap book, but it can be used for more than collecting your favorite photos into categories. It's also a great platform for saving pictures, diagrams, infographics, and links to important livestock health topics. While I didn't originate this idea, I have created many boards focused on livestock health that you can follow individually or as a whole set here. The information on these boards are pinned from a wide variety of websites created by veterinarians, farmers, ranchers, extension offices associated with universities, and reputable trade publications.
While none of the articles, tips, and advice should be used as a substitute for consulting with your veterinarian, they can give you a great education in basic animal husbandry practices, health precautions, disease risks, as well as proper care and management of livestock.
Every course I've had in equine science at Colorado State University has exposed me to a wealth of topics that I might not have otherwise known about. This includes equine reproduction, which on the surface seems pretty straight forward, but the interplay of biological factors and living animals is far from ordinary and involves a lot of memorizing and understanding normal physiology.
Last fall I had the opportunity to begin working with Dr. Patrick McCue and Dr. Ryan Ferris from Colorado State University's Equine Reproduction Laboratory on the production of an eBook on equine reproduction case studies. They supplied all the materials, the chapters, photos, and raw video footage and I began editing the videos and compiling the book in the iAuthor program. Besides honing my production skills, I learned a lot about disease states that can interfere with normal reproduction, how the veterinarians diagnose the cases, and the methods they employ to increase fertility, manage disease, find mares who will accept orphan foals, and a variety of fascinating cases that they handle on a daily basis.
As a student, I appreciate the eBook platform where I can not only read about a case, but also see photographs, videos narrated by an equine reproduction specialist, and be directed to other research on the specific topic. It truly is a living textbook.
The eBook was completed at the end of August and uploaded onto iTunes and includes a sample chapter for free download. I've started work on compiling a second volume of all new cases for Dr. McCue and Dr. Ferris and I'm grateful to be learning even more about equine reproduction.
This year’s 10th anniversary Legends of Ranching Performance Horse saleincluded a futurity and maturity demonstration on Friday night. Four consignors were invited to show horses in the demonstration, which included dry work and cattle work. Dr. Denniston, the horse-judging instructor and judging team coach, narrated each horse’s run, which highlighted their exceptional qualities.
Horses that are sold during this year’s sale will be eligible to compete in next year’s inaugural futurity and maturity event during the 11thannual legends of ranching sale.
During the preview on Saturday morning, aged horses did dry work and worked cattle. The consigned colts were ridden in the arena by their student trainers, giving potential buyers a chance to see them in action before the one o’clock sale start time.
The fast-paced auction took just over two hours to sell approximately 50 horses.
The top selling aged horse, Docs Tequila Snort, consigned by Singleton Ranches went for $16,000. Dyllan Freeburg, who was also the winner of last week’s Wagonhound Land and Livestock student competition, trained the top selling colt SCR Peptos Parton who sold for $14,000, and was consigned by Spur Cross Ranch. (See all the sale results on the Equine Sciences website).
Colorado State University students participated in two livestock competitions this past weekend. The Little National Western, put on by the CSU Block and Bridle Livestock club, allowed students with no showing experience to advanced showers to train and compete with cattle, sheep, and hogs with a winner in each category and overall grand and reserve champions (see video).
The Wagonhound Land and Livestock student competition allowed students in the colt training class to show their horses in two classes to win prizes and scholarships. The student with the most combined points from the salesmanship and riding competitions won a custom trophy saddle (see video). It is also a chance for prospective buyers to preview the colts ahead of the Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale on April, 25.
The Legends of Ranching sale will have a preview of horses in the sale at 9:00 a.m. in the B.W. Pickett arena, off Overland Trail Drive. The sale starts at 1:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and has free admission and free parking.
Over the last 145 years, the Colorado State University campus has changed as new land was acquired, new majors were added, and new buildings were built to house today’s diverse research driven campus. One thing that spans the continuum is the university’s focus on agriculture with soil and crop sciences and animal husbandry, known today as animal sciences.
Take a short tour of the parts of the CSU campus that are part of our agricultural past and present from the time of Colorado Agricultural College under the original land grant, through when the university’s name changed to Colorado A&M, and now as CSU. The tour includes on-campus locations as well as two parts of animal sciences off-campus facilities, the equine center and the agricultural research development and education center.
Watch video coverage of Colorado State University's Seedstock Merchandising Team's 39th Annual Bull Sale. The students chose yearling Hereford and Angus bulls and heifers from the CSU to prep and fit for their sale.
When people walk into the meat section in any market, many have an expectation of finding fresh, affordable, lean red meat. Cattle producers go through many steps to bring the final product from farm-to-table.
The starting point is in selection of purebred animals by the seedstock producers. Advances in understanding heritability of specific traits through genetic selection have allowed producers to select for desirable traits such as ease of calving and growth rates after a calf is weaned from it’s mother.
Colorado State University has it’s own purebred Angus and Herford herds that students on the Seedstock Merchandising Team directly select yearling bulls and heifers from each year to sell at their annual production sale held the fourth Saturday in March.
Dr. Shane Bedwell, animal science instructor and livestock judging coach at CSU, recently took his livestock practicum class to CSU’s agricultural resource development education campus. This used to be known as the CSU farm, which has moved from being on-campus where Morgan Library now sits in the early Colorado Agricultural College days, to a near-campus location, and finally in the 1990s north of town.
The ARDEC campus houses soil and crop sciences as well as cattle, sheep and swine herds. One thing the campus allows researchers and students to study is feeding efficiency, the conversion of pounds of food into pounds of muscle in cattle through residual feed intake studies.
Low RFI numbers tells producers that an animal has high efficiency, eating less than expected, but still gaining weight. Bulls and heifers with low RFI’s have more value at auction because they may pass these genetic components on to their offspring although it is also important to understand there are 25 gene markers that explain feed efficiency.
“A one percent reduction in feed intake would account for more than $100 million in annual savings in production costs in Colorado alone,” said Dr. Bedwell.
ARDEC uses Grow Safe technology to measure actual feed intake for each animal instead of calculating an average consumption for a pen of animals based on the pounds of feed put out in the feeding bunk. The RFI bunks are filled with a certain number of pounds of feed. Each animal is fitted with a radio frequency identification tag. The system tracks when the animal feeds, how much it eats at each feeding, how long it eats at the bunk, and the data is transmitted automatically to a computer spreadsheet in real time.
At the university level, this helps researchers develop rations to optimize nutrition and it supplies data for RFI on specific animals, which in turn helps with selection for breeding higher value seedstock sold to commercial producers, and ultimately the quality of the product that the consumer buys in the store, although that encompasses many more steps than can be covered here.
Cattle that feed from a traditional bunk have estimated feed intake numbers based on pounds of feed divided by number of animals in the pen. This doesn't tell producers if the cattle are truly efficient or if they are more aggressive at the bunk. Photo credit: Dixie Crowe.
The equipment is expensive and the process is more labor intensive than traditional feeding since the feed bunks must be filled two-to-three times a day. Only seven to eight universities have this system. CSU is unique in that it allows producers to test their cattle at their facility. This not only adds value to the cattle for the seedstock producer, but also adds important information to purebred cattle associations’ databases. It also adds value to student education in animal sciences.
Saturday, March 28 was Colorado State’s 39th annual bull sale. It’s a long-standing tradition and for more than a decade, it has provided a hands-on learning experience for members the CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team, which is the only team of its kind in the U.S.
According to the sale catalog, the team has had an impact on over 100 students including past team members, many who are now leaders in the beef industry.
Current team member Jessica Spear, a junior double majoring in animal science and agricultural business, said she transferred to CSU because of the Seedstock Team.
Students take an introductory class in seedstock merchandising in the fall term and then interview to be selected for the team. This year’s team of eight students spent the last six months selecting and developing a set of yearling bulls and heifers produced from the registered Angus and Hereford seedstock herd at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center north of town.
They halter-broke and showed a pen of Herford bulls and heifers at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, which included clipping and grooming them. The attended the Colorado Cattlemen’s Midwinter conference and went on a road trip to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Working with Dr. Ahola, animal science associate professor in beef production systems, the students served as committee chairs to gather the genetic and pedigree data for each animal, write promotional material, groom the bulls for a photo shoot, and prepare the sale catalog. Each student furthered their leadership skills in their area of interest while working as a team to produce this year’s sale.
There were 30 yearling Angus and Hereford bulls as well as 20 yearling commercial heifers t sold on Saturday. Next year's sale will be held on the fourth Saturday in March.
Watch videos of the CSU Seedstock Team bulls here.
Read coverage from last year's sale here.
My enthusiasm for science is at the heart of all the multimedia materials I write and produce. My goal is be a resource distilling the latest science into information to help livestock producers make the best health and nutrition choices for their animals. I work as a freelance journalist, video editor, and I blog about my livestock experiences in Colorado.