Skip to main content

The Cattle Connection 2023

Backyard Beef: A guide to small-scale feeding

As the desire for locally grown, niche marketed beef grows, many people are considering feeding cattle for personal consumptions or local sale. Here are some things to consider before you get into finishing beef cattle: Raising your own beef will not guarantee that it will be less expensive than the grocery store. Costs include purchasing the animal, feed, medicine, bedding, harvest or slaughter expenses, labor, and others. Homegrown beef has the potential to be profitable in a well-managed...
Read more

Stages of parturition

Calving season in Illinois offers an array of uncontrollable challenges such as cold, windy weather and mud. However, being knowledgeable and prepared during calving season is completely controllable and is one of the most important preparations. Understanding the three stages of parturition will help you know how and when to assist during difficult labor situations. Stage 1: Dilation of the Cervix Generally, this stage will go unnoticed and can take anywhere from 2 to 24...
Read more

Calving season tips

  Calving season is here! Breeding decisions made the previous year are finally coming to life and are showcased through newborn calves. Although there are year-round management strategies that can impact calving season success, here are some short-term, in-the-moment calving tips for success this year: Prepare a calving kit. The last thing you want to be is unprepared during calving season. Having all calving equipment clean, ready to use during calving season will prevent last minute...
Read more

Too Late for Frost Seeding?

The first week of March is traditionally when many in central and northern Illinois are frost seeding clover. However, this year has brought a dry, mild winter and the grass as even started to green up. It feels like spring, and the plants feel it too. The question has come up quite a bit in the last two weeks, "Is it too late to frost seed or overseed clover?" My reply is… it depends. I think it is important that farmers planning to over-seed in the coming weeks realize that there are some...
Read more