fescue foot and other pics

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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Red Robin
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fescue foot and other pics

Post by Red Robin » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:17 pm

Here's some pictures of a couple cows stricken with fescue foot. It's a nasty condition that has a severe effect on the cow and manifests itself in a very sore , swollen, and twisted back right foot. The cow goes downhill in a hurry. I had all but eliminated it but I started fertilizing in the fall and spring to increase seed production. I had 3 cases last year and got the calf out of one of them. They've all mended up enough to hit the sale barn soon.
Swollen back right pasturn
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same cow from the back (it's not foot rot)
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different cow, notice the ulcer and twisted toe
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New bull
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Here's our second fall in 6 mos. We had full blown leaf out on our trees after a couple months of mild weather then a couple weeks ago we got down real cold for 3 or 4 nights with a low reported by some of 15f. It burned all the grass back and killed all the leaves on the trees along with the acorns, walnuts and of course the orchards.
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rain leaving tonight at dark
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Post by Tap » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:31 pm

The feet don't look so good, but the bull sure does RR.

You have a pretty country to live in. Pretty green, pretty productive, etc....
8)
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Red Robin
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Post by Red Robin » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:34 pm

Thanks tap. Fescue is the "best of times and the worst of times"
I figured that bull was your kind.
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Post by elwapo » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:52 pm

thats my kind of bull red robin!
I really like the looks of that grass. What is in it that causes that foot problem?

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Post by Jinglebob » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:58 pm

Nice bull.

The foot reminds me of founder, in horses. could it be caused by too much rich feed from the grass?

Can you cull these cows and eventually get cows that this won't happen too, or is it more like foot rot?
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Red Robin
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Post by Red Robin » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:36 am

Thanks elwapo. Jinglebob, the fescue foot is caused by an endophyte in the fescue. Cows coming off of some other type grass don't do very well. Along with the foot trouble (which is an extreme case) almost all the cows run a low grade fever , especially this time of year. My cows have a tolerance built up but I have changed my management to the fescue and am fertilizing more which makes the grass more toxic. This bunch will adjust to my new management through culling but it'll take a little while. It lowers breed back percentages, increases abortions, lowers milk production and lowers weaning weights. Fescue is very productive though and I make enough money off of the seed production to put up with some troubles in the cow herd. It's kind of embarrassing when some one comes by though to show them a bunch of hard looking cows tanked up in the ponds standing in dark green grass with fuzzy babies on them. :lol:

Here's an article about it. Our variety, like most here in the fescue belt, is Ky 31 .


Performance, forage utilization, and ergovaline consumption by beef cows grazing endophyte fungus-infected tall fescue, endophyte fungus-free tall fescue, or orchardgrass pastures
C. W. Peters, K. N. Grigsby, C. G. Aldrich, J. A. Paterson, R. J. Lipsey, M. S. Kerley and G. B. Garner
Department of Animal Science, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.

Two 120-d trials (May to September, 1988 and 1989) determined the effects of grazing tall fescue (two varieties) or orchardgrass on forage intake and performance by beef cows. Each summer, 48 cow-calf pairs grazed endophyte-infected Kentucky-31 tall fescue (KY-31), endophyte-free Mozark tall fescue (MOZARK), or Hallmark orchardgrass (OG) pastures (16 pairs/treatment). Forage OM intakes and digestibilities were determined during June and August each year. Cow and calf BW and milk production were determined every 28 d. During June of both years, OM intakes did not differ (P greater than .10) among treatments. During August of 1988, intakes were 18% lower (P less than .05) by KY-31 cows (1.6% of BW) than by MOZARK or OG cows (average 1.95% of BW); however, no differences (P greater than .10) were measured in August of 1989. Estimates of ergovaline consumption during June from KY-31 were between 4.2 (1988) and 6.0 mg/d (1989), whereas August estimates were between 1.1 (1988) and 2.8 mg/d (1989). Ergovaline in MOZARK estrusa was below detection limits, except in August of 1989. Cows that grazed KY-31 lost three times (P less than .01) more BW than cows that grazed MOZARK or OG (42 vs 9 and 13 kg, respectively). Milk production by KY-31 cows was 25% lower (P less than .01) than that by cows that grazed MOZARK or OG (6.0 vs average of 8.0 kg/d). Similarly, slower (P less than .01) calf gains were noted for KY-31 than for MOZARK or OG (.72 vs .89 and .88 kg/d, respectively). Cows grazing KY-31 experienced accelerated BW loss and reduced milk production and weaned lighter calves than did cows grazing MOZARK or OG. Decreased performance was not explained by consistently reduced forage intakes; hence, altered nutrient utilization was suspected.
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Post by Mike » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:53 am

Bull looks good. Fescue foot is ugly.

Most of the KY 31 fescue around here has been replaced now. State had a program that paid half of the renovating several years ago. Fescue does not work at all down here in the heat.

You should try some Dallisgrass, it grows good in the same soil as fescue.
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Post by Red Robin » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:59 am

Here's a heifer calf out of 3m's mother and another bull of mine in the front. TTB and Lazy Aces Dakota Copper sired the calf in the back. The Dakota Copper is a last of Jan. Calf and the front calf is a Dec. calf.
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Mike I'd like to switch for the sake of the cows but the fescue seed makes me more money per acre than cows and then I get to run cows on it after I seed and hay it. Any other grass would be better though if it was a strait cattle production deal. I've heard of Dallas grass but I don't know of any around here. Sounds interesting though.
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Post by Mrs.Greg » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:55 am

Nice and interesting pics RR.Like your bull.The foot looks sore and alot like founder in horses,will this animal fight this all his life now?Often horses will.

The trees,will they still produce after the frost like that? Your grass is soooo tall and green.

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Post by jkvikefan » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:25 pm

Does the cow have a ring like that on all 4 feet? This is called a hardship ring.
I trim feet on cows ,for a living, and it looks to me like she had a metabolic disturbance or a high fever about 6-7 months ago. She should grow out of this, but it will take another 6 months or so. The end of the toe will break off as it grows closer to the tip of the foot.

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Post by txag » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:34 pm

Good looking bull & calves, RR. Is that your house up on the hill in the background?

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Post by cert » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:45 pm

Hey RR, Have you used their Dakota Copper on 3M daughters?
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