Calving workshops are slated for next week

HETTINGER -- A workshop on different aspects of calving is available at two locations in the state early this month. The first event is slated for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, Dec. 3, at the Gladstone Inn in Jamestown. The second is at 10 a.m. (MDT...

HETTINGER -- A workshop on different aspects of calving is available at two locations in the state early this month.

The first event is slated for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, Dec. 3, at the Gladstone Inn in Jamestown. The second is at 10 a.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center in Hettinger.

The workshops' theme is "Fast Out of the Gate," which coordinator and workshop speaker Dr. Charles Stoltenow said should help producers get a quick start on the 2008 calving season.

"We want to help them by giving them ideas like increasing nutrition now and just getting a game plan going," Stoltenow said. "You need to start making changes now with what you feed cows and how you will do that. We want to help them understand things better and recognize what they can handle or when they need to call a veterinarian or bring an animal in."

Stoltenow is the NDSU Extension veterinarian and is a recognized authority on infectious disease and veterinary preventive medicine.


The literature on the workshops states the intent is to educate cattle producers on a number of primary areas including, "preparing heifers and cows nutritionally for the calving and rebreeding seasons, recognizing dystocia (difficult calving), determining if involving a veterinarian is necessary and understanding how trichomoniasis can affect herds in the upcoming breeding season.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease in cattle which isn't a particular problem during calving season, but when starting the breeding season following calving, it is something producers should be aware of, Stoltenow said.

"It causes infertility and a low conception rate in cattle," he added.

Stoltenow and others have been preparing for this workshop since May. The workshops' locations were chosen for one main reason.

"We wanted to spread out among places in cattle country regionally," Stoltenow said. "We wanted places that offer the most availability for producers that weren't 30 miles apart, but strategically located."

While planning for the workshops, the goal is to see what the extension could do to help producers better prepare for calving and what experts should talk to them about.

"One speaker is Dr. Robert Mortimer who is a real expert," Stoltenow said. "He's spoken all over this country about calving."

Mortimer is a board-certified animal reproductive expert at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He is a widely recognized expert in bovine reproduction and obstetrics who has been to the state before to talk about reproduction and calving. He typically travels to three or four states a year for different programs.


"My topic for these workshops is about decision making relative to calving management," he said. "We spend a great deal of time getting calves on the ground, but the process of decision making while calving falls short in terms of realizing the full potential."

Examples of falling short in the decision making process includes when to assist in helping a cow give birth and how to assist, he added.

"I want to talk to them about how to optimize a producer's results at the assistance level, such as the establishment of pre-determined protocols in terms of observation time and the guidelines for intervention," Mortimer said. "I want to help them establish a plan of success using the appropriate methods of intervention and knowing when they need to call for help."

An alternative method of birth delivery for cattle that Mortimer talks about is the Utrecht method which was born in the Netherlands.

"Many producers have only learned the traditional German method of delivery and there are problems with it," Mortimer said. "We have found there are opportunities to save calves which the German method overlooks in terms of things like direction of pull and rotation, when to use rotation and that."

NDSU Extension beef specialist Dr. Greg Lardy is the third speaker at the workshops. His presentation is on nutrition management prior to calving.

"Newer data shows the impact of nutrition on cows and calves, especially how well the calf does and how it performs later in life with the right management," Lardy said.

Lardy looks into the best nutrition management for producers and uses data from a University of Nebraska study.


The bottom line with the workshop for Stoltenow is to see what can best benefit the producer, especially with the shortage of large animal veterinarians in the state.

"Maybe we can be of some assistance in training ranchers on what they need a veterinarian for if they're hard to get a hold of," Stoltenow said. "That training can come in handy when they really need it. It (also) will help in the decision making process."

Awareness of these and new testing procedures also are highlighted at the workshops.

The pre-registration time has passed, but producers may still sign up today and at the door. The cost is $40. For more information call Julie Kramlich in Hettinger at 701-567-2735, or Tom Olson in Jamestown at 701-252-2735.

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