Maintaining Proper Leg and Foot Structure in Your Herd Can Benefit Cattle's Longevity and ProductivityMon, 13 Mar 2017 12:15:56 CDT
It’s a trait that can be managed from a genetic standpoint, but is often overlooked says Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Dr. Bob Weaber about feet and leg structure in your cow herd. He told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently that this is a very important trait for you mama cows to have.
“We only have so much selection pressure that we can apply,” Weaber said. “And that selection pressure gets diluted the more traits that we try and include in our selection objectives and unfortunately sometimes some of the things that are really important fundamental things, maybe get overlooked a little bit.”
Part of the problem, he says, stems from the fact that many producers are not totally comfortable evaluating leg and foot structure, perhaps due to unfamiliarity with factors such as appropriate angulation, foot size and shape uniformity. Helping to solve this, Weaber points to selection index tools being developed that should be available in the near future to producers, much like what the dairy industry currently uses.
“I think long term what’s going to happen is maybe model a little bit after the dairy business,” he said. “We anticipate as we build these tools for feet and leg structure for the US beef herd, these tools will be eventually incorporated into the selection index.”
Listen to Hays speak with Dr. Weaber about the importance of leg and feet structure in your cow herd and what is being done to help producers maintain this in their herds, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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