Doc’s Blog

A Quantum Leap?

     On our recent trip to Missouri, we stopped to look at some friend’s ‘new’ 1936 Buick sedan — a beautiful automobile.  It has an inline 8 cylinder reciprocating engine, using gasoline as fuel. It rides on pneumatic, air inflated rubber tires. It is stylishly aerodynamic. The doors have a solid thunk when closing.  All in all, it truly a classic car. 

     As I stood there admiring the vintage Buick, I glanced over at   my 2015 Toyota Sienna. I realized even with a technological span of 80 years. there were more similarities than differences between the two.

     My Toyota has a V-6 reciprocating engine with gasoline as fuel. It has air-inflated rubber tires.  The brakes, suspension, and steering mechanism are similar.  There have been many improvements and innovation over the 80 years— but no quantum leap in automotive technology.


     In contrast, I call your attention to the Dick Tracy comic strip — written by Chester Gould and first published in 1931.  In 1946, the author added  some innovative technology to the detective’s armamentarium — the 2-Way Wrist Radio.   This fictional device became the defining icon of the comic strip and may have inspired the smart watches and smart phones in common use today.  Truly a quantum leap in electronic technology.

     Some folks claim GMO and GE technology is a quantum leap in agricultural science and I guess they are right.  Seems to me, though, it’s a quantum leap in reverse. The false technology does nothing to  relieve world hunger — as it was touted to do —  and has added million of pounds of toxic pesticides to the environment. It has replaced good healthy food with toxic ‘frankenfood’ that looks like food but has lower nutritive value.  

Colostrum Revisited

     Most cow-calf producers are aware of the importance of colostrum to the immediate health and immunity of newborn calves.  

     Colostrum does more than just help prevent disease in young calves.  There is now evidence colostrum has a long-term impact on health—and the effects persist well into the productive years.  Colostrum transfer is one of the best indicators of how your calves will perform as they reach maturity.

     In addition to the immune factors in colostrum, research indicates there are also concentrated hormones present which influence feed and reproductive efficiency, gain, appetite and how the animal perceives stress long-term.


      Calves that experience scours or respiratory disease at a young age rarely reach their full genetic potential and do not do well as calves or adults. When calves are treated for early respiratory disease before three months of age, they are more likely to die at an early age and to have more calving problems later in life.  As adult’s both males and females exhibit lower reproductive performance. Then too, the use of antibiotics has deleterious long-term effects on feed efficiency. 

Bottom line:  Savvy herdsman know that calves sick at an early age —even if they respond well to treatment—never catch up and should be culled from the herd as soon as feasible and not considered as prospective future replacement. 

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