Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2019

Fly Control for Bison Buffalo Wallows (DE) Diatomaceous Earth and Bison   – Natural-world solutions to natural-world problems – Prepared by: Frasier Bison LLC There are many ways to approach fly control to the benefit of your herd. Most approaches are direct and broad spectrum, such as pyrethroid application. These products kill most, or all flying insects as well as others. It works very well if you are not concerned about a broad spectrum insect eradication.   Common Sense Caution: Bison are not cattle and have a double hair coat resulting in more hair follicle per square inch. Therefore; we … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Sept 2018

How Do ‘They’ Look?   There is a term in animal husbandry called ‘an eye’ or the ‘eye of the stockman’ in farming and ranching. The term simply refers to changes, or judgments of herd and animal health that are visible. I help many different types of folks from a wide range of backgrounds with their bison herds. I often ask, when questioned on a management calendar item, “How do they look?”  This is always part of the equation when taking care of any animal, but especially in the fall when caring for Bison.  They should be building up body … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2018

‘There’s Somethin’  Happening Here’   Please forgive my artistic flair and the all to often song reference, but fall is the time when we are caught off guard, and absolutely the time of year that is the most important to pay the ‘attention due’ to your herd-health and garner higher production as a result. Nutrition is a big part of that, but equally important is attention to parasitic build up in the herd. Things happen fast in build-up scenarios that occur in late summer and fall and can cause disease that decreases the ability of a bison herd to yield … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2018

  Breeding Season Awareness   In July and August, we need to focus on breeding season ‘awareness’.  April and May’s calves are conceived in August and September. The gestation period for bison is 270 days to 300 days with an average gestation of 285 days.  The southern plains will also likely continue the breeding season beyond September to late November and, in some cases, the first two weeks of December.  The late breeding results in late calves and that can be a problem when temperatures spike to historic highs like they have throughout the southern Great Plains region this year.  … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers June 2018

  Breeding’em Up   It’s Time to get down to the business of breeding’em up. It’s easy to become complacent about the breeding season when the grass is plenty and feeding chores are few. That being said, extra nutrition during the summer and fall can = higher conception rates and more calves next April/May.  The southern plains can also contain the reality of waning available nutrition from the grasses at the exact time the females need to be ‘on the gain’ to catalyze estrus. Caution: if you’re not calved out yet, be careful with excessive nutrition going to females in … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers May 2018

Stress Management   Stress management is the biggest issue for bison in the southern plains during the summer. It looks green and lush, but as the temperature rises and the ‘dog-days’ approach, we need to be mindful of the stressors that impact our shaggy guests. Heat stress can be self-managed by the bison if they have natural features available to cool. This is especially important for newborn calves. If the ambient temperature is 100 degrees, the ground surface can be much hotter. Dirt tanks, mud, and shade will be good natural features for ‘cooling stations’. I have found in regions … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers April 2018

Calves Are Comin’   They’re here!  It’s raining red-dots (again) and anyone blessed by the scene that does not find themselves smitten with the colors of the southern plains in spring, should consider having something checked. It is a brilliant combination of reds, purples, blues, browns and sable that only unfolds for folks raising native-grazers, as opposed to our neighbors in the exotic business raising Bos taurus & indicus’. Here’s the deal; all that beauty and ‘miraculous-ness’, brings with it realities that need the attention of conscientious stewards and ethical action, or the lack of action – ‘ethically’. Any and … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers March 2018

Get Ready – Get Set – Stop!   Bison are unique in that they are tended-wildlife in production models that require some management (and) they require some, ‘being left alone’. Some herds in the southern plains are still engaged in herd-works for good reason, but it’s time to wrap things up and give them the benefit of our absence for the calving season. One of the reasons for working this late is a clean spring green-up with regard to pasture deposits of internal parasite L3 Larvae. A good clean up this time of year can get your herd off to … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers February 2018

  Pasture Management   February in the south can be hard to set your planning calendar by. We can have lots of moisture cycle extremes and the best plan is to be ready for anything. Much of the drought-stricken areas have experienced relief, while some are still waiting. This reality can make it hard to know how to plan your AU’s (Animal Units) for the habitat/ farm/ ranch. Personally, I suggest to folks that you plan for what you have, intentionally under-stock, and keep track of that balance. The equation that will serve you well is; (Land first) /( bison … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Dec 2017

Funky Fall = Management Curve Ball   The southern plains can be lush and green this time of year for those that get busy in the fall with planting winter feed and providing a normally very happy November for their herds. I always say that the buffalo in the Dakotas surely must pace the fence this time of year and ask, ‘how are we supposed to get to Texas?’ Not this year! We missed all the rain with timing to yield winter grazing, and when it finally came – too late – the daylight hours were wrong for causing germination.  … Read more