Diagnostic Tests and Organic/Alternative Livestock 

A veterinarian examines a calf with a farmer.

Attention to animal health is important when raising livestock. On organic and alternative farms, it may be even more critical.  Due to the limited use of antibiotics and often smaller size, disease introduction and spread can be especially damaging. One tool you can use to help monitor and maintain the health of your livestock is … Read more

Heritage Livestock Breeds – Why are they important?

Jacob sheep graze on green pastures on a sunny day.

Heritage breeds developed over generations and reflect the rich history of livestock. Heritage breeds were bred to keep traits that helped them to adapt to their environment, farming practices, and purpose. Some heritage breeds are currently threatened and facing extinction.  Genetic Traits  Today, heritage livestock breeds today retain many traits that allow them to survive … Read more

Building a Strong Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) for Organic/Alternative Livestock Farmers

Farmer and veterinarian look at iPad while cows watch in the background, peaking through headlocks.

It is important to prioritize the health and welfare of your animals, no matter how you raise your livestock.  Organic and alternative livestock farmers can face unique challenges in preventing illness and keeping their animals healthy. Establishing a VCPR  with a local Vet is a great place to start. This week’s blog post will discuss … Read more

Heat Stress and Livestock

Orange tractors mists water over a group of beef cows in a green pasture.

As many farms across the U.S. are dealing with high temperatures, keeping your livestock cool and comfortable can be challenging. Especially during the hot summer months, it is important to keep your livestock comfortable to prevent stress, decrease the risk of disease, and maximize production.  High temperatures require strong management and planning. Monitor weather forecasts … Read more

Organic Pasture Management

Beef cows graze on lush green grass in the morning sun.

For organic and alternative farmers, grazing animals is a large part of their feed program. Pasture is convenient and allows for diversified grazing of lands that may not be useful for raising crops. It is important to carefully manage your pastures to prevent overgrazing, soil depletion, and health problems. With proper care, your pastures can … Read more

Disease prevention plan template for organic/alternative farms

Photo of Step 3 disease prevention plan template

The Livestock Project has put together a user-friendly disease prevention plan template for organic and alternative farms and ranches. This template can be customized to fit your farm and your goals! Disease preventions actions are needed daily to help ensure the health of your livestock and poultry. These same actions can also help prevent zoonotic … Read more

Self-Assessment Disease Prevention Checklist for organic and alternative farms

Photo of Step 2 disease prevention checklist

The Livestock Project has created a   Self-Assessment Disease Prevention Checklist for use on organic or alternative livestock and poultry farms. This easy to use checklist can help point out your strengths as well as areas for improvement This short checklist can be printed and filled out, or filled in online and saved. If you participate … Read more

Movement risks checklist for organic and alternative livestock

Photo of Step 1 movement risk checklist

Items moving on and off your farm or ranch can bring disease. Recognizing movement risks can help you prevent them. The Livestock Project has created a Step 1: Movement risks checklist that can help you recognize and think about the types of movements that happen on your operation. In addition, the checklist can help you … Read more

Animal health monitoring on organic and alternative farms

Pig and piglets in a field

Practicing good animal husbandry helps your herd or flock stay healthy and happy. To do this, we need to train ourselves to monitor the health of our animals. Animal health monitoring involves keeping a close eye on your livestock for signs of illness to catch problems early and prevent minor dilemmas from becoming significant issues. … Read more