Keep records on each bunch of cattle. These records will be useful in helping you provide the most practical and economical program for the next group of incoming cattle. Develop a program that fits your operation and area. Post mortem examinations are worthwhile in ascertaining problems. The results should be considered for future health and management programs. The following are general guidelines that should be helpful to you in deciding how to handle newly purchased feeder cattle. Considerations before purchase 1.
Disease and parasite problems are more apt to occur, and with greater severity, in calves under 400 pounds.
. Bunching of cattle from several groups is conducive to the introduction and spread of diseases and parasites. 3. Preconditioned calves usually are less likely to develop disease. 4. If possible, secure a history of vaccinations and other pertinent information on cattle that are to be purchased. 5. Avoid purchasing sick calves or those exposed to sick cattle. Reducing stress from shipment 1. If there is any doubt about the health of cattle, take the body temperature prior to loading.
It is more economical to treat feverish cattle and to delay shipment. 2. Insist hat cattle are assembled and held for shipment for the shortest period of time possible. 3. Avoid overcrowding cattle during hauling. Overcrowding creates excitement, slipping and falling. Calves weighing 500 pounds should have approximately 8 square feet of floor space each. 4. Trucks that have wooden floors should be bedded with sand, or straw and sand, to help prevent slipping and falling. Straw should be used in trucks that have aluminum floors in order to absorb excess moisture. . Don’t use electric prods. Handle cattle as gently as possible when loading and unloading. Any excitement is stressful. . Buyers should insist that cattle be trucked from point of origin to feed yard in the shortest time practical. Two drivers on long hauls has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality after arrival at feedlot. Managing new arrivals 1. Thoroughly clean and repair lot and equipment for new cattle. Repair fences and fill mud holes. Remove wire, stones and other objects. These measures should reduce foot injuries and foot rot problems. . Provide unloading facilities and chutes so cattle are handled with least amount of stress. Chutes should be no more than 24 inches in width for cattle up to 1,000 pounds. Avoid frequent handling or movement of cattle until they have recovered from stress of shipment. 3. A small lot cleaned feed and water containers should be available. The lot should have a squeeze gate or some method to restrain animals for examination and treatment. 4. Keep animals from different sources separated as much as possible.
New arrivals should be penned apart from cattle already in the lot and kept from drinking the same water or eating from the same bunk. 5. Observe cattle frequently and ata distance before animals are aroused. 6. Watch for cattle that fail to eat, appear tired r show other signs of illness. 7. Take sick animals to sick pen for diagnosis and possible treatment by or upon advice ofa veterinarian. 8. Take body temperatures. Treat cattle with temperatures over 103. 5 degrees F. A temperature elevation is often the first sign of sickness.
Electronic thermometers are now available that will give an accurate body temperature within 1 5 seconds or less. Livestock temperatures can be taken without holding up processing. Medication 1. Consult veterinarian for vaccination program. 2. Most feedlot operators and backgrounders revaccinate incoming cattle even hough the cattle have been previously vaccinated. In most cases this practice appears to be economically beneficial and is worth the additional disease prevention. 3. In practice, preconditioning may not be as good as it sounds. This practice is not without its critics.
The practice of weaning calves three to four weeks before shipment and feeding them a preconditioning ration was not economical for either the cow-calf producer or the cattle feeder in a summary of 20 experiments, according to Dr. Andy Cole, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bushland, Texas. In feeding tudies, calves were weaned and fed a concentrate diet for 30 days prior to weaning, as compared to leaving them on the cow without feed. Preconditioned calves tended to have poorer feed efficiencies in the feedlot in comparison to the control group.
Recent studies at Iowa State University indicated that in general, preconditioning by cow-calf producers was not profitable for either the cow-calf producer or the cattle feeder. An alternative program to preconditioning that could be economical for both the cow-calf producer and the cattle feeder would be leaving the calf on the cow and imit feeding 1 to 3 pounds of creep feed per head daily for the last 30 to 60 days before shipping, according to Cole. Calves should be castrated and dehorned. The use of high-energy feeds both prior to shipping and on arrival for animals under 400 pounds seems to be consistently beneficial. . The use of antibiotics before shipment has not proved to be consistently beneficial.
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Care of Newly Purchased Feeder Cattle. (2018, Oct 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/care-of-newly-purchased-feeder-cattle-essay