New App Helps Producers Identify and Reduce Lameness in Beef CattleThu, 19 Mar 2015 15:51:40 CDT
In partnership with Zinpro, the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University has recently released the Step-Up mobile application. It's a new educational training tool for identifying and managing beef cattle lameness that can be downloaded to your smartphone or to your tablet. BCI Director and veterinarian Dr. Dan Thomson said cattle lameness costs producers significantly every year and this app has a lot to offer producers to help them get around those problems.
"First of all it has pictures and it has language to show producers what different lameness is and how it presents itself," Thomson said. "Whether its an environmental lameness like foot rot or toe abscess, if it's a nutritional deal such laminitis from soluble carbohydrate intake or if it infectious, we can take a look at how it presents itself. So it really gives the producer and veterinarian a tool to look at different lameness and then match up what's going on in their operation with the pictures and videos as far as the locomotion scoring and the severity of the lameness and then helps them make a diagnosis."
Radio Oklahoma Farm Director Ron Hays featured Thomson on the Beef Buzz program. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to today's program.
Thomson believes this app can helpful to anyone interested in maintaining the health of your beef cattle herd. He said the target audience is veterinarians, producers and extension educators in helping them make a diagnosis. With today's cattle prices, Thomson said the treatment costs or having a second set of eyes on your cattle is inexpensive relative to cost of losing an animal or losing the production of 20 animals.
The Step-Up app provides convenient access to a wealth of educational information available from the Step-Up Lameness Management Program, including:
Research from the BCI was the foundation for the program, Thomson said. K-State graduate student Dr. Shane Terrell worked with Thomson and Chris Reinhardt, K-State Research and Extension feedlot specialist by conducting surveys of feedlot managers, veterinarians and nutritionists across the United States and Canada.
"Our group developed the lameness scoring system and validated the consistency of the scoring through research in a field setting," Thomson said. "We then went to the field to help develop the video training tools to support feedlot producers and packers to consistently score lameness issues in our industry."
This modern technology looks to train a wide audience. Thomson said this project aims to result in fewer reported cases of lameness in beef cattle. With this tool available to producers, he said producers will be able to improve the health and welfare of their animals, which in turn improves their profitability.
The Step Up App is available in the iTunes or Google Play stores.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also 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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