Is Your Herd Health Program Up to Snuff? BI's Craig Jones Offers Tips on Prepping for Fall CalvingMon, 20 Aug 2018 10:24:38 CDT
In January of 2017, the livestock pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim completed its acquisition of Merial, and the combined companies now offer a robust portfolio of herd health products for their farm and ranch customers with everything from vaccines for preventative medicine, dewormers and even some antibiotics. Dr. Craig Jones is the director of professional cattle services for BI and spoke recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about how his company can help beef producers manage their herd’s health as we transition from summer into the fall calving season.
“We’re moving into the fall of the year where we need to be thinking about getting our cattle ready for weaning, especially for our cow/calf producers,” Jones said. “They need to be thinking about preconditioning. A key to that is pre-weaning vaccinations - allowing that immune system time to respond to our vaccines. In doing this, cattle will be healthier after weaning and will perform a little better.”
The idea, of course, is for a producer to have a herd health plan in place, but with everything that is on the market and all the risks that exist today things can get confusing. For producers that aren’t sure where to start, Jones advises they begin by consulting their local veterinarian for advice on what diseases are prominent in your region and then continue to work with them on developing a vaccine protocol specific for your operation. The same is true for stocker operators who Jones says need to have a good receiving program for cattle, because one can never be certain of what cattle have been exposed to or treated for before arriving on site. With calving season just around the corner, though, the most important thing producers should be thinking about is getting their mama cows primed and ready.
“The key thing is trying to make sure your cows are in good body condition,” he said. “We want them to calve in a body condition of 5½ or better. Make sure they are well-vaccinated up to this point. You might consider a scours vaccine, depending on what issues you’ve had in the past. But the main thing is ensuring good quality nutrition and having a good vaccination program in place.”
Listen to Dr. Jones offer more of his advice on managing herd health and how BI can help supply producers needs on the ranch with Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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