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Beef Buzz News


Preventing BRD in Calves Starts at the Ranch

Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:00:26 CDT

Preventing BRD in Calves Starts at the Ranch It’s was once called shipping fever, today its more commonly referred to as Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD. It’s a significant calf disease that all cow-calf producers can face. Respiratory illness continues to be the costliest disease in the beef industry. Kansas State University Feedlot Specialist Dr. Chris Reinhardt said that vaccinating calves before they leave the ranch can reduce the incidence of respiratory disease.


“We’ve known for decades now that Bovine Respiratory Disease, what we affectionately refer to as BRD, is the number one robber of animal performance in the feedlot, but also in the stocker operation, as well as the cow-calf operation," Reinhardt said. “And so, disease in this case respiratory disease, is directly related to our ability to get those calves to perform after arrival. Really, if we are going to move the needle on disease, it isn’t going to happen after feedlot arrival. All we can do at the feedyard is respond to calves that are already in disease process. The one thing we’ve learned is the best way to reduce disease pressure after arrival at the stocker or feedlot operation is to back up and get them well-immunized before they ever leave the home ranch of origin."


Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Reinhardt on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.


To enhance the immune system of calves, Dr. Reinehardt said timing isn’t absolute. He said calves can be vaccinated at 60 - 80 days of age, like at branding. He also sees good response from calves that are vaccinated two to three weeks before calves are weaned and shipped.


“Immunization is really the core and the foundation of any good preconditioning program,” Reinehardt said.


An early respiratory viral vaccine can help with prevention, but an early vaccination can also help with bacterial pathogens. This includes the common 5-way for respiratory viruses. He said producers can build on that strength with bacterial vaccinations. Reinehardt this disease sets up the worse disease at the feedlot.


“The bacterial diseases are the ones that kill most of the calves who die after shipment, but the viruses are the ones that really set the animal up for failure,” Reinehardt said. “So we’ve seen value in vaccinating for the bacterial pathogens as well, providing they get those before the stressor happens.”


This audio was provided by Kansas State University. AGRICULTURE TODAY is a daily program hosted by Eric Atkinson and distributed to radio stations throughout the state.


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.
   
   

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Chris Reinhardt of K-State
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