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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MINIMIZING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF LIVESTOCK MANURES USING INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT REGIMENS

Location: Renewable Energy and Manure Management Research

Title: Receiving nutrition: Getting calves started right

Authors
item COLE, NOEL
item Mccollum, F. Ted - TX COOP EXTENSION

Submitted to: Mid-South Stocker Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2007
Publication Date: February 12, 2007
Citation: Cole, N.A., Mccollum, F. 2007. Receiving nutrition: Getting calves started right. In: Proceedings of the Mid-South Stocker Conference, February 13-14, 2007, Cave City, Kentucky. p. 1-28.

Interpretive Summary: When calves are moved from cow-calf operations through auction barns to grazing/stocker operations, they encounter many stressors that ultimately lead to increased risk of diseases such as bovine respiratory disease – commonly called shipping fever. Medicine costs, death losses, and associated losses in animal performance and carcass quality continue to be major economic challenges for the cattle industry. A number of different viruses and bacteria are associated with this disease complex; however, Mannheimia (formerly Pasteurella) haemolytica seems to be the major cause of the disease. In general, most healthy animals are able to defend against these organisms until a period of stress, such as marketing and transport, weakens the immune system. The objectives of the receiving nutrition program are to assist the calf in recovering from these stressors, optimize the calves' immune response, and shorten the time before they begin to productively gain weight. These goals can be met by a variety of nutritional programs ranging from small supplement packages high in protein to complete diets. By following a well designed animal management/beef quality assurance plan the producer can optimize animal performance, avoid illegal drug residues, and prevent adverse effects on the safety and quality of beef from his cattle.

Technical Abstract: Morbidity and mortality from bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in freshly received feeder cattle continues to be the most significant health problem faced by the U.S. beef cattle industry. Medicine costs, death losses, and associated losses in animal performance and carcass quality continue to be a major economic challenge for the cattle industry. A number of different viruses and bacteria are associated with this disease complex; however, Mannheimia (formerly Pasteurella) haemolytica seems to be the major cause of the disease. In general, most healthy animals are able to defend against these organisms until a period of stress, such as marketing and transport, weakens the immune system. Although higher morbidity and mortality is normally associated with 'long haul' cattle, even those transported a short distance can become susceptible to BRD. The objectives of the receiving nutrition program are to assist the calf in recovering from stress, optimize the immune response, and shorten the time to begin productive weight gain. These goals can be met by a variety of nutritional programs ranging from small supplement packages to complete diets. By following a well designed animal management/beef quality assurance plan, the producer can optimize animal performance, avoid illegal drug residues, and prevent adverse effects on the safety and quality of beef from his cattle.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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