Looking over your replacement heifers each spring makes you feel proud of the job you did selecting and growing them since weaning. You’ve got a lot of money tied up in your calves, so picking the right bull is critical. But what about risk management? Not the kind of risk management that requires a banker or a commodity broker, but the kind that reduces risk from reproductive disease losses.
There are two sides of the equation when it comes to reducing environmental stress. The first part is creature comfort and the other is implementing best practices during processing. Minimizing stress is important because of the significant impact it can have on the development and spread of bovine respiratory disease (BRD).
Calving season — a demanding time for producers — is an eventful period that may cause stress and several health concerns for the herd. For optimal herd health this spring, it’s essential for producers to follow a few steps — proper nutrition and vaccination; proactive newborn calf health; and pasture turnout health protocols.
Anne Burkholder, owner of Will Feed, Inc., in Cozad, Neb., always works to improve what she does at the yard. To that end, she has been, and remains, actively involved in BQA, first in Nebraska, and now at the national level too. She’s done a BQA feed yard assessment for several years, and last year, Will Feed became a Progressive Beef-certified feed yard as well.
U.S. cattlemen have long recognized the importance of the proper care and handling of their livestock. That responsibility is also one of the four pillars – “Your Cattle” – of Merck Animal Health’s Responsible Beef campaign.
From cow/calf operations and backgrounding programs to feedyard management practices, ensuring that animals are well cared for not only makes good business sense – it’s also the right thing to do.