Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

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PRCattleCo
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Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by PRCattleCo » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:59 pm

Ok, I am not in the cow/calf business, but I have more than enough experience in it from Illinois to Alabama/Georgia, to North Dakota, to ranches in Colorado and the Texas Panhandle.

This has been a super harsh winter, to say the least. I am now in the custom preconditioning/backgrounding business in Central Western Illinois. I have a serious gripe to voice after this winter.

At both our North and South Feedyard, we have received 325-900 weight cattle to precondition for the purpose of heading to a feedyard further west.

Our death loss has been atrocious and it isn't due to lack of try on our side of the house. We post every animal that dies. What we continually find is what can be described as, "Old Pneumonia" that was a product of where they came from and we received them from sale barns.

Even though we have an extremely aggressive processing and hospital treatment protocol, the results have been lacking considering what we are dealing with. When we post an animal that is only 7-days on Feed (DOF) and has 90% lung damage with puss pockets, it is a result of whoever had the calf originally that did not take care of business in the beginning and unloaded it at the sale barn.

If you have 1hd to 1000hd of calves you sell, in the name of God!!!....PLEASE doctor them when they are calves and are sick!!!

I have watched WAY TOO MANY cattle that were not treated early and have to either watch them suffer as I pump meds into them or have to shoot them as they don't have a chance.

LOOK AT YOUR CALVES!!!!


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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by wbvs58 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:32 am

I think if you are buying from salebarns it is buyer beware. What is your purpose in venting here? Are you suggesting that these boards are full of small time breeders unloading unhealthy cattle at the salebarns and that you are here to change their ways? You will find that the members of these boards are well educated in animal husbandry and take pride in what they produce.

From where I come from the big backgrounders will source cattle direct from the breeder or at big specialty weaner sales but will buy lines of cattle that they know from vendors they have dealt with before and are prepared to pay a premium for the premium product. The small time backgrounder is more likely to trawl the saleyards looking for the bargains but they get what they pay for.

You would be well advised to have a close look at where you source your cattle from rather than try to blame other people for your problems.

Ken

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Bright Raven » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:13 am

Most producers are aware of your concerns. This was a high mortality winter. Some producers lost a high percent of the fall and winter calf crop. Even mature cows have died because of the constant wet conditions and the ground conditions. In our hill country, the mud conditions resulted in poor footing. Lots of cows went down to never get up. Some laid down and could not get footing to get back up. They thrashed around until their back and/or head got down the hill and they suffocated and died.

It is understandable that you saw a lot of mortality. As Ken stated above, Users on this forum are well informed. The local cattle associations and the Extension Offices advocate and try to assist in promoting good animal husbandry.
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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Lucky » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:40 am

What would you suggest the average cattle producer do to prevent this? Keep in mind the avg person has less than 40 cows and most don’t even have a squeeze chute or decent corrals. It’s getting so bad most of the day workers I know have quit going to some places because their facilities are so bad.

What’s the minimum a producer should do? I’m serious on this, there’s allot of folks that just don’t know and death loss is becoming a serious problem for guys running yearlings that have been run through the salebarn.

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Son of Butch » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:42 am

Lucky wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:40 am
What would you suggest the average cattle producer do to prevent this?
without... a squeeze chute or decent corrals.
What’s the minimum a producer should do?
inforce3 at birth does not require equipment.
We give both inforce 3 and Once PMH IN at birth.

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Caustic Burno » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:06 am

Lucky wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:40 am
What would you suggest the average cattle producer do to prevent this? Keep in mind the avg person has less than 40 cows and most don’t even have a squeeze chute or decent corrals. It’s getting so bad most of the day workers I know have quit going to some places because their facilities are so bad.

What’s the minimum a producer should do? I’m serious on this, there’s allot of folks that just don’t know and death loss is becoming a serious problem for guys running yearlings that have been run through the salebarn.

That I have never understood! I am in the category of producer you speak of.
Good facilities are part of animals husbandry and herd health.

I see it quite often, still can’t wrap my head around the dollars lost.
Then the same guy will pay 90 bucks for a protein tub that equates to 900 dollars a ton “ for convenience “ .
A drive by of a place usually speaks volumes.
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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Silver » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:03 pm

I can’t say for sure because I haven’t walked a mile in a backgrounder or feedlot guys shoes, but it seems like if I were buying it would pay dividends to buy direct of the place, from reputation producers. Not to say I haven’t had pneumonia here, I think we do a good job of looking after it, and repeat buyers buy our calves and are actually complimentary regarding their results. In my experience if a feeder gives you even the smallest compliment they likely did well.

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by 76 Bar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:55 pm

In my experience if a feeder gives you even the smallest compliment they likely did well.
And then some. :roll:

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by PRCattleCo » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:14 am

wbvs58 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:32 am
I think if you are buying from salebarns it is buyer beware. What is your purpose in venting here? Are you suggesting that these boards are full of small time breeders unloading unhealthy cattle at the salebarns and that you are here to change their ways? You will find that the members of these boards are well educated in animal husbandry and take pride in what they produce.

From where I come from the big backgrounders will source cattle direct from the breeder or at big specialty weaner sales but will buy lines of cattle that they know from vendors they have dealt with before and are prepared to pay a premium for the premium product. The small time backgrounder is more likely to trawl the saleyards looking for the bargains but they get what they pay for.

You would be well advised to have a close look at where you source your cattle from rather than try to blame other people for your problems.

Ken
Ken,

If you did not notice, I am a "Custom Preconditioner" and it doesn't matter to me baseline if they live or die. It only hits my pocketbook from the yardage standpoint. I don't own the cattle, I just get them ready for customers so they are setup for a feedyard. I just absolutely hate cutting open these cattle I post and seeing they have only 10-15% good lung, lesions of lung attached to the rib cage or other issues like plueritis or even heart failure due to lack of doctoring practices.

I am not knocking anyone on these boards or talking anyone down regarding animal husbandry. I never said that and I really don't care that you are being super sensitive. I am stating fact for here in the US and not Southeast Australia.

I have cut open too many deads that were the product of producers not paying attention to their calves and thinking they have always been alright, just because they are still walking and eating out of a Creep-feeder.

The point of my post is anyone that reads this is not directly to blame, but should promote other producers and remain cognoscente of their calves and not rely on a Creep-feeder and the feed provider to do the job of the owner identifying sick cattle and applying a needle/drug as soon as possible.
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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Coosh71 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:48 am

PRCattleCo wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:14 am
wbvs58 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:32 am
I think if you are buying from salebarns it is buyer beware. What is your purpose in venting here? Are you suggesting that these boards are full of small time breeders unloading unhealthy cattle at the salebarns and that you are here to change their ways? You will find that the members of these boards are well educated in animal husbandry and take pride in what they produce.

From where I come from the big backgrounders will source cattle direct from the breeder or at big specialty weaner sales but will buy lines of cattle that they know from vendors they have dealt with before and are prepared to pay a premium for the premium product. The small time backgrounder is more likely to trawl the saleyards looking for the bargains but they get what they pay for.

You would be well advised to have a close look at where you source your cattle from rather than try to blame other people for your problems.

Ken
Ken,

If you did not notice, I am a "Custom Preconditioner" and it doesn't matter to me baseline if they live or die. It only hits my pocketbook from the yardage standpoint. I don't own the cattle, I just get them ready for customers so they are setup for a feedyard. I just absolutely hate cutting open these cattle I post and seeing they have only 10-15% good lung, lesions of lung attached to the rib cage or other issues like plueritis or even heart failure due to lack of doctoring practices.

I am not knocking anyone on these boards or talking anyone down regarding animal husbandry. I never said that and I really don't care that you are being super sensitive. I am stating fact for here in the US and not Southeast Australia.

I have cut open too many deads that were the product of producers not paying attention to their calves and thinking they have always been alright, just because they are still walking and eating out of a Creep-feeder.

The point of my post is anyone that reads this is not directly to blame, but should promote other producers and remain cognoscente of their calves and not rely on a Creep-feeder and the feed provider to do the job of the owner identifying sick cattle and applying a needle/drug as soon as possible.
PR, I understand some of what you are getting at and also hate how some care for their animals. However, I see A LOT of operations running EXACTLY like granddad did it 60 years ago. One producer here in my area gives on dose of Calvary 9 at around 3 months. That's it... They feel good in doing so cause dad and granddad didn't give ANYTHING unless a calf was sick. I own and operate other businesses as well, and they run just like others of there type because that's how it has to be run. But, the cattle business is unlike any I've been in. Literally everyone can do things different, and still deliver calves to the sale barn. WE sell privately most of the time to repeat buyers. Repeat buyers because of how our calves perform on wheat in both growth AND no doctoring needed. That being said even well vaccinated calves can and will get ill at times when transported from here to there. We have had calves vaccinated 3 times on a schedule with the rest, not perform well, and just seem to catch every bug around. This year's weather HERE has been pretty nice, but 70% of the country has been having heck with everything, losing cows, calves bulls etc. I understand your frustrations. Read some of these posts from the past on here. We have all been kicked in the knees and get frustrated. All I can say is when we deal with a gross amount of animals (especially young ones), we should expect loss, and at times a lot of bad days.

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by darcelina4 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:38 pm

I am going to disagree about the need for fancy facilities to properly take care of your calves. I raise lots of calves- Bottle calves, calves on nurse cows, calves on their mommas. I'm a small time farmer with about 25 right now. I don't have a chute or even a headgate. All of my cattle are halter broke. To work them we put a halter on them and tie them to a post. We do deworm our cattle. We vaccinate them. We treat them when they are ill. We use high end drugs. We follow through with treatment. Just because we are small producers working with a pitiful budget doesn't mean we neglect our cattle.

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by wbvs58 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:50 pm

Thanks for that info PRcattle, stick around and you will get a feel how most people here operate. Most are very caring and will leave no stone unturned to do what is needed for their cattle. You will be impressed, I know I am. Yes we do get a lot of first time posters drop in looking for advice with some difficult situations, some it is great to help, others one will be tearing one's hair out with the futility of the situation like no money to get proper care or gone beyond the point of no return. Unfortunately many of these survivors no doubt end up at salebarns, many BVD PI's, it is just where these animals are turned over. I am sure your clients would be well advised to source their cattle from more reliable sources if you are experiencing a surge with these problems then I would be looking at where these cattle come from. I don't really know the rules there but I would suspect that as long as there is no animal welfare issue it is fair game to offload anything at the salebarn, might not be morally right but fair game.

Ken

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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Brookhill Angus » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:04 am

PRCattleCo wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:59 pm
Ok, I am not in the cow/calf business, but I have more than enough experience in it from Illinois to Alabama/Georgia, to North Dakota, to ranches in Colorado and the Texas Panhandle.

This has been a super harsh winter, to say the least. I am now in the custom preconditioning/backgrounding business in Central Western Illinois. I have a serious gripe to voice after this winter.

At both our North and South Feedyard, we have received 325-900 weight cattle to precondition for the purpose of heading to a feedyard further west.

Our death loss has been atrocious and it isn't due to lack of try on our side of the house. We post every animal that dies. What we continually find is what can be described as, "Old Pneumonia" that was a product of where they came from and we received them from sale barns.

Even though we have an extremely aggressive processing and hospital treatment protocol, the results have been lacking considering what we are dealing with. When we post an animal that is only 7-days on Feed (DOF) and has 90% lung damage with puss pockets, it is a result of whoever had the calf originally that did not take care of business in the beginning and unloaded it at the sale barn.

If you have 1hd to 1000hd of calves you sell, in the name of God!!!....PLEASE doctor them when they are calves and are sick!!!

I have watched WAY TOO MANY cattle that were not treated early and have to either watch them suffer as I pump meds into them or have to shoot them as they don't have a chance.

LOOK AT YOUR CALVES!!!!
I’ve been given a hard time about “pampering my cattle” but we did not lose a single one this winter. No dead calves. No sick cattle AT ALL!

I’ve been ridiculed for being “too hard” on my fellow cattlemen in Kentucky.

The way I see it, if possible, your cattle should never see a bad day. If you scale your operation at the expense of herd health, then you don’t have a sustainable plan. Scale back down till your herd is able to be healthy.

I had a call the other day for hay, I’ve told BR the story, the guy told me that he had not fed hay since January and he was worried his cattle wouldn’t make it till the grass came on. I think what he was trying to say was, they are on the verge of dying and maybe a bale of hay will keep them alive for a few more weeks or so.

That’s not animal husbandry.
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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:58 am

Buy reputation, well-vaccinated cattle and such issues will be greatly minimized, if not eliminated. But please note, we expect you to pay a premium for them.
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Re: Calf Issues I have....Herd Health Related

Post by Nesikep » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:52 am

If I'm not getting paid for a premium product, I'm not going to deliver or promise a premium product. It sounds like your calf supplier is being cheap and not willing to pay a premium, so he's paying for it some other way (in losses)... There are lots of programs out there for vaccination protocols, etc that supposedly fetch said premium.
Some of these calves come off the range, into a truck, and to the sale barn.. as long as they ain't lame they sell, who knows the last time anyone took a good look at them, or the last time they saw a person.. Possibly flighty, spooky, and stressed to heck from being shipped in october weather across a handful of states.

In your shoes I know it would suck being on the receiving end of this
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