pi testing

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J&D Cattle

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I know one guy around here that backgrounds calves for a few people and he does PI test. All of the calves are purchased out of a local sale barn. Every calf gets tested but he puts 4 or 5 samples together to run the test. If there is a positive he has to retest those 4 or 5. He swears he saves money versus testing each calf individually as the positives are so few and far between.
 

Dempster

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So what are you going to do after you sort them off? Are you going to put half a dozen PI's together in a pen and manage them as a group? They aren't going to grow and you are going to have trouble getting them to a finished weight. Are you going to put them down? While there is value in finding your PI's, it is tough to put a plan together of what to do with them. Whatever you decide, hopefully it's a better strategy than to put them with a separate group of cattle as some kind of natural vaccination strategy.
 

wbvs58

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If you are regularly buying cattle from saleyards/barns it is inevitable that you are going to have Pesti virus (BVD) turning over in your herd, you can address the problem with diligent vaccination or manage it by exposing young animals to it when it will have least impact on them.

BVD in itself is not a nasty disease, you would be unaware that an animal has had it and recovered. It is only in early pregnancy that it is bad news to cows that are not immune causing abortion, PI's and later stunted calves. Also when susceptible animals are under stress such as entering feedlots it will lower immunity and be a major predisposing factor to respiratory disease.

Herds where it has most impact are isolated herds free of it and then new animals introduced. In this situation I would quarantine any introduction and test for PI's and remove off the place. This is the situation at my place however I have a closed herd and won't risk any introductions even though my herd is vaccinated.

Ken
 

Dempster

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It is not challenging to develop some herd wide immunity to BVD through vaccination, especially if your goal is to prevent PIs. It has been shown fairly clearly that having a PI calf in a pen of cattle will significantly hurt the performance of the group as a whole. You are going to end up with lower gains and more pulls when PIs are present. BVD in itself will generally not be that damaging to a calf, but when you start getting other diseases on top of it things get worse fairly quickly. I like the idea of getting them out of the group, just wish there was a decent way to manage them after that.
 

wbvs58

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Dempster":1xlst61s said:
It is not challenging to develop some herd wide immunity to BVD through vaccination, especially if your goal is to prevent PIs. It has been shown fairly clearly that having a PI calf in a pen of cattle will significantly hurt the performance of the group as a whole. You are going to end up with lower gains and more pulls when PIs are present. BVD in itself will generally not be that damaging to a calf, but when you start getting other diseases on top of it things get worse fairly quickly. I like the idea of getting them out of the group, just wish there was a decent way to manage them after that.

You are talking pens and feeding for which I totally agree. However in a range situation there is very little if any difference in performance. What I am saying is that there are many people who have a constant flow of cattle through their properties, who pay no attention to BVD, buying and selling what is cheap, they must have herds that are endemic for BVD yet don't take that big a hit from it as their cattle have a lot of natural immunity. If you are real serious about biosecurity then you have a closed herd and vaccinate to protect from chance exposure. If you must trade cattle then everyone has their own management routines to cover the risks of any disease introductions, it is just that some people do concern themselves with risk management.

Ken
 

Dave

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When I was raising heifers to sell as bred heifers I PI tested. All were individually sampled and labeled. I sent them to WSU. If I remember correctly it cost about $2 or $3 per head. In four years (240 heifers) I had one positive. I put her and a free martin I found in the herd into a separate pen and fed them out. I ate the PI heifer.
It was a good selling point that buyers liked. I vaccinated the heck out of them, AI'ed to a drop dead calving ease bull, pelvic measured, and when I got to the PI test the buyers were impressed that I had done everything I could to insure a good out come for them.
 

wbvs58

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Dave":2a1crwd5 said:
When I was raising heifers to sell as bred heifers I PI tested. All were individually sampled and labeled. I sent them to WSU. If I remember correctly it cost about $2 or $3 per head. In four years (240 heifers) I had one positive. I put her and a free martin I found in the herd into a separate pen and fed them out. I ate the PI heifer.
It was a good selling point that buyers liked. I vaccinated the heck out of them, AI'ed to a drop dead calving ease bull, pelvic measured, and when I got to the PI test the buyers were impressed that I had done everything I could to insure a good out come for them.

That is a good program Dave, you invested a few dollars both in vaccination and testing and no doubt you had a good return on that investment with people seeking out your heifers for your quality control.

The point I am making with BVD is that everyone has a different level of acceptance of it and many people can live with it and they are no less a good cattleman as the person that has the highest level of biosecurity, it is just that their business is different.

I do find BVD interesting.

Ken
 

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