Cattle Preconditioning: Prep Calves Before Weaning
Weaning is stressful for calves and producers alike. In cattle, that stress can lead to bacterial infections, bovine respiratory disease (BRD), and extra labor and expense for the producer, says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, Director of Merial Large Animal Veterinary Professional Services. But, he says, by vaccinating for Pasteurella and minimizing stress, producers can help their calves make the transition with a clean bill of health.
Dr. Max Mekus of Mount Ayr Veterinary Clinic, Mount Ayr, Iowa, agrees. He works with many cow/calf producers and calf backgrounding operations, and has seen the toll Pasteurella and BRD can take on calf health and producer profits.
“Weaning is often the most stressful time in an animal’s life,” Dr. Mekus explains. “Stress weakens the immune system, opening calves to Pasteurella infection.”