Angus at Work

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Prevention with D.L. Step and Dave Sjeklocha

May 15, 2024 Angus Beef Bulletin Season 3 Episode 9
Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Prevention with D.L. Step and Dave Sjeklocha
Angus at Work
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Angus at Work
Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Prevention with D.L. Step and Dave Sjeklocha
May 15, 2024 Season 3 Episode 9
Angus Beef Bulletin

You may have heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." 

Whether through genetics, management or vaccination, preventing Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) concerns in your herd should be at the top of most producer’s to-do lists.

On today’s episode, you’ll hear more from Shauna Hermel at CattleCon 2024 where she sat down with our guests, veterinarians D.L. Step of Boeringer Ingelheim and Dave Sjeklocha with Merck, to discuss their top tips for managing your herd and feeder calves to prevent disease issues. 

Find more information to make Angus work for you in the Angus Beef Bulletin and ABB EXTRA. Make sure you're subscribed! Sign up here to the print Angus Beef Bulletin and the digital Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA. Have questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you! Contact our team at

Show Notes Transcript

You may have heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." 

Whether through genetics, management or vaccination, preventing Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) concerns in your herd should be at the top of most producer’s to-do lists.

On today’s episode, you’ll hear more from Shauna Hermel at CattleCon 2024 where she sat down with our guests, veterinarians D.L. Step of Boeringer Ingelheim and Dave Sjeklocha with Merck, to discuss their top tips for managing your herd and feeder calves to prevent disease issues. 

Find more information to make Angus work for you in the Angus Beef Bulletin and ABB EXTRA. Make sure you're subscribed! Sign up here to the print Angus Beef Bulletin and the digital Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA. Have questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you! Contact our team at

General (00:02):
Angus at Work, a podcast for the profit minded cattleman, brought to you by the Angus B Bulletin. We have news and information on health, nutrition, marketing, genetics, and management. So let's get to work, shall we?

Lynsey McAnally (00:26):
Hello and welcome back to Angus at Work. [00:00:30] You may have heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Whether through genetics management or vaccination, preventing Bovine Respiratory Disease concerns in your herd should be at the top of most producer's to-do lists.

I'm Lynsey McAnally, and on today's episode you'll hear more from Shauna Hermel from CattleCon '24, where she sat down with our guest DL Step of Boehringer Ingelheim to discuss his top tips for [00:01:00] managing your herd and feeder calves to prevent disease issues. So let's dive in.

Shauna Hermel (01:13):
I know here at the NCBA trade show and looking at a lot of the companies BRD is a huge concern this year throughout the trade show floor. I was very curious about your approach in [00:01:30] talking about stopping the barn blindness or blinders to BRD.

DL Step (01:36):
Yes. BRD of course stands for Bovine Respiratory Disease. It's a complex involved, a common name or an older term was referred to as shipping fever, pneumonia, and there's three kind of major components involved in that. Generally there's respiratory viruses that can either damage the normal defense mechanisms [00:02:00] or suppress the immune system. There's primarily bacteria or other microorganisms that normally reside in what they call the nasal pharynx or the back of the throat in which it's normal inhabitants. And then the third major component is stress. And stress, especially the last couple of years a lot of the countries dealt with drought and we have not only protein and [00:02:30] energy challenges with the feed stuffs or lack of feed stuffs, but also even with the micro minerals such as copper, zinc, selenium and manganese. Probably even some interferences in which these little micro minerals are involved in the normal immune system.

So one of the things that's really nice with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health with our company as others, we really try to look at a preventive [00:03:00] focus and part of that of course involves from the medical perspective, preventive health programs to try to vaccinate the animals in a group or population so that we elevate the level of immunity in that group of animals so that if they are challenged, that hopefully they'll be able to respond rapidly with minimizing the severity of clinical signs or decreasing [00:03:30] the death loss of animals and also work with management and everything. Another big component involved in this is, and a lot of people don't realize is other management things such as controlling internal parasites, which actually will kind of shift the way the immune system is able to respond. So that's another big component. And then of course management working different approaches to try to minimize stress [00:04:00] and even understand the risk category of the calves coming in or moving from one phase of production to another. We've done some recent research in the last few years looking at effectiveness of vaccines and preventing disease and how to incorporate our products into the different protocols or health programs for those farmers and ranchers and also [00:04:30] providing data for veterinarians to make those recommendations based on evidence. So yes, the advancements in technology and the understanding of how to incorporate these products into these preventive health programs is very important and everything.

Shauna Hermel (04:50):
What's different this year in relation to BRD than what we've seen in maybe past years? [00:05:00] Is it the stress on the immune system from drought and things like that that has created maybe a little less, what would you say, health push with cattle entering the feed lott or,

DL Step (05:18):
And let me ask you a quick question. Are we referring to feedlot cattle coming in?

Shauna Hermel (05:27):
Cattle going into the feedlot.

DL Step (05:30):
[00:05:30] Yes, a lot of those situations are related to the past stressors in the environment of those calves. And even one of the stressors that we do know of is stress on that female in the last half or especially the last third of pregnancy. And that is referred to as fetal programming. We know that if that female is stressed, that red heifer red cow, it can affect the cap cap. The other thing that's very, very important [00:06:00] is that first milk referred to as colostrum that allows some passive immune protection to that young baby for a few months or so while its immune system starts to get exposed and recognized to some of these potential disease causing agents. So it's not only stress on the females through the past couple of winters have been very, very severe in certain parts [00:06:30] of the country along with the drought, the quality of water and some of those calves just did not get adequate colostrum when they were born.

And really that needs to be within their first few hours of life. And we know that those animals that if they don't get enough colostrum as we were referring to, that they can be over three times more likely to have an illness in a feedlot type of a setting [00:07:00] than compared to those calves that receive adequate amount of colostrum. So yes, there's environmental stressors such as the drought, the weather conditions, and some of it, I mean we don't want to also forget about, a lot of times we think of winters being cold and snow and blizzards and mud and ice. Don't forget we have some other weather events such as wildfires, we have hurricanes and tornadoes and things like that. So we just have to recognize [00:07:30] those potential stressors that can affect the outcome of those animals.

Shauna Hermel (07:40):
What are you seeing as far as trends with calves coming into the feed lot are buying trends? Are buyers more sensitive to the health protocols and the management systems before they buy?

DL Step (08:00):
[00:08:00] There are several situations and it kind of depends upon the particular feed yard or the management of those operations, how they're approaching it. I think that most people recognize that if those calves have a preventive health program and are precondition prior, generally the health of those animals will be better, hence the performance. However, in [00:08:30] some situations the availability of that particular type of an animal is just not available. It's unavailable. So therefore they have to go ahead and maybe acquire or purchased calves that may not meet that particular set of criteria and therefore those animals will be at higher risk of potentially developing BRD or Bovine Respiratory Disease.

Shauna Hermel (09:00):
[00:09:00] Okay, perfect scenario. How would you set those calves up to succeed?

DL Step (09:12):
I guess ideally is of course it comes all the way back I guess, to genetic selection and breeding and proper body condition and proper vaccination programs and deworming to those females prior to even being bred. And [00:09:30] then of course managing during that pregnancy period of time or gestation period, those females. And then trying to make sure that we have an opportunity for those calves to get up and nurse and acquire that colostrum. And then ideally, once that calf is on the ground so to speak, then incorporate And we always recommend work with your veterinarian to develop a preventive health program customized to your particular [00:10:00] operation,

But also to maybe even start in and if those females are set up properly of a certain type of vaccination program, then we can go ahead and start vaccinating those calves early processing or branding time quotes around branding time around two to three months of age, vaccinating them with a vaccine against the common respiratory virus is probably even other vaccines may need to be [00:10:30] such as pink eye or clostridial RIN slash toxoid referred to commonly as a black leg shot. And then of course the warming depend upon the operation and then again, even at weaning time and try to have a situation where weaning is minimal stress to those calves and there's different type of approaches for that. And then again, vaccinating at that particular time. And basically I think that the one approach [00:11:00] is get that calf prepared for where it is going, not necessarily where it is coming from is a good thought process.

Shauna Hermel (11:10):
So do you have new technologies on the vaccine front or any new research?

DL Step (11:17):
We've got a lot of new research and our company is always has a research and development group or division and they're always looking at other technologies. And again, we're globally [00:11:30] the largest family owned business and animal health, but also we deal with all species. So they even look at technology and other species potentially come from cattle or vice versa. One nice thing is, as Abby commented on, we are still doing a lot of research on our major products to find out where is the best fit and are we learning anything else, have things changed [00:12:00] out in the environment or within the population of not only animals but the potential pathogens referred to as disease causing agents. So we're trying to continually learn and apply and do research on a regular basis so that we provide data and evidence for veterinarians to be better at their recommendations of incorporating the products, but also give not only our group but also farmers and ranchers, more confidence [00:12:30] in our products that fit in and perform well in their operations.

Shauna Hermel (12:34):
 Any new findings that are relevant to cow-calf audiences?

DL Step (12:40):
Biggest thing right now is respiratory disease and trying to manage through what we are dealing with in the last couple of years with the stress on those calves and not only identifying but treating and even trying to prevent the disease specifically related [00:13:00] to respiratory disease.

Lynsey McAnally (13:09):
Our team also had the opportunity to visit with Dave Sjeklocha with Merck, Here's what he had to say regarding managing your herd for disease prevention.

Shauna Hermel (13:26):
We have a lot of discussion on Bovine [00:13:30] Respiratory Disease and it seems to be a common theme with several companies and several feed lots here at the National Cattlemen's Convention. Can you walk through some maybe current trends on what's happening out there in the feed lots? And I know I've heard some discussion that some drought stress on some cows may have actually wound up be showing up as more [00:14:00] ine respiratory disease spots right now.

Dave Sjeklocha (14:03):
Yeah, and that's a good point. Of course, BRD has clients always been a headache for feed yards and cow-calf operations for that matter. But we like to think that we're making progress on it. But if we're going to be completely honest with ourselves, we haven't done a very good job of improving at the very best we could say [00:14:30] maybe we're holding our own. And there are some instances that indicate that maybe that's a very valid point. You've got cows that are under some nutritional stress and some of them have been under that drought nutritional stress for a couple three years. And so the fetus that she's carrying, the milk that she's producing, the colostrum that cow is producing is probably going to be compromised [00:15:00] and that can carry over through that animal's if it's a replacement heifer or feedlot steer, that those stresses can carry over into their entire productive life cycle. And so we have to watch closely on what we do select as replacements. And I think that's a key thing in building BRD resilience is [00:15:30] for years we've pushed so hard on

Pursuing performance parameters, average daily gain, weaning weight feed conversion, how closely have we looked at disease resistance and is resistance as a genetic trait? And everything I've read indicates it's not a very highly heritable trait. And so my fear is that if we don't start paying attention to it, [00:16:00] it's we're really going to struggle to try to get that genetic trait of disease resistance back into the cow herd. And so when we select our for instance, replacement heifers to go back into the cow herd, we probably need to look at keep a good set of treatment records while we have that, while that heifer is a calf and anything that required treatment, whether it be for scours or respiratory disease [00:16:30] or whatever might ought to move lower down on your replacement heifer list as far as potential replacement heifer. And then I also think it'd be wise for producers to look at when they go to buy a herd bull to talk to their seed stock supplier and say, Hey, which of these bulls have been treated and which ones have not been treated? And try to find [00:17:00] the bulls that have never had a treatment in their life. I think clearly that would indicate that there is some good disease resistance in that animal's genetics.

Shauna Hermel (17:14):
Those are easily done by calling veterinarian associated with that herd as well as sea stock producer themselves too. And that veterinarian would know some area specifics too.

Dave Sjeklocha (17:26):
Yep. Veterinarians would, but [00:17:30] the seed stock producer himself to me should be willing to share that information. You bet. Just if he wants a satisfied customer or repeat customer, that kind of information would be valuable to him. And so I think seed stock producers ought to be more than willing to share that information

Shauna Hermel (17:52):
Now having a period of weather stress we have had, it's probably one of the reasons why it's a low heritability is because you have [00:18:00] a weather event come through and it can cause management breaks that and disease because of stress coming out of the weather events that we have. Are we being too hard on the cattle if we try and select those that,

Dave Sjeklocha (18:19):
Well, there's an old saying, I'm sure you've heard it that hard times breed better cattle and [00:18:30] having to coal cows because of a drought is never a good thing. But if I think producers need to do their best to make it a good thing in that, especially if they can keep good records and coal off their least productive cows, their cows that produce calves that are more prone to having some sort of disease issue. I think that [00:19:00] when it turns around and we get back to normal precipitation and normal pastures, we can really hit the ground running with a high quality herd to keep some replacements out of and do well. So I think with every problem I've always felt comes an opportunity. And that to me would be one of the major opportunities we have when we're trying to deal with the problem of drought is improve that cow [00:19:30] herd and there's nothing like good records to help us make some of those culling decisions and keeping decisions.Bring them on. We're ready.

Shauna Hermel (19:39):
So genetics is one of the first ways to increase our BRD resiliency and I would assume that management angle makes up one of the next.

Dave Sjeklocha (19:50):
Yep, absolutely. And I think vaccinations, I think is a good management tool clearly, but [00:20:00] just good old fashioned animal husbandry. What are we doing to keep those cattle comfortable and as low stress as possible? There's several ways we can wean calves at our lower stress. There's fence line weaning system, which has always intrigued me and the people that do it right, a lot of times they'll tell you there's no better way to wean cast than the fence line system. [00:20:30] But my background of course is in feed yards and one of the things I spent most of my career in western Kansas,

And it's typically very dry out there. That's part of the reason the feedlots are out there. And I think from a feed yard perspective, we've gotten away from bedding cattle, there's always a dry place to lay or most [00:21:00] of the time there is. So if the calf wants to lay down, he's got a dry spot. But one thing I learned, I started bedding some calves from time to time and it was so interesting how all those cattle, even though they had dry places to lay down all over the pen, if had a third of the pen bedded, that's where they would go and everything would be laying down there. If they weren't there, they were standing up. And so I know cattle appreciate bedding [00:21:30] and that's just another way to reduce stress. Good quality cattle handling is a way to reduce stress. And the more we can reduce stress, the better they are going to respond to our vaccines. And if we have to treat 'em, they're going to respond to treatments better. And so a good vaccination protocol along with that is such a top key. [00:22:00] Again, from a feed yard perspective, there's vaccinations and then there's a preconditioning program. And a preconditioning program includes weaning those calves

For a minimum of 45 days. My preference is 60. And if those calves can come off that truck into the feed yard and know what a water tank is and know what a feed bunk is, half [00:22:30] the battle is won. And feed yards are some of the data that Merck has access to with superior livestock indicates that indeed there is a financial benefit to the producer if the calves are preconditioned. And so the biggest issue there is if a small herd [00:23:00] of probably 30 or less cows, if they're going to wean their calves for 60 days, that adds a chore to their day. They're going to have to either possibly build a pen to hold the calves in and some feed bunks and a feed truck or feed wagon to feed those cattle. So I think we're still going to have calves that aren't truly preconditioned, but I think there might be some ways [00:23:30] for some neighbors to work together too that on the smaller herds to precondition cattle.

Shauna Hermel (23:38):
So for someone who would be considering some of the surveys that we've done among our breeders who tend to be on the more management side than they are under management, but 50% of those would send chaos directly to for sale after they wean. For those [00:24:00] people who are thinking about a preconditioning program, you say you need a pin, put calves in. Any recommendations on that pin as far as size allocation or space allocation

Dave Sjeklocha (24:15):
That would, like we talked earlier, the in western Kansas, it's very dry, so the space allocation would be different than it would be for Missouri, for [00:24:30] example. Sure. And so by virtue of that, I really hate to say this is going to be the perfect size. It just kind of depends on the precipitation in the area. And I think most of your readers could probably reach out to their local extension office and get a much better estimate of square footage per animal than I could because it can vary so much

Shauna Hermel (25:00):
[00:25:00] When they're looking at, say, preconditioning that calf for 45 to 60 days and thinking, okay, how much feed am I going to have to have on hand? How much is that calf going to eat a day?

Dave Sjeklocha (25:12):
Basically, you could probably count on two and a half to 3% of their body weight on a daily basis is probably the good rule of thumb.

Shauna Hermel (25:22):
And what other things should they consider as they're going into that preconditioning?

Dave Sjeklocha (25:27):
Well, I think primarily the thing is [00:25:30] if you're capable of doing it, if you can, of course most people, they have their calving season and then before they turn out their grass, they get the calves in and vaccinate and then they're out for the summer. And I truly believe they would provide themselves big dividends if they would actually get the calves in and wean them or vaccinate 'em about two [00:26:00] weeks before their actual weaning date and give that previous vaccination they had at grass turnout a little bit of a boost and give the calves time to recover from that so they're not feeling the stress of the vaccination along with losing their mama at the same time. It'll help 'em ease into that weaning phase.

Shauna Hermel (26:28):
Is there a benefit [00:26:30] to having that vaccination program third-party documented as you go to market?

Dave Sjeklocha (26:37):
I think so, yeah. We've heard the story of the cattle run into the ring and the auctioneer says, yeah, the seller of these calves is right here in the ring. Pete has, they had all their shots. Yep, they've had all their shots and [00:27:00] that doesn't carry a lot of weight. No. So yeah, having someone that can, as you say, a somewhat disinterested third party that can sign an affidavit that says, yes, these calves receive these vaccinations and on these dates and that they were weaned for X amount of days, all those things I think could provide a huge benefit to the seller.

Shauna Hermel (27:30):
[00:27:30] We'll go back through your application. So with cans that are headed to the feed lot, have a common vaccination protocol that you recommend that would be kind a global protocol or no?

Dave Sjeklocha (27:44):
Well, as far as, are you talking on the feedlot end or on the producer end?

Shauna Hermel (27:51):
For the producer end who is looking to email if it's third party validated, what kind of protocol is it good to help?

Dave Sjeklocha (27:59):
Yeah, [00:28:00] my suggestion would be they need to need be properly vaccinated for the clostridial. And what I mean by that is there has to be two rounds of was killed. The cross clostridial vaccines are killed vaccine and there has to be two rounds of those given within two to four weeks of each other. Typically, and when I say clostridial, it'd be like Vision seven would be a product that Merck makes that is a clostridial [00:28:30] vaccination. But if you only give one of those, if you only give one shot of a clostridial and never give another one, they're not protected against the clostridial. And when we're giving them clostridial protecting against black leg, we're protecting against endotoxemia. There's, you can even tetanus. Tetanus is a clostridial bacteria. Some vaccines include [00:29:00] tetanus, some of it some don't. So if you're concerned about tetanus, if you're banding the calves or castrating the calves at that time, then you better make sure that your clostridial vaccine does have tetanus. And I see this commonly done is there's a lot of people that ban castrate or knife castrate calves and give the tetanus vaccine on the same day. You cannot expect that vaccine [00:29:30] to work protecting from tetanus. That has to be done ahead of time as well. But as far as a very basic one vaccine program would include the clostridial, a five-way modified live viral vaccine along with pastor and Mannheimia. And that would be just the basics. And I would strongly encourage anyone who reads this or listens [00:30:00] to this to consult with your local veterinarian and design a program with them. But I'd say there's a 99.9% chance that the vaccines I've just listed will definitely be on there on his any veterinarian's list.

Shauna Hermel (30:19):
And those viral vaccines, those are protecting the modified live virus vaccines, they're protecting against the pneumonias and the shipping cure?

Dave Sjeklocha (30:27):
Yeah, most [00:30:30] they're called a five-way modified live because it has I-B-R-P-I three, bovine respiratory syncytial virus or BRSV and then two types of BVD. And so that makes the five. And most of them, like Merck makes a product called Vista five and that those are the five viruses in that. And then Merck also makes one that's called Vista once, [00:31:00] it's basically Vista five with a virulent live culture of Manheim and pasture. So you'd get those two bugs covered as well. And the Vista once the product is the only one that has a live culture of Ella and Manheim in it. But yeah, that would be the bare bones of preconditioning program, [00:31:30] just the Clostridial and in a five-way modified life. And on top of that, I'm sure you'd want to consider deworming, especially if you are going to truly precondition those calves, it's going to improve their feed conversion, their gain. So deworming those cattle as well as you might want to consider an implant at that time [00:32:00] as well.

Shauna Hermel (32:04):
And for the cow calf producer, that would be a benefit to him for those 45 to 60 days?

Dave Sjeklocha (32:14):
It's some old data that I'm going to say I read in the mid nineties probably, that if you're going to have cattle for as little as 45 days, an implant will pay off. [00:32:30] And the other thing as far as the calak producer is concerned is we don't take enough advantage of implants at the cow calf level. I see radio ads and or hear radio ads that Tom Peterson is bringing [00:33:00] in 200 head of his calves. They've been weaned and they have never had an implant. And that's like a marketing chip. And the fact of the matter is it really does nothing. There's a belief out there that the feed yards want calves that have not been implanted. And I've been in the feed yards, the vast majority of my career helped [00:33:30] make marketing decisions and I have never heard of feed yard tell their order buyer to pay X amount more for calves that have not been implanted. And so the cow calf producer is giving away 20 to 25 pounds of weaning weight by not implanting his calves and he's receiving no benefit for it.

Shauna Hermel (33:54):
So on producers [00:34:00] who are saving their own replacement heifers, would you implant those replacement heifers as well? Or

Dave Sjeklocha (34:09):
There are the true implants that are labeled for suckling calves really have minimal effect on reproductive performance. But if a producer is the least bit concerned about it, then I just say don't implant your or anything [00:34:30] that you might think you might keep as a replacement heifer. But the data we have indicates that it's like less than a 1% effect on reproductive performance in those heifers.

Shauna Hermel (34:45):

Dave Sjeklocha (34:48):
If they were to be implanted twice, that might have an effect, but a single suckling cache implant would've virtually no effect.

Shauna Hermel (34:56):
Other things that we need to consider to keep those calves [00:35:00] at their peak performance and able to exist the bugs?

Dave Sjeklocha (35:05):
Yep. Yeah, we can do a lot. And again, of course, I've spent a lot of my career focusing on animal welfare aspects, and I truly believe that every time we see a sick calf, we get him in that chute to treat him. We stop and ask ourselves, is there anything [00:35:30] I could have done different management wise to have prevented this situation? And if we start looking for those opportunities, I think over time it will really pay off.

Shauna Hermel (35:43):
Now in your position as a technical vet, do you have the opportunity to go in and do a problem solving for a food lot that had had a problem and to kind of figure out the underlying [00:36:00] cause for that problem around?

Dave Sjeklocha (36:04):
Yeah, I think we're probably presented with those opportunities very frequently. Typically when we go into those situations, we always want to include the feed yards consulting veterinarian in the situation just so we can work together because [00:36:30] as a technical services veterinarian, I don't know the true internal workings of each feed yard like a consulting vet would. And so there's some insights that can be gained there. And of course there's product insights that technical services veterinarians could share with the consulting veterinarian. And so it makes a really good, and especially [00:37:00] if you can solve the problem, a fun team effort to solve those problems

Shauna Hermel (37:07):
With your experience. What's the most common cause of an outbreak?

Dave Sjeklocha (37:13):
Mismanagement. Because we think about how these calves, non-preconditioned calves, they're pulled off their mamas.

And so [00:37:30] let's say that they're pulled off their mamas and hauled the sale barn on Monday. They're put through the sale barn, they're sorted up for size. And so even if it's a small group, there's going to be some sorting that goes on and that adds stress. So they don't know where their mom is. They got a trailer ride, they get to the sale barn, they're sorted, so there's more stress. They're putting pens next to calves that [00:38:00] they've never seen before. So they're exposed to more disease, then they're put through the sale ring. And of course, most livestock auctions, like they keep their buyers interested, so they make things happen pretty fast. Nothing happened out in the past year. So they get put in the sale ring and the auctioneers crying and bids are being taken and those calves are nervous and then they're put out into the buyer's [00:38:30] pens on the other side of the sale barn probably put in with other calves from other ranches that that buyer has purchased already. And then that buyer might have a collection center where he loads all those calves up and takes 'em home. And he might have other buyers that work for him that are at other sale barns bringing in more calves or more ranches, and they sort 'em up there again and [00:39:00] more stress. And when they get a load sized lot put together, that's kind of uniform, they put 'em on a truck and haul 'em a thousand miles to a feed yard. And you think about that entire process. And a lot of times if those calves were taken off the home farm on Monday, they're in a feed yard on Wednesday or Thursday, and think about all the changes that calf has gone through in that time. There's [00:39:30] just a lot of things that we could have done management wise that could have alleviated all that. And that's why I say mismanagement. Anything else that we haven't talked about? Nutrition.

And again, nutrition to me starts at the cow level, making sure that cow's in good body condition scores for two reasons. One of them being to be able to produce good quality [00:40:00] colostrum. And the other thing is that cow's going to be able to breed back better if she's in good condition at the time of calving. It's awful hard to put weight on a cow when she's starting to milk and starting to get her uterus back in shape. And so try to add weight at that point is it is not cost effective. Okay. [00:40:30] Really the best time to add weight to improve the body condition of your cows is after the calf is weaned and before that third trimester of pregnancy. That's probably the most cost-effective time to improve that body condition.

And then of course, making sure that the cows, and by virtue of that, the calves have good mineral supply through the summer as they're grazing [00:41:00] and putting those good minerals through the milk to that calf and good, healthy, robust calf to wean. But they talk about in these drought situations, fetal programming. And that is nutrition is a huge component of fetal programming. And like I say, if that occurs, that could affect that fetus [00:41:30] for the rest of his life. The rest of it's performance life, whether it's a feedlot steer or a replacement heifer to the cow herd,

Shauna Hermel (41:40):
We're really finding that that affects the fetus a lot longer into life than what we ever thought.

Dave Sjeklocha (41:47):
And then the course of the colostrum. A lot of times we take those, we see a calf born without any difficulties, [00:42:00] and we see 'em up in nursing and we take for granted that they got their colostrum. To me, you can't overfeed colostrum. And so to me, if there's any question whether a calf got colostrum, preferably within the first six hours of being born, you either need to supplement that with a commercial colostrum product or [00:42:30] get that cow in, milk her out and tube feed it to that calf because that'll have a huge impact on that calf's future performance as well.

Shauna Hermel (42:41):
Can you give him a calf, a supplement if he's already had some kind of do harm?

Dave Sjeklocha (42:46):
No, he won't do. He can't do too much colostrum. When I was a kid, I remember the rule was they need to get colostrum within the first 24 hours and it just slowly tightened down to, you're [00:43:00] going to get a lot more benefit if you can get it in within the first six hours of life.

General (43:11):
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