BLACKFOOT — Fall is an exciting time of year in the cattle industry, exciting as in there’s much to be done prior to the snow flying.
Roundups are taking place with bringing cattle in to come home for the winter. Calves are being weaned from mom and either making their way to a feed yard or being held for marketing in the late winter season. Once cattle are home, they’re receiving fall vaccinations for their health status as well as that of their unborn calves.
For fall calving herds, a new calf crop is on the ground and needing to be prepared for winter. To help cattle producers continue to remain successful and be prepared for the upcoming season, University of Idaho Extension Educators organized and hosted a two-part beef school series. These beef schools were offered over a two-week period in three locations throughout eastern Idaho.
Topics were selected to reflect not only the current time of year, but also to have producers thinking about the next season. To start out the series, Les Nunn covered the instigator of many cattle health ailments, stress.
Nunn is the UI Bear Lake Extension Educator with emphasis in ranch management and livestock handling. Stress is often an overlooked dimension of management in cattle production, but it is a very important piece to the herd health equation.
Nunn provided information on how stress is defined and measured in cattle, its effect on immune function, and management strategies to reduce stress in cattle.
Dr. James England, AVS veterinarian for UI followed the stress topic with a presentation on antibiotics and selecting the right drug for the right use. Dr. England’s research efforts are focused on infectious respiratory diseases in beef cattle, production and medicine management, herd health programs, and diagnostics and biosecurity.
Dr. England presented information on resistance issues, how to select the right antibiotic for the presenting issue, and the difference between gram positive versus gram negative antibiotics. To finish out the first session, Burk Neely of Neely Livestock Nutrition, Inc., covered boosting vaccine efficacy with nutrition.
Neely is a consulting livestock nutritionist covering Idaho, eastern Oregon, and Utah since the early 2000s. Neely covered how a nutrition program can impact immunity, feeding to reduce inflammation, transitioning a calf through weaning, and improving and maintaining the immune system. Week two topics covered were scours prevention and control, vaccination protocols, and deworming.
Carmen Willmore, the Extension Educator in Lincoln County, began part two of the series with a presentation on scours. Willmore’s programming efforts focus on increasing the profitability of livestock management, forage production, range and natural resources management, and farm financial management.
During her presentation, Willmore explained the definition of scours and the harm it causes to a calf, the cost of scours in a herd, causes, and preventative management strategies.
Joining us from Saltgrass Veterinary and Production services, Dr. Travis Hill followed with a presentation and discussion on beef cattle vaccination protocols, covering perinatal vaccinations, pre-breeding vaccinations for bulls, branding vaccinations, vaccination foundations for efficacy, weaning vaccinations, fall cow vaccinations, and replacement heifer vaccinations.
To finish out the series, Jacob Rickman, the Extension Educator in Oneida County provided information on nematode parasites. Rickman’s programming efforts focus on multi-species companion grazing, prescriptive burns, non-traditional winter feeds, and domestic livestock and wildlife land use integration.
Rickman discussed management strategies for resistant parasite populations, how lifecycles interact with grazing seasons and treatment options and costs. This educational offering was highly successful in great part to the generous support of C-A-L Ranch with their vendors Zoetis and PRO Earth Animal Health, Idaho AgCredit, and Performix Nutrition Systems.
For more information on this beef school series or about upcoming educational offerings please contact Meranda Small at the University of Idaho Bingham County Extension office.