10. Management Summary
Summary of good management practices for preventing BRD (Cow-calf and feedlot)
Before shipping calves from the cow-calf operation (or other source of cattle) to the feedlot:
"What about vaccinations? I give vaccinations as soon as the calves arrive at the feedlot."
Unfortunately, vaccination for BRD upon arrival at the feedlot is not the best answer. Vaccines do not result in immediate protection. It can take several days, even weeks for the immune system to develop a protective response against BRD pathogens. By the time cattle respond to the vaccine given upon arrival at the feedlot, they typically have already been stressed and thereby put at high risk for developing BRD. Although vaccination at arrival can have some benefit, optimal protection can best be achieved by vaccinating at least 2 weeks before weaning - with a booster at least 2 weeks before shipment to the feedlot. However, vaccination upon arrival is still a good management procedure if vaccine status is unknown."
Investing in the prevention of BRD is important because much of the
animal's productivity has already been lost once the clinical signs of
BRD appear. Preconditioning cattle before their arrival at the
feedlot and observing cattle frequently for signs of BRD are management
procedures that can help reduce BRD. Additionally, reducing stress
during transport, using biosecurity measures to prevent transmission of
pathogens, and providing a clean, comfortable environment can all help
in reducing stress while in the feedlot. When treatment is necessary,
utilizing appropriate protocols regarding which cattle to treat and
what therapies to use also aid in the management of BRD. By
implementing these preventive measures, the need for and use of
to treat BRD can be limited.
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