6. Preventing BRD
“So what you are saying is that the best thing to do for these calves is to precondition them instead of giving them antibiotics before they go to the feedlot.”
“That’s correct, Pat. And the best news is that the feedlots may be willing to pay a premium. Because we have increased the chance of them staying healthy, we have also increased the chance of the calf performing optimally and increased the chance of producing a quality product. Producers can see up to a $3-$4 premium per 100 pounds of preconditioned animal weight at auction or sale compared with non-preconditioned calves. Plus, since animals are more likely to remain healthy, we have reduced the likelihood that antibiotics will be needed for these animals, and therefore we have reduced the changes of antimicrobial resistance developing.”
“Wow, I never thought of it that way. I guess it's time for me to start preventing BRD.”
Management procedures included in a good preconditioning program can help prevent BRD. This tends to be more cost-effective than antibiotic treatment of cattle that develop BRD. Additionally, the overuse of antibiotics will eventually foster antimicrobial resistance, which can negatively impact both animal and human health.