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Group Title: Mimeo report - University of Florida Range Cattle Station ; 70-1
Title: How well accepted is preconditioning of beef calves?
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074326/00001
 Material Information
Title: How well accepted is preconditioning of beef calves?
Series Title: Mimeo report
Physical Description: 9 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Chapman, H. L ( Herbert L. ), 1923-
Range Cattle Station, Ona
Publisher: Range Cattle Station
Place of Publication: Ona FL
Publication Date: 1970
 Subjects
Subject: Calves -- Preconditioning -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: H.L. Chapman, Jr.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January 1970."
Funding: Mimeo report (Range Cattle Station, Ona) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074326
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 86110265

Table of Contents
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Historic note
        Page 10
Full Text

HUME LIBRARY


n Range Cattle Station JUL 1 1972 -
RCS 70-1 January 1970
I.F.A.S. Univ. of Florida

HOW ,WNT7LLACGEP.TED IS
PRECONDITYCIT:iG OF BEEF CALVES? 1/
H. L. Chapman, Jr.
Animal. Nutritionist and Head,
Range Cattle Station, Ona, Florida

Preconditioning has been defined as being a
management procedure that.allows'.a calf to be' weaned and
to pass into the feedlot with a minimum of stress. The
term has received a great .deal of publicity during the past

few years, but in reality most of the actual practices
are not new. The-technology has been available for most
recommendations for some time and the practices are being'
used .by many cattlemen. Nation-wide standardization of

practices involved has not:been successful due to a
variety of.needs in different locations. 'Some areas of
the country require rather extensive immunization programs
while others do not. Some areas require more external

and internal parasite control practices than others.
Many cattlemen do not have facilities for preweaning calves;
others do not have grain or facilities to teach calves
to eat. Simple, effective means of animal identification
have not been developed. However, preconditioned, or
backgrounded, calves are increasing in number and are becoming


V/ Talk presented February 1970, Homosassa Springs,Florida.









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more in demand by feedlot operators. At present the most

benefit from preconditioning appears to be based on private

contract between producer and feedlot operator based on

mutual confidence and experiences. As the practice

becomes more widespread and various problems are resolved

it is very probable that backgrounded information will

become an essential part of marketing calves.

In order to determine how well-accepted preconditioning

has become, some of the problems involved and the current

thinking in various areas of the United States, a survey

questionnaire was sent out to experiment stations in the

fall of 1969. The result of this survey are attached.

The first seven questions were to determine how

widespread preconditioning had become. The following

questions were asked:

1. Preconditioning of beef cattle is practiced
in this state:

a. None
b. To some extent
c. Quite widely

2. The number of preconditioned calves in this
state is:

a. None
'b. Increased slowly
c. Increasing rapidly

3. During 1968-69 the estimated number of
preconditioned calves produced in this
state was ___








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4. Is preconditioning becoming well-accepted by:
a. Cattle producer (yes or no)__
b. Feeder (yes or no)

5. Are preconditioned calves in demand by
the feeder?

6. Do preconditioned calves bring a higher price
than non-preconditioned calves?

7. Do you have formal research in progress that
feeders or cattlemen could consider when
evaluating the practice of preconditioning cattle?

There was considerable variation in response to the

above questions. The answers are listed, by areas, in the

next table. It is interesting to note that preconditioning

was practiced in every state that responded and was slowly
increasing in usage. Many.people could not make an accurate

estimate of the number of calves being preconditioned.

in their state but the practice appears to be best accepted

in the southwest and far west. Also the feeder is more

in favor of preconditioning than the cow-man. There was
a-price differential for preconditioned calves reported

in some states but the majority did not have any. Ten

of the 19 states reporting have research projects

underway to evaluate the practice of preconditioning.









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SQuestion number
1 2 3 4a 4b 5 6 7


Southeast

Alabama
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi.
North Carolina

Southwest


?4
?

5,000
?
2,000


No
No
No
Yes
Yes


?
Yes
No
Yes
Yes


Yes
No
No
No
No


Arizona
Colorado
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Texas


Midwest


Iowa
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Michigan
Nebraska


4,000
?
25,000
100,000
50,000


?
20%
2,000

1,200
?


Yes
No
No
Yes
No


No
No
No
Yes
No
No


No
No
No
?
Yes
Yes


No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No


Yes
Yes
Yes
?
Yes
Yes


No
Yes
No
No
No


Yes
Sometimes
Yes
?
No
Sometimes


Far west


California
Idaho
Montana


60,000 No
250,000 No
? .No


In order to determine what was considered to be most

helpful about preconditioning the question was asked as to

what was considered the main benefit derived from the practice.


Yes
No
No
No
No


Yes
No
No
Yes
No


Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes


Yes
Yes
Yes


No
Yes
Yes


Yes
Yes
No


Yes
Yes
No








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There was a wide variety of responses as.seen below

(the number of responses for each benefit are listed in

parentheses). By far the most common benefit listed was

a decreased mortality and increased rate of gain by calves

during the first 30 days in the feedlot. Other benefits were

closely related to decreased mortality and all emphasize the
fact that preconditioning is in reality good management.

a. Less loss of calves and gain during first
S30 days (10)
b. 'Savings to feeders (4)
c. Reduced stress (4)
d. Less disease incidence (3)
e. Improves management (3)
f. Immunization (3)
g. Acclimation to concentrate feed (2)
h. Teach to eat (2)
i. Reduced shrink (2)
j. Association with confinement (1)

A review of talks presented at national preconditioning
meetings reveals a divergence of opinion among producers,

veterinarians and research people about what practices are

most important in preconditioning programs. To obtain

additional information in this.respect the question was asked,

"What are the preconditioning treatments that are most
important for calves in your state"? The responses to this

question are listed below. Almost all responses indicated

that immunization against disease was vital. There was

some variation in the diseases that should be vaccinated
for but immunization was a must. Other factors that were








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considered important are preweaning, teaching calves to eat,

castrating, dehorning and parasite control.
a. Immunization (15)
b. Weaning (9)
c. Teach to eat (9)
d. Castrate (8)
e. Worm (8)
f. Dehorn (7)
g. Treat fo:" grubs (5)
h. Improve transportation efficiency (4)
i. Vitamin injection (2)
j. Record keeping (1)

Each person responding to the questionnaire was invited

to comment on preconditioning. The comments were most

interesting and tend to emphasize the divergence of thinking

regarding the practice. Most of the comments dealt with

specific problems different people were experiencing and

emphasize that there is a need for further research and

experience to show how much benefit preconditioning may

have for both the cow-and-calf-man and the feeder. The

comments are listed below:

a. Preconditioning applies only to ranch of
origin procedures.
b. Some vaccinations are waste of money.
c. No extra payment for preconditioning.
d. Certification might bring about increased payment.
e. Catch all phrase that creates much confusion
and means nothing more than good management.
f. Immunization unimportant if cattle know
how to eat.
g. Feeders want calves weaned 4 weeks before
shipment. This can be costly procedure.
.h. No premium being paid so producers are not
anxious to do more than minimum, but
preconditioning produces healthier calves.
i. Claims for preconditioning have not been
substantiated. More information is needed.








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j. Biggest problem is transportation of calves.
k. Primarily a management problem.
1. Uncertain.
m. Biological immunization tools need:
more development.
n. Integrated cattle.operator will get-most
benefit.
o. Parasite best done by feeder.
p. Of unquestionable preventative value.
q.. Preconditioning has a lot of value.

One facet of preconditioning that has received much

publicity is disease control. This is not the only factor

but it does constitute an important part of preconditioning.

At the time a calf is weaned it has lost the maternal immunity

which it developed early in life, from antibodies in its

mothers milk, and which lasts until the calf is 4 to 6 months

old. Unless care is taken the stresses occurring at weaning

time will weaken the calf so that it is susceptible to

disease. If calves are weaned directly onto a truck, hauled
for long distances without feed and water and than dehorned,

castrated, wormed and castrated they will lose weight,
become ill and mortality can be high. This has become more

of a problem during recent years since increasing numbers

of calves are going directly into the feedlot at weaning.

Variation exists in thinking as to how long maternal

immunity protects the calf. This is further confused by

some calves developing .immunity through natural infection,

by the fact that maternal immunity varies for different









diseases, that vaccination developed shorter-lived immunity

to bacterial than to viral diseases and that stress may

precipitate a latent or mild infections into acute diseases.

Immunization vaccination programs should not start

until after maternal antibodies have disappeared. Vaccination

will not be effective for animals with passive or maternal

immunity for the disease being vaccinated against. Also,

immunity does not develop immediately. It takes 3 to 4

weeks after vaccination to develop adequate protection.

Local veterinarians should be consulted to determine

vaccination needed and when they should be given. It has

been repeatedly demonstrated that, where needed, proper

immunization programs will result in fewer deaths, faster

gains and more profit.

The need will vary, but when the comprehensive

immunization programs are needed the following treatments

are suggested:


Age
(months)


4




6, or more



Weaning'


Treatment


Brand
Dehorn
Castrate
Vaccinate for IBR, leptospirosis, blackleg,
malignant edema and give injectable Vitamin A.
Vaccinate for BVD and for P13 if a killed
vaccine is used.
Give injectable vitamin A.
Dehorn, brand and castrate, if not done earlier.
Revaccinate for blackleg and malignant edema.
Treat for grubs and worms, if necessary.
Wean 3 to 4 weeks before marketing and teach to eat.


I


-








-9-


There may be other treatments that will be needed

in different localities for other diseases or conditions.

Local veterinarians should be consulted concerning the

vaccination program.
SUMMARY

There are a number of considerations that are involved

in preconditioning. Of most importance appears to be the

need for the cowman and feeder to build up confidence in

the benefits of the program. Immunity must be developed by

properly vaccination, stress must be avoided, animals must

be properly identified and must know how to eat. Certification

must be given describing treatments given and confidence must

exist with the feeder that the treatments certified have

been properly administered. Preconditioning involves extra

expense and facilities. The cowman must have confidence

that he can be adequately reimbursed for the extra cost he

may have. There are number of problems involved. Pre-
conditioning programs appear to be best suited for private

negotiation between the cowman and feeder and must be based
on a mutual trust and respect being developed.





RCS 70-1
175 copies









HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






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