Tera Barnhardt, DVM: The ABC?S of BRD


Dr. Barnhardt is back with some helpful tips. Today, she’s talking about Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD and how to avoid it in your cattle herd!

Bovine Respiratory Disease is a dirty word in the cattle world and when I see a lot of my clients loading up on calves this fall, I figure it?s time to brush up on the books. School is in session for more than just the kids this fall!

1.     A is for Antibiotics. You think they?re the answer to all of your Bovine Respiratory Disease, don?t you? Antibiotics are no substitute for good management. Work with your veterinarian to develop a plan for responsible treatment, prevention and control of Bovine Respiratory Disease. Don?t plan on hanging your hat on the new, shiny protocol! Make the protocol work for you and relay the importance of managing cattle correctly to your team of employees.
2.     B is for Bookkeeping. When you?re trying to figure out what went wrong, or if it?s even gone wrong yet, make sure you have good records to go through. Where Bovine Respiratory Disease is concerned, make sure you can look back through the records and see when you treated each animal, what product they were treated with and what symptoms were observed. Take these records to your Vet and get the problem figured out before it?s a wreck!
3.     C is for Cud. Make sure your calves are chewing quality cud! Feed a balanced ration and consult a nutritionist in order to formulate it. Don?t let your calves hit the bunk too hard and make sure nothing is falling behind the pack. Good appetites fuel healthy immune systems.

4.     D is for Distractions. In the fall, your vet will call this combine/planter disease. Shelling corn is important and I know you need to get that wheat in the ground, but don?t forget about your cattle! Feed consistently. Provide a good environment for cattle including pen conditions and clean water sources. Consistently monitor your herd health and call the Vet early if you have a concern!
5.     E is for Economics. Don?t purchase or let an order buyer compromise your profit margin by purchasing a problem. Medicine, feed and good management can?t always fix everything. Some cattle just aren?t going to be profitable.

Here?s to a wonderful fall, a safe harvest and a disease-free run in the cattle business!

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