“We are really dry in the Southeast this year and our grass is really thin,” says Dr. Jody Wade, Senior Professional Services Veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. “In many places, producers are already feeding hay.”

Dr. Wade, who is based in eastern Tennessee, says cattle, both cows and calves, may be nutritionally behind unless producers are supplementing due to short pastures.

“We had some folks take advantage of higher calf prices when they pulled fall-born calves this spring and they skipped preconditioning,” explains Dr. Wade. “Unfortunately, those calves are now really struggling through the production cycle, whether at a stocker level or in a feedyard.”

“If it is at all possible producers need to precondition their calves this fall,” stresses Dr. Wade.  “Preconditioning sets calves up for success.”

Dr. Wade makes the following recommendations for Southeastern producers preconditioning spring-born calves this fall:

  • Minerals: The poor forage quality really puts emphasis back on providing the right mineral pack for the herd to provide key micronutrients
  • Use the right vaccines:  Vaccinate to cover the big five viruses—BVD Types 1 & 2, BRSV, PI3, and IBR. It is also crucial to protect against clostridial disease and pasteurella.
  • Wean 45 days: If you have the ability to wean calves 45 days, it really does provide the healthiest calf for the buyer

“Sickness and disease challenges in the next steps of the production cycle can be prevented with preconditioning,” says Dr. Wade. “If sickness rates are high for buyers it is bad for everyone, including the cow-calf producer. Reputation is everything in this business and preconditioning helps make a reputation calf.”

Watch a video interview with Dr. Jody Wade here.

For more information, please visit: www.bi-vetmedica.com.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, MO) is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, based in Ridgefield, CT, and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.