Having a management program in place is key for the calf crop going into a feedyard, but it is equally important to have an efficient management program for the cow herd and to let buyers know about it.

"First, it's important to have a good, sound preventative program in the cow herd," Dr. Ted McCollum, Texas AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, says. "That program needs to be driven by the (producers') interaction with their veterinarian from their region."

"A lot of the routine things that sound so simple really make an impact on the calf in the feedyard," Dr. Steve Lewis, consulting feedyard veterinarian, says.

There are diseases and viruses for which the vaccination of the cow can establish some early immunity in the calf. This helps the calves to establish a lifelong immunity that may reduce problems once they leave the ranch, McCollum explains.

From the time the calf is in the uterus and later, a good vaccination program for the cow supports the calf's likelihood of developing a better immune system and remaining a healthy calf later in life. McCollum says the development of the maternal antibodies that are passed to the calf in colostrum early in life can help them later in life.

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