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Preconditioning?


By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties

Source: Timothy J. Goldsmith DVM, MPH, DACVPM, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

It is the time of the year to start considering the marketing of your calves. It is also the time of the year when we start hearing about preconditioning calves and how important that is to adding value to your calves.

What exactly is preconditioning? Currently this term is used loosely throughout the cattle industry, but what does it mean?

Preconditioning as a management program is designed to prepare calves to move through the high stress time of weaning from the cow to the next stage of their life. This is a critical time for calves as it has historically been the highest risk time for sickness. With the high price of calves and high input costs on the feed side cattle buyers desire cattle that will go to work at the feed bunk and stay out of the sick pen.

The basis for any preconditioning program is to plan vaccinations, processing procedures, and nutrition changes prior to the stress of weaning, with the goal of preventing illness during and after the weaning period.

The goal of vaccination is to induce an immune response in calves prior to the exposure to common diseases associated with weaning, commingling, and transportation. In order to maximize the immune response vaccines must be administered appropriately. Appropriate administration of vaccines includes keeping them out of direct sunlight, vaccines should be kept cool on warm days and not frozen on cold days, using the correct dose, administering by correct route, giving a booster if using killed vaccines, and using cattle handling practices that reduce the stress on the calves. Vaccines should be given at least two weeks and not more than six weeks prior to weaning; depending on your program this may include a second round of shots 2-6 weeks following the first.

Typical processing such as castration, dehorning, and deworming can add up to become very stressful to a calf. Doing these procedures prior to weaning so that calves can be healed is desirable and can greatly reduce the amount of stress a calf endures at weaning. Treating for internal and external parasites has a great benefit for the calf as parasites can greatly reduce the immune status of a calf as well as steal important nutritional resources.

One of the g .....
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64

The MN State Fair media trip

By Austen Whitacre

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

The state fair is known for many things. All the animals, the great food, the fair even has rides for all ages. So with all this stuff going on, who is making sure that every one that isn’t visiting this fair knows what is going on? Well this year ..... 
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Farmers had a field day on September 14

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

By Barb Jeffers A Field Day was held Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, at Simon Farms near Harmony, Minn. from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with owner Josh Simon on hand sharing his experiences with visitors. The Field Day was sponsored by Crop Production Servic ..... 
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4H at the State Fair

By Austen Whitacre

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

By Austen Whitacre 4-H is a national organization for youth who want to learn leadership and life skills. The youth that participate can choose a lot of different project areas to be a part of. After talking with Travis Troendle at the state fair ..... 
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Youth safety around the farm: tractors are tools, not toys

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

(ARA) - The warm summer months into the fall harvest season are some of the most beautiful times on the farm. Crops are in full-swing, fruit is abundant and families often make annual trips to local farms and festivals during this time. Whether you ..... 
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Is your ATV a farm machine?

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties A few weeks ago I started doing research on a topic for this Farm Safety Week column. What struck me was how often ATVs were included in the Agricultural Safety information. For examp ..... 
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Forest Pest First detector workshop in Red Wing

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 7th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties Minnesota is looking for volunteers to join the hundreds of citizens who already have stepped up to help keep an eye out for new infestations of emerald ash borer and other destructiv ..... 
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Livestock gross margin - dairy insurance

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Aug 31st, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Many dairy operators are expressing concern today about milk and feed prices and how they will plan ahead to maintain and strengthen their business positions. A common recommendation in risk management states that not only should one be protecting ..... 
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Beef Ambassador team members sought in MN

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Minneapolis, MN- Applications are currently being accepted for the MN Beef Ambassador Team for 2013. The MN Beef Ambassador team provides an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and students about beef nutrition, food safety and stewardship an ..... 
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