Minimize Stress for Calves Arriving at the Feedyard

Transitioning calves from pasture to the feedyard can be a stressful process for cattle... but it doesn't have to be. Anything producers can do to minimize that stress helps calves respond better to vaccines, stay healthy and start eating feed sooner.

Calf Stress Factors

Some of the main factors that contribute to an animal’s stress include:

  • Learning to eat from a bunk 

  • Drinking from water tanks or automatic drinkers

  • No vaccinations pre-weaning

  • Coming off poor forage due to drought

  • Lighter placement weights

  • Gathering, sorting and trucking 

  • Shrink

  • Commingling with other calves

How to Reduce Calf Stress

Having a transition plan in place can help minimize these stressors.

Securing enough labor to process the wave of cattle that comes in the fall is a big first step. It’s also important to train employees on low stress handling techniques to keep cortisol levels as low as possible; this returns cattle to a normal immunological status as soon as possible so they more effectively respond to vaccines.

Implementing a vaccination protocol that accounts for the risk level of the calves arriving at the feedyard is another helpful step.

Finally, from a nutrition perspective, help calves find the water as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to supplement microminerals to get the immune system off to a good start and ensure their diet includes high quality forage. 

Download the FBN® Fall Run Guide

Download the FBN Fall Run Guide for a calf risk assessment and a breakdown of all relevant viral and bacterial vaccines that can help prevent and treat respiratory disease.

Prepare for Fall Run with FBN Direct®

FBN Direct offers a broad range of vaccinesdewormersimplants and general animal health products for livestock producers. With convenient online purchasing options and fast, direct-to-farm delivery in three days or lessFBN Direct offers a seamless and streamlined purchasing experience for all your animal health supplies. 

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