Preconditioning: The Three Pronged Prep for Feedlot Performance

Preconditioning calves is a broadly used term, but at its essence it means preparing calves to perform well in the feedlot. It not only reduces sickness and death, but gives cattle a foundation to gain at faster rates.

This is because calves that are preconditioned experience shipping fever and respiratory diseases at a much lower rate and are already acclimated to drinking water and eating feed from a bunk. 

Get ‘em feedlot ready

A good preconditioning program is achieved through a three prong approach setting calves up for success in the feed yard.


Wean calves at least 45 days prior to shipping, train them to drink water and eat a dry feed diet from the bunk.


Vaccinate for shipping fever, bovine respiratory disease, and other health challenges you experience in the fall. 


Show calves to fresh, clean water in a trough as soon as possible. Start calves on a good quality dry feed diet balanced for energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. 

Shop FBN’s animal health online store for pre-conditioning vaccines.

Contact us

Consult with FBN’s nutrition team to sample your feedstuffs and balance the diet ensuring you are meeting nutritional requirements without overspending.

Contact our livestock team to start the conversation. 

Preconditioning calves prior to feedlot arrival increases the value of the calf and improves the quality of the overall beef supply chain by sending healthy, bunk-broke calves to the feed yard. 


The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your animals.

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