Livestock

Livestock


Jun 28, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Buying animal health products can be cumbersome but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s face it, livestock producers and ranchers are busy folks.  But setting your operation up for success means that you don’t always have time to run errands in town, sometimes not finding what you need in stock.  That’s where FBN® comes in. Now you can get animal health products shipped directly to your farm or ranch. The best part? We offer free shipping on orders over $500.  online animal health store has upfront prices allowing you to compare products and choose what is best for your operation. When you’re ready to order, just add the items you need to your cart and submit your order.  Here are some of the ways you can save by shopping for Animal Health products with .  1. Compare products and prices We carry products from all of the major manufacturers so you’ll also be able to find branded products you know. We also carry plenty of generic alternatives that are effective but usually cheaper.  Here’s an example: if you’re searching for by Zoetis, you’ll see comparable products like and listed for comparison.  2. Big order discount By planning ahead for your weekly, monthly or quarterly animal health product and supply needs, you’ll qualify for discounts that are applied to your cart every time you order. The great thing about this is that there is no waiting for rebate checks.  There are two tiers to qualify for these discounts. (*some restrictions apply) Spend or more on animal health products and supplies and receive your entire animal health and supplies order. Spend or more on animal health products and supplies and receive your entire animal health and supplies order. 3. Free shipping It doesn’t get much better than free shipping on orders over $500 with products delivered directly to your doorstep.  4. Manufacturer pricing programs We honor and facilitate manufacturer pricing programs. If you are already on a program, such as , we can set up your account to reflect that pricing and be visible to you when you are shopping on the online animal health store.  What’s available on ’s Animal Health store? Whether you’re looking for antibiotics or vaccines, you’ll find everything you need on ’s online animal health store.  Here are some of the product categories you can shop for with Shop Animal Health products Find all of the animal health products you need by shopping online at the .  * Terms & Conditions FBN Direct® pharmacy products and services are offered by Direct and are available only in states where Direct is licensed. Terms and conditions apply. Minimum order subtotal applies to animal health products or supplies only (vaccines, antibiotics, parasiticides, implants, reproductive products and supplies). Does not apply to feed, feed additives, milk replacer, or other livestock nutrition products. Member Account Must schedule a delivery window at time of ordering. Delivery must occur within 3 months of purchase. For customers on manufacturer contract or loyalty programs (e.g., Zoetis Leaders Edge, One Merck), this discount will not be stacked with products eligible for those programs. It will be applied to any non-contract items. Available while supplies last. All sales final. Program details subject to change.


Jun 27, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

Planning ahead for your reproductive synchronization program will have many benefits and will help you successfully take advantage of your calving window.  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, as she discusses the 5 ways to plan for your reproductive synchronization program. Watch now 1. Repro 101 Producers should understand the basics of the cattle reproductive cycle. There are 4 different phases of the cattle estrous cycle which will eventually lead to ovulation. The different waves of the estrous cycle are: Recruitment follicles Selected follicles Dominant follicles Atretic follicles The entire cycle can take anywhere from 18 to 22 days and in some cases slightly longer. Cattle can respond to drugs differently depending on the wave that they’re going through. In general, it’s good to understand this cycle so you’re able to monitor your cattle throughout the different waves.  Drugs Let’s look at some of the different drugs you may be using throughout the estrous cycle.
 Prostaglandins These lyse the corpus luteum and start a new follicular wave leading to a new ovulation. Examples of prostaglandins include: GnRH These stimulate follicle growth leading to new follicular waves. Examples of GnRH include: CIDR® This is a progesterone infused cattle insert. Read more to learn .  Melengestrol acetate This is a feed progesterone product that suppresses heat. If you stop giving the animal this product, the cattle will start cycling again.  2. Goals It’s good to set goals for your synchronization program. You’ll need to factor in several things when setting these goals. Keep in mind that not every single cow/heifer will conceive. You’ll want to consider AI versus bull breeding. The most common goal for producers is decreasing the actual calving window in order to tighten up your breeding season. Think about the different methods you’d like to use. This could include giving the animal shots, shots + CIDR®, or feed additives. Cost is another major factor to consider for your program. Every synchronization program has different costs. Depending on the program you’re using, your cost could vary anywhere from $3/cow to $30/cow.  Choosing the right program may depend on the type of facilities and labor you have available on your operation. Do you have the time and the people to run your cattle through a chute multiple times?  3. Advantages of a synchronization program The biggest advantage is shortening the breeding season. This optimizes both time and labor and gives you a more concentrated calving window.  It also produces a more uniform calf crop which is more marketable. Heifer development will also benefit from this if you’re going to retain your heifers. There is potential for improved genetics through artificial insemination. You’ll also be able to more uniformly manage your cows and calves from to nutrition and more.  4. Requirements for success Your program needs to be well planned and implemented correctly. Ideally, try to start thinking about your program ahead of calving season.  Plan to set up an adequate nutrition program for cows, heifers and bulls. You should also ensure that semen handling and storage is done properly by experienced inseminators if you are considering AI.  Think about how much labor you’ll need around the synchronization process and the facilities you’ll require.  If you’re using bulls and not using AI, you need to be sure your bull power is adequate. Depending on a bull’s age, this usually means about 10-25 cows/bull. The younger they are, the less cows they’ll be able to cover. Don’t forget to do your Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) at least four weeks prior to breeding. You may need to retest a bull two weeks later so this will give you plenty of time to be sure the bull is fertile.  Heat detection Standing heat occurs when a cow stands still allowing others to mount her. The cow will be in standing heat for about 10 hours. Typically, the rule is to follow the AM/PM rule meaning you will breed your cattle 12 hours after visual standing heat. So if you see this in the morning, you should breed your cow in the evening. It does take labor to heat detect if you don’t have any bulls naturally covering your cows. You need to have enough time and people to go and watch your cattle. Two to three times a day is minimal for heat watch. Considering that standing heat is a 10 hour window, you need to know exactly when the cow started her heat.  If you heat detect less, you could miss a standing heat or not know when it started.  Management of heifers Breed heifers so they calve 30 to 45 days before your cows. This gives them extra time to breed back for the next year. These are the only animals in your herd that are still growing, while lactating and trying to get pregnant a second time. They will need some grace period.  5. Protocols There are many types of protocols to consider. Every program is different and varies in total length, products used, and cost. When it comes to cost, keep these factors top of mind: Hormones CIDR®  Labor Facilities  AI (including storage, straws, technician costs) Heat detection only Breed 12 hours after the visual of standing heat. Heat detection with timed AI Breeding 12 hours after the visual of standing heat OR at a timed AI window. Fixed time AI Breeding at a specific timed AI window without heat detection. There are many different ways to synchronize your herd. Work closely with your veterinarian to decide which protocol and system will work best for your operation. Sources


Apr 29, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

As cattle start to be turned out to pasture, it’s a good time to think about how to deal with clostridium and the problems it can bring to your operation. Having a sound clostridial vaccine strategy will help you manage and prevent issues for your herd.  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses the different types of clostridium, treatment strategies and prevention methods.  Watch Now: Developing a Clostridial Vaccine Strategy Clostridium Types Clostridium is a large spore forming gram positive bacteria. It can produce endotoxin which will cause severe tissue damage. Both black leg and tetanus are the result of endotoxins that are produced from bacteria. The main types of clostridium to look for in cattle include: Type C (Clostridium perfringens type C) Type D (Clostridium perfringens type D) Type A (Clostridium perfringens type A) Tetanus (Clostridium tetani) Redwater (Clostridium haemolyticum) Blackleg (Clostridium chauvoei) Malignant edema (Clostridium septicum) It’s important to note the scientific name of each type because sometimes this is listed on the label of the vaccine and will help you identify what the vaccine is treating.  Type C Type C causes bloody intestines (hemorrhagic enteritis). The symptoms of this type of clostridium include lethargy, bloody diarrhea, and cattle being off milk or feed. This usually affects younger animals on milk. Type D This is sometimes referred to as “overeating disease.” The common predisposing factor that leads to this is excessive ingestion of feed or milk. Symptoms include sudden death in animals who are suspected of over eating. Severe bloat pushes the abdominal cavity on the lungs of the cattle and causes them to suffocate. Sometimes animals will appear neurologic before death and may stumble around as toxins are causing damage. Type A Younger calves who are fed milk can develop “garbage gut.” Symptoms in this scenario include lethargy, bloat, and being off milk/feed. In severe cases, the calf can die from toxemia. Type A causes lesions also known as severe ulcerative abomasitis. There is no commercial vaccine for Type A clostridium. There is hope that other clostridial vaccines may provide some cross protection against Type A. Autogenous vaccines are very effective for this type of clostridium and working with a veterinarian can help you see if this strategy would be a good fit for your operation.  Blackleg This clostridium is ingested through pasture or recent dirt work and migrates to the muscles. It typically remains dormant in the animal until injury or changes in the muscle occur from injury such as the animal’s chest hitting the front of the chute or riding other animals. This then allows spores to multiply. Symptoms include cattle becoming severely lethargic, sudden death, edema or swelling of the hip, shoulder or neck muscles.  Tetanus Tetanus is known as “lockjaw” or muscle stiffness. Tissue has to be favorable for this infection to occur and likelihood of infection can be increased by castration, tagging, or any events that can cause tissue injury. Tetanus is very difficult to treat once symptoms are severe such as locked legs or locked jaw. Because tetanus is so difficult to treat, it’s recommended to implement a vaccine strategy. Red Water This is a unique type of clostridium that is initiated by liver damage (typically by liver flukes). Once this occurs, clostridial spores multiply within the animal. The location of your herd can greatly increase the chance for red water. In an area that is very marshy (ex. Northern Minnesota), you may see more problems caused by liver flukes. Symptoms include lethargy, port-wine colored urine, and in severe cases sudden death. This is not typically found in most “7 way” vaccines so you’ll want to work with a veterinarian to find an “8 way” or “9 way” vaccine to mitigate risk associated with Red Water disease.  Treatment of Clostridiales Some of the different methods of treating clostridiales include: Antitoxin products  Antibiotics Anti-inflammatories (for endotoxins) Keep in mind that treatment is difficult when the disease process has advanced because toxins have created too much damage and drugs simply won’t be effective.  Prevention Vaccines for clostridium are extremely effective in the prevention of both disease and death. There are multiple vaccines available. Some of the more common vaccines are: CD + T Clostridium C/D Tetanus Example : by Merck Animal Health or by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc. 7 Way Clostridium chauvoei Clostridium septicum Clostridium novae Clostridium sordelli iClostridium types C/D Example: by Merck Animal Health or by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  8 Way 7 Way + Red Water strain Example: by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  9 Way 7 way + Red Water and Tetanus Example: by Merck Animal Health It’s important to always read the labels of your vaccines and to consult with a veterinarian to help manage your prevention strategy.  Management Vaccinating your cattle in a timely manner before pasture turn out and before heavy feeding periods is a smart management strategy. Knowing if you’ve had a problem in the past will also help your operation. Be conscious of dirt movement and construction in your yard. If cattle ingest excessive amounts of dirt, it may change your clostridium risk. Keep in mind that feed piles stored on dirt versus cement can also increase clostridium exposure. 


Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But as you start to think about grass turnout this spring, there are a number of factors to keep in mind in order to keep your herd healthy and to maximize your ROI.  Watch now Watch as Dr. Brian Dorcey, FBN®’s Head of Veterinary Strategy and Dr. Monty Kerley, Sr. Ruminant Nutritionist and Business Development discuss the best practices for grass turnout: Pasture management When it comes to pasture management, make sure your cattle match your grass. Pasture management can be affected by heat units and the amount of moisture, so it will be a little different every year.  Cattle and farmers can be anxious to get out to pasture but it’s important not to overgraze too early. Take out your herd and rotate pastures frequently instead of letting them graze too much or mud down a pasture.  It’s good to know the balance of cool season and warm season grasses in your area as well as in your pastures. This will help you maximize the amount of growth you can get off that grass.  It’s also important to not let the grass get ahead of you. When the grass matures, the seed heads can actually damage the eye and possibly lead to pinkeye challenges later in the grazing season.  Consider haying or clipping your pastures to refresh the growth and remove some of the mature grass from the face of your cows.  Pasture maintenance Good fences make good neighbors. Ensure your fences are maintained. Spray for weeds and cut trees before your pasture starts to grow too much.  Pasture sprays such as and are available on . It’s also a good time to evaluate the ROI of a fertilizer program. This will differ from farm-to-farm and pasture-to-pasture but thinking about how you can introduce fertilizers into your management program can help you maximize the value of your pasture.  Factors influencing nutrition needs One of the things to focus on at this time of the year is the mineral needs of the cows.  There are several factors that influence a cow’s nutrition needs: Cows have added nutrient requirements for fetal growth, reproductive tract repair and milk production. Milk production increases calcium and mineral requirements.  Trace minerals are important for conception. The mineral nutrition of the cow determines the mineral status of the calf at birth, which is important for growth and health.  By utilizing a breeder mineral, you increase the calcium available to the cow, which is needed for milk production. Introducing trace minerals in a hydroxychloride form will maximize the availability of trace minerals that the cow can actually use because they prevent minerals from being tied up by antagonists like sulfur. In rapidly growing forages during spring, potassium and magnesium compete in grass. The plant can be limited or deficient in the amount of magnesium it provides when cows eat it. This can cause a magnesium deficiency in cows that is also known as grass tetany.  Breeding & bull power As you’re doing semen evaluations on your bull batteries on farms, it’s good to consider the bull to cow ratio. This differs from farm-to-farm and the specific area of the country you may be in.  On average, a good bull to cow ratio is in the range of one to twenty or one to thirty. This can be determined by the age of the bull and how many acres the bull has to cover. When there’s a lot of area to cover, the one to twenty ratio is more practical. In a more confined range situation, the one to thirty ratio makes sense. Try to semen check your bull as close to turn out as possible for a real time measure of fertility.  It’s also important to monitor a bull’s body condition. If a bull loses a significant amount of weight throughout the winter, this will affect its fertility. It’s a best practice to stratify bulls by age and size in multiple pastures.  Disease prevention Knowing biosecurity risks for your herd will help inform some of the management decisions that you face throughout the year. Be aware of animals that you’ve purchased and monitor them closely. These animals have the potential to bring in new strains of pinkeye, Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), or Johne’s disease.  To protect against these diseases, you can find products like from Elanco or from Zoetis on the store.  Being aware of biosecurity risks can help you develop an appropriate vaccine and management strategy. For example, you may need to quarantine new animals for 30 days or consider using a metaphylactic antibiotic treatment strategy. In some cases, you may want to contact the person who sold you the animals to get a better understanding of their herd status.  You should also consider consulting with neighbors who may have fence line contacts. Many diseases can be introduced across fence lines. Having conversations with your neighbor about the health of their herd could have potential implications on how you manage your own herd.  Some common questions to ask your neighbor about their herd: Did you see any changes in health? Did you see more abortions this year? Did you have more open cows than you did last year? Are you treating more calves for summertime pneumonia? Are you seeing more foot rot or pinkeye?  If both you and your neighbor are more vigilant about biosecurity risks, you both have the opportunity to ensure your herd is healthy.  Keeping disease off your farm There are diseases that you may not be able to keep off your farm because they’re endemic in your cow herd. In this case, work with a veterinarian to develop the right vaccine protocols for your operation.  Pasture management checklist As you think about grass turnout, keep these tips in mind: What is your plan for pasture management and grazing? Have you chosen the right mineral supplement for your herd?  What does your breeding program look like and what is your plan for bull power? What biosecurity measures do you have in place and how are you managing disease? What is your deworming strategy for your cows and calves?


Mar 15, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

Newborn beef calves are now sprinkled across the countryside. Early calf care and the right vaccination protocols can mitigate the risk and severity of sickness, setting calves up for success. Vaccines will help reduce the number of calves you’ll need to treat, minimize death loss, and improve overall herd profitability. Even though calves don’t have a fully functioning immune system at birth , they’re still able to respond to some vaccines. The cattle industry is doing a lot of work to understand when calves will respond to which vaccines, but overall there is a good understanding that calves will respond to certain vaccines right away - including vaccines for respiratory disease and scours . Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses why it’s important to think about a vaccination program and what the disease costs are for both the industry and individual operations. Watch Now: How to Prevent Respiratory Disease in Newborn Calves What Is the Cost of Respiratory Disease? The beef industry loses about $1 billion annually due to cattle affected by respiratory challenges. That accounts for 1 in 5 cows. ¹ Respiratory disease is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in feedlots according to . ² These statistics show us that respiratory disease is a significant challenge. The industry would benefit as whole by minimizing the disease pressure in every way we can. How Does Respiratory Disease Affect a Farm or Ranch P&L? Respiratory disease impacts profitability in more than just actual treatment costs. Labor and facilities required to treat sick animals have a cost. Calves affected by respiratory disease will see their growth affected and will be behind the rest of the herd by 15-30 days. Finally, death loss has its obvious effects on profitability.  Intranasal Respiratory Disease Vaccines The two main options for safe vaccines to give at birth are: (IBR, BRSV, PI-3) by Merck Animal Health  (IBR, BRSV, PI-3) by Zoetis Calf Scours The second condition we can address through vaccines at birth is calf scours. If a calf has a scour event, there is significant risk for them to develop respiratory disease. It’s also important to remember that calves amplify the pathogen load when they’re sick, so it’s much easier for them to spread disease to other calves.  Scour Vaccines for Calves The two main options for newborn calf scour vaccines are: by Merck Animal Health  by Zoetis - this should be administered 30 minutes before colostrum.  What Experts Recommend Work with your veterinarian to determine which protocol is best for your specific operation. This can change from year-to-year and will depend on if you’re purchasing different cows or the disease pressure changes on your farm.  Sources:


Mar 08, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

To say it all starts with newborn calf care is not an overstatement. Getting a calf started off strong and healthy sets it up for maximized growth and a solid weaning weight. Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s® official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses tips and tricks for newborn calves. Watch Now: Tips and Tricks for Newborn Calves Essential Newborn Calf Supplies 
Below is a list of supplies that you’ll want to have on hand for your calving season. Many of them can be found on FBN’s online . Calf catcher - the little hook on the end is great for snagging the back leg of a calf when you need to catch and process them after birth. This is a helpful tool if the calf is rambunctious.  Iodine Tags and tagger Castration equipment and supplies Colostrum replacer Antibody supplements - these come in handy if you have scour pressure or a stressed calf. Vaccines Warming equipment if you live in a cold climate Other antibiotics or pain medications - discuss these with your veterinarian. The Basics of Newborn Calf Care Get the calf warm and dry The mother should be able to dry and warm the calf by aggressively licking but sometimes additional equipment like a warming box will be helpful. This will give you a place that is dry and warm for the newborn calf and will help protect it against the cold.  Dip navel with iodine Dipping the navel with iodine will help reduce infection through the open umbilical cord, which can take a day or two to dry up and fall off. The umbilical cord goes straight to the liver so the potential for a calf to get systemically sick is very high if it becomes infected.  If a cow licks off the iodine aggressively, you may want to consider skipping this step. In some cases, the cow licking the navel can cause infection. Discuss your options with your veterinarian. If you do decide to skip this step, ensure that you have a nice dry and bedded area for the calf to rest.  Administer vaccines and/or are good tools to protect your calf from disease. Discuss a protocol with your veterinarian that fits your operation.  Consider castrating bull calves Veterinarians often advise that castration should take place when calves are young because it’s less painful, less stressful, and the likelihood of a bull calf bleeding out is reduced because they’re smaller. Discuss the timing and pain management with your veterinarian, but veterinary medicine generally encourages producers to think about castrating calves when they are young. Let mama and baby do their thing Ideally, calves should be up and nursing within 30 minutes of birth. This is also necessary for the calf to get a within 6 hours to get passive transfer of their immune system. 


Mar 03, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

With calving season here, there are a number of best practices you should consider when assisting your cows during calving .  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses four best practices to implement when helping mama deliver that calf. Watch Now: Expert Shares 4 Ways to Assist Cows During Calving 1. Have the Right Supplies & Equipment There is a broad spectrum of supplies and equipment that are helpful during calving. Facilities vary, but having somewhere safe to handle your cows is important. Chutes are ideal because some cows get nervous during calving and need extra restraint for safety.  You may also want a to help redirect calves and ensure their head is coming in the right direction and not turning back on itself. OB chains ( or ) and will help assist in pulling the calf. A calf jack is also good to have on hand just in case. It’s important to have lots of when pulling a calf. A great tip is to have an equine stomach pump and hose because it allows you to pump a warm water/lube mixture from a bucket into the cow’s birth canal and around the calf. This will lubricate the birth canal and create buoyancy for the calf which will help you better manipulate getting the calf out.  2. Know When to Help Mama Cow While you may have some anxiety about how the cow is dealing with birthing, you should pay attention to how she behaves. If she stops actively pushing, this is a good time to grab a sleeve and see what’s going on to determine if she’s too tired or find out why the calf isn’t coming out. If she’s been actively lying down to calve for 1-2 hours, this is also a good time to use a sleeve. If you see no progression in 1-2 hours, such as not seeing the “water bag” or placenta come through and break or you don’t see the calf’s feet, this could mean the cow is not dilated enough or the calf is coming the wrong way. If you are assisting the cow, try to pull when she pushes. Work with her, not against her. If the cow lets up, give her a break and then continue the cycle of pulling and pushing. This is a good collaborative way to get the calf out of the cow with minimal stress to both cow and calf. 3. Don’t Wait Too Long to Call a Vet If you’ve been physically working and assisting the cow for more than 45 minutes, it’s a good time to call a vet. Depending on how far away your vet is, you may want to call sooner.  One of the biggest mistakes producers make is not calling a vet when their help could make a difference. In the end, you can do more damage than good which could result in a cow that’s exhausted or, in a worst case scenario, a calf that’s passed away.  The faster you’re able to get a professional to help, the more likely the calf will live. This is especially true if the cow has to undergo a c-section.  4. Provide Postpartum Care If the cow had a tough calving, here are a few treatments to consider:  Uterine boluses This will help with retained placenta or help with any uterine infections. You can find on our online animal health store.  Pain medications & antibiotics Discuss the options with your veterinarian if the cow is not recovering as you’d expect. Antibiotics, among many other pharmaceuticals, are available on online .  Oral rehydration This is particularly important if the cow calves during extremely hot or cold weather. It is a stressful event for the cow and could help produce more colostrum , which will help the cow attend to the calf better.  Gain Peace of Mind with FBN Livestock Protection As producers themselves, our FBN insurance agents are intimately familiar with the ups and downs of managing livestock and are here to make sure you're protected from unexpected loss. We leverage the knowledge of FBN's precision data and information shared by farmers like you to build private products that are custom tailored to your unique needs. Connect with one of our agents today by calling (877) 576-4468 or clicking here for more information .


Feb 17, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

While most species like humans and dogs develop an immune system in utero, calves are born without much of an immune system. Because of this, it’s important to know when you should supplement colostrum.  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s® official veterinary partner, in the video below to learn more about why colostrum matters, the differences between replacements and supplements, and how to choose the right one. Watch Now: Expert Explains Why Colostrum Is Essential Why Does Colostrum Matter? Colostrum will provide calves with a functioning immune system for the first few weeks of life. Over time, they’ll develop their own.  If they don’t get good quality colostrum, they won’t have a properly functioning immune system.  Colostrum Requirements A calf needs 150-200 grams of IgG (antibodies) for a good start to their immune system. These antibodies bind to antigens (bugs) and shut them down from infecting the calf .  Usually 4 quarts of cow’s colostrum is enough to achieve this amount of IgGs. Depending on the quality of the cows colostrum, it may take more or less for calves to receive the correct amount of IgGs.  When to Use a Colostrum Replacer or Supplement There may be times when you need to use a replacer or supplement to ensure calves receive colostrum. This can happen when: A cow is not producing enough colostrum A cow gives birth to twins and doesn’t have enough colostrum The calf is too weak to nurse or has dummy calf syndrome A producer wants to ensure that a high quality calf has a great immune system Differences Between Replacements and Supplements It’s always important to read and follow label instructions to ensure that you are giving your calf the correct amount of replacement. A replacer refers to a product that has a full replacement of at least 150g of IgG. A supplement refers to a product that only has part of the replacement, generally about 50-60g of IgG. Additional Recommendations A good example of a replacer is a product made by VetOne called which is both cost effective and has 115 g of IgG.  One bag of replacer will probably be sufficient if the calf has nursed the cow. If you really want to be sure the calf has enough total replacement, it’s recommended to use 1.5 to 2 bags of Bovine IgG Replacer 115™.  Consider spreading out over time how much colostrum replacement you give the calf. Once you’ve given the calf the first bag, it’s recommended to wait at least 6-8 hours before giving them the other half of the second bag.  


Dec 21, 2021

by Dr. Steve Dudley

Dr. Steve Dudley, FBN® head of technical services and a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services discusses scours prevention including pre-calving scour vaccines. Watch now In his presentation, Dr. Dudley discusses prevention strategies, vaccine modes of action, the different vaccines available on the market and how to use vaccines.  Calf diarrhea prevention strategies There are a number of things to consider from a prevention strategy perspective. Keep facilities clean Manure management is crucial when thinking about preventing calf scours. Producers should proactively remove manure from calving areas on a regular basis and provide fresh bedding.  Decrease pathogen load It’s also important to think about different ways to dilute pathogen load. One of the ways to do this is by separating cows into different calving groups and pastures. Another way is to rotate the herd through pastures every 2-3 weeks to keep the calving area fresh. This will decrease the amount of pathogens that older calves are passing to newborn calves. It’s common to see scours increase in severity toward the end of the calving period, so implementing management practices to keep pathogen loads low where new calves are being born is helpful. Stalosan F is a broad spectrum dry disinfectant that can be used in calving facilities. It kills viruses and bacteria to protect animals from infection and disease.   Vaccinate for protection Individual vaccines can be distributed to calves but the most important consideration is good colostrum consumption. Using pre-calving vaccines helps build up the cow’s colostrum and improve the quality of the colostrum. The term, failure of passive transfer, indicates a calf didn’t get antibody protection from the dam. This could be based on not getting enough quantity of colostrum. However, it can also happen when a calf doesn’t receive a high quality of colostrum. Calves get 100% of protection through colostrum consumption.  What makes up a vaccine? Manufacturers all use a similar process to make vaccines. They first determine the antigens or “bugs” (viruses or bacteria) that will be within the vaccine. They then determine and add an adjuvant that presents the antigens to the animals in order to improve the response to the vaccine. Each manufacturer has their own proprietary antigens and adjuvants.  Principles of vaccination Different herds require different vaccines and vaccination programs. There is not a one size fits all perfect vaccine that works in every situation. The differences can be based on: Herd size Geographic area Climate Soil type - sandy vs. muddy Calving operation type - dry lot calving vs. pasture calving Management capabilities  How a mama cow’s protection is passed to calves A cow or heifer is vaccinated and builds up antibodies or protective units to the antigens (bacteria or virus) in the vaccine. Antibodies travel to the udder and become part of the colostrum which the calf then suckles.  Colostrum has a rich antibody environment as well as energy, fat, and nutritional value for calves. It should be noted that 0% of antibodies are transferred to the calf in utero, which means the calf 100% relies on colostrum for protection against bacteria and viruses Colostrum delivery to the calf In an ideal world, calves should receive colostrum within 1-2 hours of birth. The ability to absorb colostrum rapidly declines within 6 hours of a calf’s birth so it is vital that calves receive colostrum as soon as possible. In some cases, it’s important to feed this to the calf via bottle or an esophageal feeder within the first 6 hours of its life.  Pre-calving scour vaccines Three of the most common choices for pre-calving scours vaccines are: and Scourguard® 4K from Zoetis and from Elanco from Merck Differences among pre-calving scours vaccines The table below outlines the differences among the pre-calving scour vaccines. All of the vaccines protect against rotavirus and coronavirus. When a vaccine contains more than one virus strain, it is listed. For example, Scourguard contains two stains of rotavirus - G6 and G10.  The last three columns of the table detail the bacterial pathogens, E. coli K99 and clostridium perfringens, the bacteria known as overeating diseases which cause toxins and sudden death in calves. Proper vaccination is key Proper vaccination will help to maximize the quality of colostrum. It’s recommended that heifers get 2 doses. The first dose should be 10-12 weeks from calving. The second dose should be administered 4-6 weeks from calving (this will allow enough time to get into the colostrum). You do need to consider how long your calving interval is because it can potentially change when to vaccinate.  Cows typically only receive one dose unless the animal is facing additional challenges.  Always administer vaccines according to label directions. It’s important to use clean syringes and replace your needles every 10 cows. Always use a clean needle when entering the bottle. To clean your needles, use hot water and in some cases dish soap can be used. Just be sure to rinse soapy needles very well. Don’t inject wet animals. Moisture can lead to more abscesses and more problems.  Stock up and save on vaccines For more information or to purchase vaccines directly from , please visit our to stock up and save.


Dec 17, 2021

by Dr. Steve Dudley

As cold weather approaches, it’s time to start thinking about lice control in cattle. These parasitic nuisances can cause all kinds of problems from hair loss to reduced weight gain. Watch Dr. Steve Dudley,  FBN® head of technical services and a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, to learn more about the problems lice create, the different pour-ons available on the market and how to use those pour-ons. Watch now Lice on cattle Lice are the most common external and visible parasites that can present challenges to livestock producers. including irritation and potential loss of production, so preventing and treating them is important.  Clinical symptoms from lice  include: Intense irritation which causes itching and scratching resulting in loss of hair and also damage to facilities and equipment Reduced weight gain Potential anemia from blood loss Types of cattle lice There are two types of cattle lice — biting lice and sucking lice.Biting lice have flat heads and they primarily feed on dandruff and skin debris. They are more difficult to control with problems that are systemic and go through the whole body.Sucking lice have long snouts that feed on blood.  Lice are spread by direct contact but don’t survive long when they’re not attached to animals. Cattle types of lice do not affect humans.  Cattle louse life cycle The life cycle of lice in cattle occurs over a 4-6 week time period. Lice lay eggs on day 1 and by day 7, those eggs have developed. They develop into a nymph stage that lasts for approximately 7 to 21 days. Once a louse reaches the adult stage, it can start to lay eggs in 7 to 14 days and then the cycle starts over again.  Lice are primarily cool season pests that cause more problems in the winter because cattle have thicker coats and insulation.It’s estimated that 1 louse in September can result in 1 million in January if cattle are left untreated. It’s important to proactively treat cattle for lice. Lice pour-ons available  There are several lice pour-ons on the market and we’ve compared a few of the common ones below: (diflubenzuron & permethrin) - this is the active ingredient and there are name brand and generic products on the market (moxidectin) (doramectin) (eprinomectin) Clean-Up™ II is a good product because it offers season long lice control with a single application. It kills all stages of the louse and both biting and sucking lice. It is approved for lactating and non-lactating dairy cattle, beef cattle, calves and horses. It should be noted that Clean-Up II is toxic to aquatic organisms such as fish so you’ll want to minimize any run off when using this product.  The recommended dosage is 3 ml per 100 lbs of body weight and you shouldn’t use more than 30 ml per animal. We recommend that you not only pour it along the back line of the animal, but also on the animal’s poll/face. This may require the person working the headgate to have their own application bottle and gun. The product spreads through the skin via oil. Stock up on lice pour-ons For more information or to purchase lice control products directly from , please visit the to stock up and save.