Livestock


18 Oct 2022

by Walt Beesley

Should I keep my calves this year? Retained ownership is a simple question with several complex factors that need consideration such as: Cash Flow / Operating Capital Feed Availability Labor and Facilities Genetics Marketing 1. Improve cash flow/operating capital When we work with cow/calf producers, cash flow is the largest limiting factor to retaining calves. Business models and past practices have been geared to selling calves at weaning or shortly thereafter. The market pays premiums (or less discounts) for calves that have been weaned and vaccinated and started on feed.  FBN® can assist with cash flow by providing financing options and Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s official veterinary partner, can help develop vaccination and health protocols with you that add value for the next owner.  2. Utilize available feedstuffs Feed availability, especially in drought stricken areas, can be the factor that  prevents beef producers from keeping their calves at home. Lightweight calves can perform well on a number of different feeding regimens. Ingredient prices determine the best economic ration to obtain the desired rate of gain. Rations can be developed utilizing by-products from low quality products, such as gin trash and wheat middlings, to higher quality products like DDGs and soybean meal. Forages also come in a range of quality from corn stalks to silage and alfalfa.  Even with higher corn prices, small calves can convert starch to beef efficiently and cost effectively. Each situation is different and FBN’s nutrition team can work with you to balance a diet utilizing FBN supplements that fits the feeds available in your area. 3. Consider labor and facilities Labor has become a struggle for many operations. Facilities can also limit a producer’s ability to retain cattle. Understanding the limitations and constraints of labor and facilities is a factor that needs to be considered while developing a feeding plan. Retaining ownership does not mean the calves must stay on your ranch or farm. If you retain ownership and elect to send your calves to someone else to feed, ask the feedlot or grow yard if they balance their rations for effective energy and amino acids. If they do not, you may be leaving money on the table and should have them contact FBN’s feedlot nutrition team . 4. Reap the reward for genetic improvements Why should others get paid for the improvements in your cattle herd? Many ranches have made efforts to enhance their genetics to increase feed efficiency and/or improve carcass quality. This work is sometimes overlooked by the market and the cow/calf producer is not rewarded properly for his/her investments.  Retained ownership moves the ranchers a step or two closer to the beef consumer which increases the probability of retaining retail dollars. 5. Make a marketing plan Marketing calves at each step of the supply chain comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. From grass fed to all-natural or one of many different post weaning vaccination programs, starting with the end target market in mind is key to optimize the dollar received for your calves. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. 


17 Oct 2022

by Dr. Monty Kerley

Liquid feed is a molasses based supplement for livestock that provides added minerals, vitamins, protein and energy in a convenient, cost-effective, and easy-to-handle form. Enhance uniformity and palatability of your cattle diet Implementing the use of liquid feed on your operation will improve feed quality and convenience. Liquid feed: Conditions the ration resulting in a uniform mix with reduced separation and less sorting in the bunk. Saves time & hassle because it is pumped directly into the mixer wagon with no bags and no hand-adding required. Minimizes shrink because it has almost no dust to lose in the wind or in storage. Enhances palatability of the diet, which is especially helpful for calves starting on feed. Watch now Beef cattle liquid supplements from FBN Work with FBN®’s beef cattle nutrition team to review your feeding program and recommend the right supplement for your operation. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. Individual results from use of implant products may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, animal diet, time, method and manner of application, application rate, and geography. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. I’m interested! Complete the form below to have a member of our livestock team contact you to answer questions about FBN’s liquid feed supplement, start of feed consult to recommend a product and/or quote liquid supplement delivery to your farm.


Article Livestock

Why Cattle Implants Pay

Implants are a great investment technology for cattle producers with one of the highest returns on investment. But how do implants work and how do they actually pay off in the long run? How implants work Implants are small pellets inserted into the ear of a calf. They slowly release a growth stimulant that helps increase growth factors that result in more lean muscle. There are two different types of hormones used in beef cattle implants. There are naturally occurring hormones and synthetic hormones.  Naturally occurring hormones include: Estradiol Progesterone Testosterone Synthetic hormones include: Zeranol Trenbolone Acetate Zeranol mimics estradiol and trenbolone acetate mimics testosterone.  How implants pay Implants have a very solid ROI. Increases in daily gains of 15-20% can be expected in the feedlot. Feed efficiency sees a 6-14% improvement when an implant is used that includes both estrogen and androgen.(1) While marbling scores are reduced with implants, ribeye area is increased by 3-4%. Overall carcass weight at harvest also increases when an implant is present.(1)  When it comes time to design your implant program, you’ll want to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to help you maximize the benefits of an implant program while minimizing the negative effects and help you meet your marketing goals.  Food safety Growth-promoting implants are approved and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Beef that comes from cattle that have been implanted have similar estrogen levels as beef from non-implanted cattle.  This chart from Texas A&M University shows estrogenic activity in a variety of foods. For scale, a nanogram is the equivalent of one blade of grass on an entire football field.  Source: https://beefskillathon.tamu.edu/implanting-beef-calves-and-stocker-cattle/ Shop Animal Health products All cattle implants are on sale through October 31. Shop implants from Elanco, Merck and Zoetis on the FBN® Animal Health store .  Source: https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1302 Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. Individual results from use of implant products may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, animal diet, time, method and manner of application, application rate, and geography. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. 


Body condition in beef cows can affect reproductive performance, overall productivity and longevity in the herd. These energy reserves can significantly impact specific stages of the production cycle. The amount of body fat or body condition a cow has at calving affects the postpartum to estrus interval and rebreeding success. What is body condition scoring (BCS)?  Body condition scoring (BCS) is an effective way to estimate the energy reserves of a cow. The most common BCS system for beef cattle is a scale of 1 to 9.  A BCS of a 1 indicates an extremely thin cow while a BCS of 9 indicates a very fat cow.  A BCS of 5 or 6 is optimal for beef cattle. For the BCS to be most helpful, a producer must calibrate the BCS system under their own conditions. Examples of BCS Here are a few examples of what cows look like at different phases of BCS:  BCS 4  A cow on the thinner side where the 12th and 13th ribs are noticeable to the eye. The transverse spinous processes can be identified by the feel and are rounded, not sharp. There is straightness of the hindquarter muscling and it appears full.  BCS 5  A cow looks neither thin nor fat, but average. The 12th & 13th ribs are not noticeable to the eye unless the animal is shrunk. The transverse spinous processes can be felt with firm pressure and feel rounded but are not noticeable to the eye. The tail head area is fairly filled but not fat. BCS 6 A fleshy looking cow with ribs fully covered to the eye. Firm pressure is required to feel the transverse processes. Hindquarters are plump and full. As well, there is noticeable sponginess around the tail head. How does a lower score affect cows A BCS of 4 or lower results in lower reproductive performance and productivity. An increasing plane of nutrition for these cows will increase the probability of getting an animal pregnant.  The most economical way to increase these animal’s body condition is to separate them into their own group and feed them to reach the desired body condition. When is body condition critical to the production cycle? There are 2 main times when body condition plays an integral role in the production cycle: 1. Calving Body condition at calving has the greatest impact on a cow’s reproductive performance and her ability to stay in the herd.  As previously stated, a low body condition score can lead to a longer postpartum interval to estrus and low pregnancy rates.  Cows should be at least a BCS of 5 while first calf heifers should be at least a BCS of 6 to have the best possibility of rebreeding and having a calf every 365 days. 2. Breeding Season A low body condition at breeding, like a low BCS at calving, can lead to lower reproductive performance and her ability to stay in the herd.  An increasing plane of nutrition and body condition for the low condition cows can increase the probability of getting pregnant. Conclusion Body condition is a great indicator of reproductive performance in beef cattle. Timing of evaluating cow/heifer body condition is critical in making management decisions to change animal body condition as needed and in the most economical manner. Shop Animal Health products Find all of the animal health products you need by shopping online at the  FBN Animal Health store .  Sources: http://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/victoriacountyagnr/files/2010/07/Body-Condition-Nutrition-Reproduction-of-Beef-Cows.pdf https://extension.sdstate.edu/sites/default/files/2020-10/P-00188.pdf https://www.crystalyx.com/blog/a-21st-century-supplement-for-21st-century-cattle/ https://animalscience.tamu.edu/2017/08/08/some-thoughts-on-body-condition-scoring-of-cows/ ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS 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. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Feed products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are only available where licensed.


28 June 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.  FBN’s 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 FBN .  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 Draxxin® by Zoetis, you’ll see comparable products like Arovyn and Macrosyn 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 $3,000 or more on animal health products and supplies and receive 5% off your entire animal health and supplies order. Spend $5,000 or more on animal health products and supplies and receive 8% off 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 Zoetis Leaders Edge , we can set up your FBN account to reflect that pricing and be visible to you when you are shopping on the FBN online animal health store.  What’s available on FBN ’s Animal Health store? Whether you’re looking for antibiotics or vaccines, you’ll find everything you need on FBN ’s online animal health store.  Here are some of the product categories you can shop for with FBN: Vaccines Antibiotics Parasiticides & Dewormers Insecticides Implants Reproductive Products Anti-inflammatories Other Drugs & Treatments Animal Health Supplies Shop Animal Health products Find all of the animal health products you need by shopping online at the FBN Animal Health store .  * Terms & Conditions Qualifying locations FBN Direct® pharmacy products and services are offered by FBN Direct and are available only in states where FBN Direct is licensed. Terms and conditions apply. Qualifying products 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. General requirements FBN 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. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Draxxin is a registered trademark of Zoetis Services LLC. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. Disclaimer: The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, business, legal, investment or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager. Neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. 


27 June 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: Lutalyse® Estrumate® GnRH These stimulate follicle growth leading to new follicular waves. Examples of GnRH include: Fertagyl® Cystorelin® CIDR® This is a progesterone infused cattle insert. Read more to learn how a CIDR® works .  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 vaccination for scour shots 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: https://www.iowabeefcenter.org/bch/EstrusSynchBeef.pdf https://www.partners-in-reproduction.com/estrus-cycle https://www.selectsires.com/docs/default-source/resources/heatdetectionandtimingofai_web.pdf?sfvrsn=73f7f1c8_2 Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. 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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. Lutalyse and Eazi-Breed CIDR Cattle Insert are registered trademarks of Zoetis, Inc. Estrumate and Fertagyl are registered trademarks of Merck Animal Health. CYSTORELIN is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


29 Apr 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.  [ Get animal health solutions and other supplies shipped straight to your farm through FBN Direct. ] 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 : Vision® CD + T, 50 Dose by Merck Animal Health or BarVac ® CD/T by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc. 7 Way Clostridium chauvoei Clostridium septicum Clostridium novae Clostridium sordelli iClostridium types C/D Example: Vision ® 7 by Merck Animal Health or Alpha-7®, 50 Dose by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  8 Way 7 Way + Red Water strain Example: Bar-Vac® 8, 50 Dose by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  9 Way 7 way + Red Water and Tetanus Example: Cavalry® 9, 10 Dose 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.  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Vision and Cavalry are registered trademarks of Intervet Inc. Bar-Vac and Alpha-7 are registered trademarks of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. 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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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 Gunslinger® AMP and Gunslinger® P+D are available on FBN’s crop protection online store . 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 Pinkeye Shield® XT4 from Elanco or One Shot® BVD from Zoetis on the FBN Animal Health 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? Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Gunslinger, Pinkeye Shield, and One Shot are registered trademarks of Alligare, LLC, Elanco Tiergesundheit AG, and Zoetis Services LLC, respectively. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. 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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


15 Mar 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 NAHMS . 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: Bovilis® Nasalgen® 3 (IBR, BRSV, PI-3) by Merck Animal Health  Inforce™ 3 (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: Bovilis® Coronavirus by Merck Animal Health  Calf-Guard® (Rotavirus and Coronavirus) 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: The true cost of respiratory challenges in weaned calves Types and Costs of Respiratory Disease Treatments in U.S. Feedlots Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. Disclaimer: The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, business, legal, investment or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager. Neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. Calf-Guard and Inforce are registered trademarks of Zoetis, Inc. BOVILIS and Nasalgen are registered trademarks of Merck Animal Health.


08 Mar 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 animal health store . 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 Scour vaccines and/or respiratory vaccines 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 full feeding of colostrum within 6 hours to get passive transfer of their immune system.  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.  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. Disclaimer: The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized professional advice.Neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.