Growing Populations, Body Condition Score, Hay Testing and Labor Shortage

Welcome to Episode 22 of BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast.

:45 –      Growing Populations

9:40 –    Body Condition Score

14:25 –   Hay Testing

20:05 –   Labor Shortage in Agriculture

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, to please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Research Update: Controlling pre-weaning respiratory disease in beef calves

Study suggests vaccination at fall pregnancy checking may increase immunity against pneumonia during the first 30 days of life.

Respiratory disease in pre-weaning beef calves is a growing problem among Midwestern cow-calf herds. In recent studies, prevalence of pre-weaning calf pneumonia has been observed affecting as many as 20%-30% of calves in some operations.

The main factors in determining disease or health in young beef or dairy calves are the transfer of maternal immunity and the duration of maternal immunity.

Dr. Manuel Chamorro, clinical assistant professor with Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Livestock Services, recently completed research as part of a team investigating the effectiveness of vaccinating pregnant heifers at 6-8 months gestation to prevent pre-weaning respiratory disease.

The study
Dr. Chamorro, together with Dr. Emily Reppert and Dr. Lacey Robinson, Livestock Services; Joyce Wick, fourth-year veterinary student; and Dr. Natalia Cernicchiaro, Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology; are in the process of publishing the study results.

First-calf heifers vaccinated prior to breeding with a modified live virus (MLV) multivalent vaccine containing BVDV 1, BVDV 2 and BHV-1 were split into two groups. One group received two doses of a killed virus multivalent vaccine 21 days apart between 6.5 and 8 months gestation. The second group received a shot of saline solution. The group then measured the total serum IgG and neutralizing antibodies to BVDV 1, BVDV 2 and BHV-1 in newborn calves.

“The question is, ‘Is the just the total IgG level from colostrum enough,’” Chamorro asked, “or are there other factors? We believe it doesn’t matter the amount of antibodies but their specificity. You can have a high level of antibodies, broad spectrum, but if you are lacking specific antibodies against respiratory disease, your calves may still have it.”

The findings
Serum samples collected from dams revealed higher antibody titers to BVDV 1, BVDV 2 and BHV-1 in heifers vaccinated with the killed virus vaccine during gestation than the control group. Similarly, the mean serum antibody titers to BVDV 1, BVDV 2 and BHV-1 of calves at 24 hours old born to heifers vaccinated during late gestation were also higher.

Ultimately, the group’s study found that vaccinating beef cows during 6-8 months of gestation would reflect an increase in specific antibodies in maternal colostrum and would result in better antibody uptake in young calves. Higher serum antibody titers to the specific disease might result in prolonged duration of maternally derived immunity and better protection against respiratory disease during the pre-weaning period.

“It’s a good idea,” Dr. Chamorro said of vaccinating pregnant cows and heifers against common cattle respiratory pathogens during fall pregnancy checking. “It’s affordable and we’ve seen results.”

Abstract: BVDV and BHV-1 antibody levels in colostrum of beef heifers vaccinated or unvaccinated during gestation with a multivalent killed viral respiratory vaccine

Abstract: Maternally-derived BVDV and BHV-1 antibodies in calves born to dams vaccinated or not during gestation

Dr. Manuel Chamorro is a clinical assistant professor for Livestock Services with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Chamorro’s research interests are concentrated on respiratory viruses of cattle with specific emphasis in BVDV and in the effect of colostrum-derived immunity on clinical protection and immune response to vaccination in calves. Another area of interest for Dr. Chamorro is the use of bovine colostrum or colostrum replacers as an alternative to reduce disease and the use of antibiotics in calves. 

Guest Introduction, Meat Consumption, Manhattan Meat Market, Megatrends in Agriculture and AABP Meeting

This week on BCI Cattle Chat, we had the honor of visiting with Josh Roe who is part owner of the Manhattan Meat Market while also working for the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Click on any links to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast.

1:05 –   Guest Introduction

Josh Roe – Part Owner of Manhattan Meat Market and Staff of KDA

(jroe445@hotmail.com)

1:50 –   Meat Consumption

8:08 –   Manhattan Meat Market

15:10 – Megatrends in Agriculture

22:33 – American Association of Bovine Practitioners 

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, to please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Hosted By: Dr. Brad White, Dr. Bob Larson, Dr. Bob Weaber and Dr. Dustin Pendell

IMG_7931

Kansas State Fair, Global Production, Guest Introductions, Challenges of Buying Bulls and CARE Decision Support Grant

We have two special guests on the podcast this week from both Nebraska and Kentucky! Dr. Darrh Bullock and Dr. Matt Spangler are both professors in beef genetics while also working in the extension field. To find out more information about our guests, please click on their names below.  Click on any links to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast.

1:25 – State Fair

3:45 – Global Production

10:15 – Guest Introductions

Darrh Bullock – Extension Professor at the University of Kentucky in Beef Genetics

Matt Spangler – Professor at the University of Nebraska and Extension Specialist

11:10 – Challenges of Buying Bulls

20:15 – CARE Decision Support Grant – Customized Index 

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, to please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Hosted By: Dr. Brad White, Dr. Bob Larson, Dr. Bob Weaber and Dr. Dustin Pendell

 

Contest Winner, Questions on Trade, Atypical vs. Typical BSE, Cover Crops and Handling Vaccines

Welcome to Episode 19 of BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on the links below to be taken to any sources mentioned in the podcast.

1:45 – Contest Winner

4:30 – Questions on Trade

10:40 – Atypical vs. Typical BSE

13:20 – Cover Crops

18:30 – Vaccine Handling

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter @The_BCI, and check out our new website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, to please go give us a rating in iTunes or Google Play.

Hosted By: Dr. Brad White, Dr. Bob Larson, Dr. Bob Weaber and Dr. Dustin Pendell

Using the Pregnancy Analytics Mobile App: Analyzing a problem herd

The Beef Cattle Institute’s Dr. Bob Larson brings you a series of “cases” employing the use of the Pregnancy Analytics mobile app. Each case will explore a unique herd and examine its reproductive efficiency, strengths, challenges and areas of improvement. The reports (linked below) will lead you through using the Pregnancy Analytics app to utilize the data and practice using it on an actual problem herd.

The case: Efficient, but there’s room for improvement in first-calf heifers

The first report examines data from a herd of 274 commercial cows palpated on Sept. 4. The herd was turned out onto one pasture with 9 bulls on May 20. One hundred eighteen of the cows were predominantly Angus, 69 were black white-faced Hereford and Angus cross, and 87 cows were a mix of mostly Angus breeds and composites.

At pregnancy checking, 92.7% of the cows were pregnant, with only 20 cows open. The majority of cows were in moderate body condition score (BCS). The goal of this herd (and for most herds) was for 60% of the cows to become pregnant in the first 21 days of breeding. It succeeded, with 62.6%. That’s considered a win, and the herd is considered to have very good reproductive overall efficiency. However, the Pregnancy Analytics app can divide the herd into valuable sub-groups, including age, revealing that the herd’s first-calf heifers did not breed up as well in the first 21 days (31%) as in the second 21 days (46.6%).

2_Pregnancy distribution_by age

Another point illustrated by graphs automatically generated by the app is that cow breed-up in the third 21 days was lower, which may indicate a problem late in the breeding season.

1_Pregnancy distribution_whole herd

Click to download and view the full report.

Dr. Larson’s follow-up questions:

Are heifers in this herd bred to calve ahead of the mature cows? Do you have calving dates for the heifers?
I encourage producers to breed heifers to calve ahead of the cows so that they have additional time to resume fertile cycles between calving and the start of the next breeding season. Some herds are able to breed heifers to calve at the same time as the cows and not experience a drop in pregnancy success for young cows getting bred for their second pregnancy (1st calf heifers) compared to the mature cows – but if this age group has poorer breed-up than the mature cows during the first 21 days of the breeding season, then I think a strong suggestion to move heifer breeding earlier is justified.

Starting about the end of June or the first of July (this would coincide with the end of the 2nd 21-day period), did any of the bulls have any problems? If not, what were pasture conditions and cow health like starting in late June?
Act on the information you receive from these questions.