FDA Guidance for Industry 263, CAST Group, Cattle Health Care Kit

Welcome to BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on any links below to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news regarding the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

2:27 FDA Guidance for Industry 263

12:31 CAST Group 

16:07 Cattle Health Care Kit  

Guest: Julia Herman, NCBA Beef DVM

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Herd Health: Bull Breeding

Listen to this week’s episode of Herd Health to hear Dr. Robert Larson and Dr. Brad White discuss the differences in dominance and libido when it comes to bull breeding.

Discussed Papers:

Calving distributions of individual bulls in multiple-sire pastures

Predicting bull behavior events in a multiple-sire pasture with video analysis, accelerometers, and classification algorithms

Value of improving pregnancy distribution

Tips for New Ranchers, Buying Females, Communicating in Agriculture

Welcome to BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on any links below to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news regarding the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

2:44 Tips for New Ranchers

11:02 Buying Females

18:05 Communicating in Agriculture  

Guest: Matt Perrier, Dalebanks Angus
Practically Ranching

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Udders, Economic Questions, Grazing Bean Stubble

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2:06 Evaluation of Udders

6:53 Economic Questions
Learn more about beef demand

13:46 Listener Question: Grazing Bean Stubble 

Guest: Dr. Scott Fritz, K-State Toxicologist

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Diving into Diets: Warm Season Grasses and Grazing

We’ve discussed cool season grasses and grazing. Now listen to Dr. Phillip Lancaster and Dr. Brad White discuss warm season grasses and grazing on the second episode of Diving into Diets!

Creating a Health Plan, Body Condition Score, Reviving Calves

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2:41 Creating a Health Plan

10:25 Learning to Body Condition Score 

16:20 Reviving Calves Part 2  

Guest: A.J. Tarpoff, K-State Beef Extension Veterinarian

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

BRD Webinars

Integrated Approach to Control BRD Webinar Series Part 1
Integrated Approach to Control BRD Webinar Series Part 2

Creep Feeding Fall-Born Calves: Yes or No?

After calving, milk production of cows increases rapidly to maximum production at approximately 60 days after calving, and then starts to decline. During this time, the growing calf can meet all its nutrient requirements from milk, although it generally begins to consume very small amounts of forage, but as milk production begins to decline the calf must consume more forage to meet nutritional needs. At approximately 90 to 120 days after calving, forage provides most of the calf’s nutrient requirements, which introduces a management decision: should I creep feed? 

The decision to creep feed depends on several factors: feed conversion, formulation of creep feed, and price of cattle relative to price of feed. Creep feeding will generally add weight to nursing calves, but the feed conversion can be very poor. The correct way to compute feed conversion of creep feeding is to divide the amount of feed consumed by the added weight to calves above what would be expected without creep feeding. The calf will generally replace forage with creep feed in their diet, and so there is a substitution of forage consumed by non-creep-fed calves. The substitution results in less than 100% of the creep feed consumed increasing nutrient intake by the calf. Thus, feed conversions can range from 8:1 to 15:1 pounds of feed for each additional pound of weight. 

Obviously, improving feed conversion would increase the profit potential of creep feeding. The feedstuffs used in the creep feed make little difference in feed conversion most of the time because cereal grains and high-energy coproducts have relatively similar energy densities. However, the type of forage being consumed can make a difference in the response to creep feeds with large amounts of cereal grains/starch such as when creep feeding fall-born calves, because fall-born calves are consuming lower quality dormant or harvested forage through winter months such that starch has a greater negative impact on forage digestion then when creep feeding spring-born calves grazing tall fescue or smooth bromegrass. In situations with lower quality forages, high-fiber coproducts should be the primary energy source and starchy grains should be limited. 

Another primary factor affecting feed conversion is the relative difference between energy density and digestibility of the creep feed versus the forage. In situations where the energy density of creep feed is only marginally greater than the grazed forage, then creep feed conversion will be high. However, the greater the difference in digestibility between forage and creep feed, such as with fall-born calves consuming dormant pastures or harvest hay, the better the feed conversion. Additionally, proper formulation of a creep feed to meet the limiting nutrient in the calf’s diet by complementing the forage such as providing limited amounts of rumen degradable and undegradable protein to meet rumen and calf protein requirements can improve feed conversion. When calves are consuming lower quality forages such as dormant pasture or hay, rumen degradable protein may be limiting the ability of rumen microbes to digest the forage. Young calves whose body weight gain is primarily muscle, have high amino acid requirements and thus providing a creep feed high in rumen undegradable protein can assist in meeting the amino acid requirements. Using a method to limit creep feed intake can also improve feed conversion. 

The cost of feed and the price of cattle are also major determinants of creep feed profitability. The cost of feed, along with feed conversion, affects the cost of added weight gain. The cost of adding 1 pound of weight needs to be less than the price per pound of weaned calves. The cost per pound of feed multiplied by the expected feed conversion (pounds of feed per pound of added weight) should be less than the price per pound of calves for creep feeding to be profitable. 

There are advantages with creep feeding fall-born calves in that feed conversion can be better than for spring-born calves as the relative difference in energy density between creep feed and forage is greater, especially this year when forages with lesser digestibility than usual may be fed. Additionally, fall-born calves are generally sold at a time when weaned calf prices are higher. However, one disadvantage to creep feeding fall-born calves is that feed costs are generally greater in the winter than the summer. But, as cattle country was gripped by drought last summer and continues to be, the cost of creep feed should also be weighed against the cost and availability of hay to carry the cow herd through the winter. Calves will consume 8 to 10 lb of forage between 6 and 8 months of age, which could be the difference between finishing this winter with enough hay to feed the breeding females. 

Tox Talk: Low Gain and Condemned Carcasses

Can you solve this case? Join Dr. Scott Fritz, a board certified toxicologist, and Dr. Brad White as they walk through a toxicology case on this week’s episode of Tox Talk!

Cattle Health Impacts Carcass Traits

It is important for everyone involved in beef cattle production, including seedstock producers, cow-calf producers, backgrounders and stocker operators, feedlot managers, packers, retailers, feed suppliers, and veterinarians to remember that all the money distributed among the many participants is generated by the sale of beef to consumers. While it is true that carcass traits and beef product attributes are largely influenced by the genetic decisions of seedstock and commercial cow-calf producers and the feeding decisions of feedlot managers and nutritionists, the animal health decisions made by producers and veterinarians throughout the production chain also play a role. A number of studies have indicated that muscling, marbling, and tenderness all can be negatively impacted by cattle health problems.  

Studies of consumer preferences have indicated that attributes such as flavor, tenderness, marbling, and texture are important when evaluating the eating experience when consuming beef cuts. These consumer expectations are important when considering the impact of animal health because pneumonia and other common cattle diseases have the potential to affect not only carcass weight, but also the amount, location, and ratio of muscle, fat, and water.  

Bovine respiratory disease (pneumonia) is the most important cause of illness and death in feedlot cattle with digestive diseases such as acidosis and bloat also being important. Several studies have shown that cattle that experienced respiratory disease had lighter hot carcass weight, lower dressing percent, less internal fat, and lower marbling scores as well as less external fat and smaller ribeye area than cattle without respiratory disease. Scientists don’t have a clear picture of how disease impacts carcass traits, but probably a combination of changes in hormones such as insulin, growth hormone, and other signals that direct the growth of muscle and the deposition of fat are involved.  In addition, just the fact that cattle are off-feed while they are sick may impact the pattern of muscle growth and fat deposition.  

The negative effects of disease on carcass traits may not be confined to the time cattle are in a feed yard. As we learn more about muscle growth and fat deposition, it appears that stress, disease, or poor nutrition even early in life can have consequences on feedlot and carcass performance. This understanding makes a life-long health and nutrition plan to minimize disease risk and ensure optimum growth from birth to slaughter important for efficient production of a desirable beef product. Beef producers should work with veterinarians to optimize sanitation, nutrition, immunization, and biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease. In addition, because the negative effects on growth and carcass traits appear to be more severe in animals with prolonged or multiple episodes of sickness compared to animals that become sick for a short period of time and then recover, knowledge and ability to accurately identify sick animals and to treat them in a timely manner also becomes increasingly important.  

Life-long cattle health starts with the cow being in good body condition and receiving all necessary nutrients throughout pregnancy and then giving birth without calving difficultly in a clean environment. If the calf is born healthy and able to quickly stand and suckle and that calf is not exposed to mud and manure, it is likely to avoid the risk of scours and pneumonia during the time period from birth to weaning. Adequate forage availability for both the cow and calf until weaning is essential to maintain optimum health and to ensure that the calf has good post-weaning growth and health.  

Effective vaccines are available for a number of important disease-causing germs including the bacteria that cause blackleg and related diseases, and the viruses and bacteria that contribute to bovine respiratory disease. Both internal parasites (worms) and external parasites (flies, ticks, and lice) can cause significant disease in calves; and proper use and timing of deworming and external parasite treatments greatly aids in cattle health and well-being. The time period around weaning is a period of high risk for respiratory disease and other diseases. Implementation of well-designed preconditioning programs that utilize low-stress weaning, vaccinations, parasite control, and acclimation to post-weaning diets and feeding and watering equipment is an excellent disease control strategy.  

Carcass premiums and pricing on carcass merit grids has caused the veterinary profession to re-evaluate the cost of cattle diseases. Historically, veterinarians and beef producers have considered the cost of disease to be confined to death loss, treatment cost, decreased feed efficiency, and reduced live weight. However, because many cattle are now sold on a carcass merit basis, disease has the potential to affect profitability not only through treatment costs, death loss, and reduced weight, but also the amount, location, and ratio of muscle, fat, and water and the ultimate desirability of the final beef product.   

Ensuring that consumers have a satisfying experience every time they eat beef requires that all the participants in the beef production chain do their part to improve and protect the attributes of flavor, tenderness, marbling, and texture. In addition to the significant impacts that genetics and nutrition play on carcass and product traits, cattle health also has an important role; and a plan to optimize health from birth to slaughter is an important component of providing a high-quality beef product.  

Reviving New Born Calves, Economic Questions, Cold Weather Management

Welcome to BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on any links below to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news regarding the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

4:35 Reviving New Born Calves 

12:12 Economic Questions

18:37 Severe Cold Weather Management  

Guest: AJ Tarpoff, K-State Beef Extension Veterinarian

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

After the Abstract: Metaphylaxis Treatments for Bovine Respiratory Disease

Join Dr. Brain Lubbers and Dr. Brad Larson as they discuss the paper titled: A mixed treatment comparison meta-analysis of metaphylaxis treatments for bovine respiratory disease in beef cattle.

Find the discussed paper here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28380607/

Winter Feed Costs, Record Keeping, Listeriosis

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1:54 How to Reduce Winter Feed Costs  

9:48 Record Keeping for Next Year

17:00 Listeriosis

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Herd Health: Bull Preparation

Hear from Dr. Bob Larson and Dr. Brad White as they walk through bull selection and preparation research on this week’s episode of Bovine Science with BCI.

Article: Scrotal circumference at weaning in beef bulls and subsequent ability to pass a breeding soundness examination as a yearling

Article: Factors associated with yearling bulls passing subsequent breeding soundness evaluations after failing an initial evaluation

Calving, Scours Management, Nutritional Management

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1:55 Calving Topics  

9:52 Scours Management Plan  

15:45 Nutritional Management  

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Separating Heifers & Cows, Calving Barns, EID

Welcome to BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on any links below to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news regarding the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

4:46 Separating Heifers and Cows During Calving

10:18 Calving Barn Yes or No

16:19 EID: What’s New in Technology

Guest: Callahan Grund, Executive Director U.S. Cattle Trace

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Genetic Focus on Improving Beef Sustainability

Beef production system efficiency and sustainability are important aspects shaping the future of the beef industry. Genetic selection has long included traits on growth, carcass, and reproduction, but recently more focus has been placed on traits that impact efficiency and sustainability such as mature cow weight, maintenance energy, and methane emissions. The most efficient and sustainable suite of genetic traits is not necessarily the same for all production environments. These components result in a complex web to navigate improvement in efficiency and sustainability moving forward. Let’s break down each component and look at it from a systems perspective. 

The cow-calf sector has a disproportionate impact on system efficiency and sustainability due to the large amount of feed required to maintain a cow. Cow efficiency has been the topic of discussion for decades, and it is generally agreed that more moderate-sized cows will be more efficient because of less feed consumed per pound of calf-weaned, and more cows per acre increases ranch productivity. But small cows are not necessarily more efficient in all ranch environments, and calves from smaller cows are generally less efficient in the feedlot. The majority of the improvements in efficiency and sustainability made in the beef industry over the last 4 decades have been due to increased meat produced per calf (i.e. cow maintained). Thus, moderating cow size, although improving efficiency in the cow-calf sector, could result in reduced efficiency and sustainability for the beef production system. Matching the correct cow genetics with the production environment and utilizing genetic selection to develop maternal and terminal sire lines is more likely to result in optimized efficiency and sustainability in the entire beef production system. 

Beyond herd average, selecting individuals that improve efficiency and sustainability is key to moving forward. Recent analyses indicate that improving feed efficiency and reducing maintenance energy requirements could have a large impact on sustainability; however, our ability to measure these in grazing animals and on large scale is lacking. For the last two decades, feed efficiency has been measured in growing cattle and with the development of EPDs for feed intake and feed efficiency, genetic progress is being made. The problem is that feed efficiency in growing cattle fed moderate to high concentrate diets does not translate into feed efficiency in grazing mature cows. And, even though body size is an indicator of total feed required for maintenance, selecting cattle with lower maintenance requirements per pound of body weight is difficult and labor intensive. Moving forward genomic EPDs will be critical to identify efficient cows on a large scale from the few phenotypes that will be able to be measured. Selecting cows of any body size with lower maintenance per pound of body weight will result in less feed to maintain body condition in cows and more feed available for growth in pre- and postweaning calves, which will greatly increase the efficiency and sustainability of the entire beef production system. 

Recently, geneticists have begun to evaluate the heritability of methane emissions. Besides being a greenhouse gas, methane is a loss of energy during feed digestion resulting in lower feed efficiency. Methane emissions and feed intake and efficiency are strongly, but not perfectly, linked such that genetic selection for improved feed efficiency and reduced methane emissions could greatly increase efficiency and sustainability of beef production. As with reducing maintenance energy requirements, reducing methane emissions per pound of feed results in increased feed nutrients absorbed by the animal for maintenance and growth. As genetic traits for methane become available, it is not just about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, but also about improving efficiency and profitability of raising beef cows and calves. Developing selection indices with both feed efficiency and methane emissions would likely result in cattle that are even more efficient. 

Developing new genetic traits to reduce maintenance energy requirements, increase feed efficiency, and decrease methane emissions will move the industry toward a more sustainable future. With a focus on improved efficiency, genetic selection will improve environmental sustainability and ranch profitability.

Traceability in the U.S. & Farmers Share of the Dollar

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2:12 Traceability in the U.S.  

16:10 Farmers Share of the Dollar  

Guest: Callahan Grund, Executive Director U.S. Cattle Trace

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!

Preventing Spontaneous Abortions in the Herd

Both beef producers and veterinarians express frustration when a cow that is identified as pregnant later aborts the fetus during mid-pregnancy. Because reproduction is complex and a number of germs, toxins, and genetic problems can lead to pregnancy loss, veterinarians recognize that losing about 1% to 2% of pregnancies between the time of pregnancy diagnosis and calving is probably unavoidable. The goal of many aspects of cowherd health programs including nutritional management, biosecurity, and vaccination is to reduce the risk of abortion and particularly to prevent situations when more than 5% of the herd aborts.  

Veterinarians approach abortion management by focusing on two related activities: diagnosing the causes of abortion and preventing abortions from occurring. Cowherd abortions can occur either sporadically or in larger outbreaks. Sporadic abortion losses are considered to occur when less than 2% of the entire herd aborts and no group of cows as described by age, pasture, or other risk-group has greater losses than other groups. When investigating sporadic abortion losses, it may not be justified to spend a great deal of resources to attempt to identify the causes; but if a larger abortion outbreak is occurring, a thorough investigation to discover the factors that are contributing to the losses is necessary to identify changes in herd management to prevent similar outbreaks in future years. The problem that both cattle producers and veterinarians face when a few cows abort is to determine if an abortion storm is beginning or if the few identified abortions are the only ones the herd will experience.   

When the first abortion is identified by finding an aborted fetus or seeing signs of abortion in a cow previously diagnosed as pregnant (such as a retained placenta or return to heat) the veterinarian may want to collect samples from the fetus, the cow, and the placenta and to record information about the aborting cow such as her age, the date the abortion was discovered, the estimated fetal age, and the identification of the pastures she has been located during pregnancy. The samples may be sent to a diagnostic laboratory or the veterinarian may suggest that the samples be saved and only submitted for laboratory investigation if more abortions occur. Some causes of abortion are fairly easily identified by a diagnostic laboratory if the samples are fresh, but other abortion-causing germs and toxins are difficult to confirm. Many of the causes of abortion work fairly slowly, so that there are many days or weeks between the time that a cow is exposed to the cause of the abortion and the actual loss of the fetus. In these situations, the diagnostic laboratory may not be able to identify an abortion cause that is no longer present in the fetus or the cow. In other situations, the germs or toxins that cause abortion affect the cow but may not actually invade the fetus making samples taken from the fetus of no help for making a diagnosis. It is important to realize that even in situations in which the diagnostic laboratory does not identify a cause for the abortion, important information is gained by removing certain easily-diagnosed factors from the list of likely causes.  

Veterinarians and cattle producers work together to create management plans that help to prevent abortions by targeting the most likely causes that can be effectively controlled. Biosecurity plans that rely on diagnostic testing and herd segregation to minimize the risk and effect of trichomoniasis (Trich) and Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) should be created to meet each herd’s specific level of risk. Online tools named Trich CONSULT (https://ksubci.org/trich-consult/) and BVD CONSULT (https://ksubci.org/bvdbovine-viral-diarrhea-control-consult/) are useful to create herd-specific biosecurity plans for these diseases. Vaccination protocols to increase herd immunity against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), leptospirosis, and campylobacteriosis (vibriosis) should be implemented with an emphasis on building immunity in herd replacements as well as maintaining immunity in mature adults.  Other diseases such as neosporosis, foothills abortion, and pine needle abortion are difficult or impossible to control with diagnostic testing, herd segregation, or vaccination. Some abortion risks must be addressed by having good feed security while other require carefully planning the best age and stage of pregnancy to expose cattle to pastures where abortions are likely to be initiated when the cause of abortion is either plants or diseases carried by ticks or other insects. Effective control measures have not been identified for some causes of abortion, and the best management in these situations is to work toward good overall herd health and to keep the accumulated level of abortion risk low.  

While it is impossible to prevent all abortions, a well-planned strategy designed by a veterinarian and cattle producer working together to target the most important risks for each specific herd provides reasonable protection against devastating pregnancy losses. The best herd health plan to prevent abortion losses is the plan that optimizes nutrition, biosecurity, vaccination protocols, and grazing management for your herd. 

After the Abstract: Evaluating Research and Bias for Decision-Making

Listen to the first episode of After the Abstract, with Dr. Brian Lubbers and Dr. Brad White, as they discuss the paper titled: Systematic evaluation of scientific research for clinical relevance and control of bias to improve clinical decision-making.

Find the discussed paper here: 

https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/247/5/javma.247.5.496.xml

Cows Going to Market, Winter Pasture Management, Heritability & Accuracy

Welcome to BCI Cattle Chat!  Please click on any links below to be taken to sources mentioned in the podcast. Keep an eye out for news regarding the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

1:30 High Number of Cows Going to Market

6:15 Winter Pasture Management

14:12 Heritability & Accuracy: Impact on EPD Interpretation  

Guest: Megan Rolf, K-State Associate Professor of Genetics and Livestock Genomics 

For more on BCI Cattle Chat, follow us on Twitter at @The_BCIFacebook, and Instagram at @ksubci. Check out our website, ksubci.org. If you have any comments/questions/topic ideas, please send them to bci@ksu.edu. You can also email us to sign up for our weekly news blast! Don’t forget if you enjoy the show, please go give us a rating!