All beef farmers want to optimise the value of their herds in a healthy, sustainable way. Did you know that one way of doing this is through putting plans in place to protect the respiratory health of your calves? Our infographic shows the astonishing link between good respiratory health and lifetime calf performance - and reveals the true potential cost of lung damage.
The importance of growth
If you want to optimise growth and therefore the financial potential from each calf you need to keep the calf healthy! This means providing an environment that reduces disease risk, meeting the nutritional requirements of the calf (and carefully managing any diet changes), and implementing appropriate prevention strategies to optimise health. Whilst this may sound straightforward, we all know that on a farm, things are not always that simple! Complex and often conflicting factors weigh in on the potential value you can withdraw from each animal, and one very common issue that beef farmers face is that of poor calf respiratory health.
Healthier lungs, healthier profits
The link between respiratory health and calf growth has been well established; calves with healthy lungs gain more weight per day than those with lung damage. Young calves are particularly susceptible to respiratory disease, with estimates suggesting that 67% of cases of pneumonia occur in calves under three months of age, so particularly for autumn/winter calving herds, when calves will be housed during their most vulnerable period, the key to maximising productivity is to protect them from respiratory illness as early as possible.
Simple ways to protect and improve respiratory health
Early vaccination against key viruses which affect the respiratory health of young calves - BRSv and Pi3v - is an important preventative measure. You can also reduce the transmission of viruses by improving building ventilation, reducing stocking density, and minimising as much as possible mixing of age groups, where older calves represent a risk to the younger more vulnerable animals.
For the lowdown on the link between respiratory health, calf weight and lifetime productivity, take a look at our infographic below.
To view the high-resolution version of the infographic above, click here.
For further information please contact your veterinary surgeon or Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS www.zoetis.co.uk Customer support: 0845 300 8034 Use medicines responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible) AH129/16
Carolyn qualified from the RVC in 1995, and following time in mixed veterinary practice in Gloucestershire joined Zoetis (previously known as Pfizer Animal Health)in 2000 as a field based veterinary adviser.
In 2003 Carolyn became National Veterinary Manager focusing on young stock health, respiratory and infectious disease, and emerging diseases within the cattle sector. During this time she has sat on various committees including the British Cattle Veterinary Association Council, the NBA health committee, and the DEFRA farm health planning sub-committee (beef), and continues to be actively involved in various industry bodies.
Although now based ‘down south’ Carolyn still considers herself a true Yorkshire lass, and wishes she could be on the side of a hill in the Dales somewhere with her bonkers black labrador!