Feed Lot

NOV 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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FEED•LOT November 2018 11 pathogen. Overwhelming exposure is more likely to occur in a larger group as compared with smaller groups. Too often we combine multiple loads into a pen when a sounder biocontainment practice would be to split loads into multiple pens. 3. With an incubation time of three to five days for common BRD viruses, and the observed "bloom" of bacterial pathogens in the first few days post market- ing, extending TMP beyond 24 hours can negatively impact the ability of arrival vaccinations and interven- tions to effectively prevent and control BRD pathogens present in the group. Extended TMP also can turn good, fresh calves into undesirable, highly stressed, stale, exposed ones. 4. Pen conditions increase risks, not only from a husbandry perspective, but also PL potential. Adjacent starting pens allow disease to move between starting groups, turning pen problems into system problems and short-term issues into chronic issues. Older, solid pens of cattle can serve as a firewall between starting groups, where the diseases present can "die out" of our system. Likewise, using the same pens over and over for short-term starting increases the potential for environmental factors that contribute to increased PL. It's critical to look at alternative procurement, trans- portation and post-arrival management. The same cat- tle, under different management priorities that reduce PL, can produce better BRD outcomes. FL PL can outperform a home pen recovery system that breaks down biocontainment firewalls. For example, commingling home-pen-recovery pulls from multiple starting pens in the alley and treatment facilities for an hour or two can result in the same biocontainment breakdowns seen in poorly managed hospital systems. What matters most is the PL result, not method used. Personnel management Making PL the management priority of all personnel is critical to shift the job priority from "doctoring sicks" to "managing exposures" or "least cost procurement" to "minimizing exposure and incubation." From a biocontainment perspective, we could change a daily routine of first riding through a re-treat or chronic pen and then newly arrived cattle — paying attention to what is penned next to what, and examining all cattle movements for exposure potential. There is no reason for personnel to put re-treats from older groups into an alley and commingle the first pulls from newly arrived groups with them on the way to the chute. The possible inoculation of problem pathogens into the cattle and their penmates is worth avoiding. Equipment and Facilities Finally, no matter how nice the facilities and man- agement look, they will fail if a high PL results. Modest, unimpressive facilities and management that are sound on biocontainment often outperform facilities that seem to do everything "by the book" but have signifi- cant biocontainment flaws. Extensive operations have inherent biocontainment potential while confinement facilities present challenges. Since the management and facilities constraints in operations vary so much, trying to write a single recipe to maximize reducing PL within those differing constraints is impossible. But, what we can examine is every management practice, and alternatives, and improve our system by prioritizing options that reduce PL. Procurement practices Influence of biocontainment should start in pro- curement and carry through to pen placement and subsequent cattle movement. Many common procure- ment practices fall short, meaning that regardless of post-arrival management, poor BRD outcomes are almost guaranteed. Using epidemiological software and data, Dr. Falkner has examined some common procure- ment practices, such as degree of commingling, group size, and a factor he refers to as time from marketing to placement (TMP). Here are a few things he's seen: 1. As the number of origin herds in a group increases, the risk of a given pathogen being present and multiple pathogen loading occurring increases. 2. As the total size of the group increases, the amount of "kindling" to power a pathogen fire in- creases, resulting in higher exposures to any present

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