To help prevent the introduction of contagious diseases into your herd, bovine veterinary experts recommend that newly arriving cattle, such as seed stock, should be isolated for a minimum of 30 days.
Other recommendations to help you manage newly purchased seed stock include:
- Purchase seed stock only from herds in which adequate disease-prevention measures are practiced.
- Request health records for all incoming animals.
- Observe animals closely each day during the isolation period for early signs of disease.
- Sick animals should be isolated for at least one week or until all signs of disease are gone.
- Testing for common diseases, such as BVD and Johne’s disease, should be done early in the isolation period so the results will be available before the animal is put with other cattle in your herd.
- Deworming and vaccinating these animals are worthwhile practices.
Pay attention to nutrition
Nutritional considerations also are important to help you get the most from your investment in new seed stock. Bulls, for example, need to be fed to meet nutritional needs and ensure reproductive performance. Bulls that are either under- or over-fed will have lower sexual performance.
Bull nutrient needs differ depending upon age, size and activity level. For example, because yearling bulls are still growing, their nutritional requirements are higher than a mature bull.
Supplemental feed may be necessary to meet the nutritional requirements of young bulls or bulls that are on pasture. The nutrient requirements of bulls at various expected mature weights, body weights and average daily gains are listed in the accompanying table.
|Expected Mature Wt.||Body Wt./lbs||Average Daily Gain/lbs||Daily Dry Matter Intake/lbs||Total Digestible Nutrients/lbs||Crude Protein/lbs|
Don’t overfeed and try to ensure that the bulls get adequate exercise. Overfeeding and lack of exercise not only wastes feed and money but it reduces fertility.
Herd bulls must be kept in good condition to be fertile and sexually active. According to the University of Arkansas Extension Service, a body condition score of 6 (where 1 = very thin and 9 = obese) is a good target for bulls at the beginning of breeding. Bulls in a body condition score of 6 are in high moderate condition with considerable fat cover over the ribs and tail-head and firm pressure needed to feel the spine.
Purina Mills has a variety of products, including highly palatable, complete nutritional diets and well balanced nutritional supplements to help with the nutritional management of cow-calf herds, including helping you provide adequate nutrition for newly purchased seed stock.
Visit with your Purina representative, who can help you determine which products best fit your beef production system and goals.