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Herd Health

Find information about vaccination protocols, disease control, biosecurity, and working with your veterinarian on antibiotic treatment.

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For over a century, the word “temperament” has been used to define the fear-related behavioral responses of cattle when exposed to human handling. As cattle temperament worsens, their response to human contact or any other handling procedures becomes more pronounced. Within the beef cattle industry, producers select cattle for temperament, primarily for safety reasons. However, recent studies demonstrate cattle temperament may also have productive and economic implications to beef operations.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have identified the primary site where the virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) begins infection in cattle. This discovery could lead to development of new vaccines to control and potentially eradicate FMD, a highly contagious and sometimes fatal viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals that is considered the most economically devastating livestock disease in the world.

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Vaccine labels contain a wealth of information, and failing to read vaccine label indications and understanding label claims may leave cattle vulnerable to disease.

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While producers are weaning calves this fall, giving the cows a little attention, too, will provide long-term benefits.

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Vaccination alone may not be all that is necessary to help protect cattle from respiratory disease.

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One weaning practice that continues to gain favor with both researchers and producers is fence-line-weaning, a management system which breaks the cow-calf bond gradually through a fence. Pairs are separated but can still see, hear and have nose-to-nose contact.

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