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Animal Health

The Kerr Center livestock program uses a whole-farm approach to herd health.

Difficulty in birthing causes many later problems

for both cow…

  • longer interval to next calf
  • reduced fertility

  …and calf alike:

  • reduced immunity
  • slower weight gain

Early intervention with difficult births is key.

disease

Disease depends on both exposure and immunity.

To boost immunity:

  • reduce stress
  • supply adequate, quality forage
    and
    water
  • use vaccines properly
To reduce exposure:

  • keep it clean: facilities, water, animals, pastures
  • avoid crowding
  • prevent mingling with other farms’ animals

 

Detect problems early – monitor behavior and performance:

  • behavior on pasture: grazing? resting?
  • body condition scoring

Publications Related to Animal Health

  • Help Your Calves Hit the Ground Healthy

    Bottle-fed calves may be cute, but as anyone who’s kept one can attest, they’re a nuisance – and worse, a drain on time and profits. Healthy cattle who can deliver healthy calves with minimal assistance…

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  • Cattle Dentition Video

    This is a video of David Sparks, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference, explaning how to determine a cow’s age by looking at her teeth.

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  • Parasite Control: The Value of Multi-species and Rotational Grazing

    This is the text of a presentation by Dr. Steve Hart at a 2010 meat goat field day, covering ways to use grazing rotations and stocking of multiple livestock species to manage parasites in meat…

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  • Forages: What Goats Like and What They Don’t

    This is a presentation by Erin Campbell-Craven, from a 2011 meat goat field day. It describes goats’ feeding behavior and dietary requirements, with an emphasis on managing goats on pasture.

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  • Managing Goats for Herd Health

    This is a presentation by Ann Wells, D.V.M., from a 2011 meat goat field day. It describes a holistic approach to goat health management, and includes a list of other resources.

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  • Goat Health Materials List

    This is a list, from a 2011 field day, of goat health products used in the Kerr Center’s goat program; it includes notes on use and suppliers.

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  • Birthing Kit for Goats

    This is a list of materials, used in the livestock track of the 2012 Oklahoma Beginning Farmer & Rancher program, to have on hand when pregnant goats are due to kid.

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  • Sustainable Livestock Production Circle

    This is a diagram from the livestock track of the 2012 Oklahoma Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program.  It illustrates the basic interconnection between soil, forages, animals, and weather in livestock production.

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  • Soil Health and How it Relates to Healthy Cattle

    This is a presentation by Ray Archuleta from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It covers simple soil health monitoring techniques, basic soil science, and sustainable livestock management.  

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  • Heifer Management

    This report covers heifer selection and nutrition, early puberty, target weight concept, proper feeding, breeding, calving difficulty, and bull selection.

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  • Holistic Approach to Animal Health and Well-Being

    This is a presentation by Ann Wells, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It covers livestock health management from a whole-farm perspective, including an emphasis on “wellness promotion” as opposed to “disease…

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  • Herd Health Overview

    This is a presentation by David Sparks, D.V.M., from the livestock track of the 2012 Oklahoma Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program. It includes a detailed discussion of vaccines, discusses managing both immunity levels and disease…

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  • Birthing Kit

    This is a list of supplies to have on hand during cattle births.

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  • Cattle Dentition

    This is a handout by David Sparks, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It is a visual guide to determining a cow’s age by looking at her teeth.

    Read more
  • Body Condition Scoring of Beef Cows

    This is OCES publication ANSI-3283. It has been used as a handout at several Kerr Center workshops on beef cattle as a reference for body condition scoring.

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  • Beef Cow Herd Health Protocol

    This is a handout by David Sparks, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It consists of a short list of health management practices grouped by age, from 6 week prior to birth…

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  • Management for Animal Health

    This is a presentation by David Sparks, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It covers beef cattle health management, including calving issues and proper use of vaccines.

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  • Beef Cattle Assessment

    This is a presentation by David Sparks, D.V.M., from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference. It covers economic comparisons between conventional cattle management and management focusing on cost efficiency.

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