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 depends on both exposure and immunity.
To boost immunity:
- reduce stress
- supply adequate, quality forage
- 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
Parasite Control: The Value of Multi-species and Rotational Grazing
This presentation covers ways to use grazing rotations and stocking of multiple livestock species to manage parasites in meat goats.
Forages: What Goats Like and What They Don’t
This presentation describes goats’ feeding behavior and dietary requirements, with an emphasis on managing goats on pasture.
Managing Goats for Herd Health
This presentation describes a holistic approach to goat health management, and includes a list of related resources.
Goat Health Management Materials List
This list of goat health products used in the Kerr Center’s goat program includes notes on use and suppliers.
Birthing Kit for Goats
This is a list of materials to have on hand during goat kidding.
Sustainable Livestock Production Circle
This diagram illustrates the basic interconnection between soil, forages, animals, and weather in livestock production.
Soil Health and How it Relates to Healthy Cattle
This presentation covers simple soil health monitoring techniques, basic soil science, and sustainable livestock management.
This report covers heifer selection and nutrition, early puberty, target weight concept, proper feeding, breeding, calving difficulty, and bull selection.
Holistic Approach to Animal Health and Well-Being
This document covers livestock health management from a whole-farm perspective, including an emphasis on “wellness promotion” as opposed to “disease prevention,” and a discussion of stress management.
Herd Health Overview
This presentation includes a detailed discussion of vaccines, discusses managing both immunity levels and disease exposure, and addresses the effect of difficult births.
This is a list of supplies to have on hand during cattle births.
Body Condition Scoring of Beef Cows
Beef Cow Herd Health Protocol
Management for Animal Health
Beef Cattle Assessment
Reproduction and the Bottom Line
This presentation discusses the management of goat reproduction to maximize profits.