Cattle Magazine Health Building herd resilience: Role of nutrition in herd resilience to disease and disaster explained – Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Building herd resilience: Role of nutrition in herd resilience to disease and disaster explained – Wyoming Livestock Roundup



Cooler temperatures and expected precipitation during weaning, shipping and pregnancy checking is a yearly reminder for producers of the quickly approaching winter months. Nutrition during these months has the ability to impact herd health in terms of calving, passive transfer for immunity and total productivity of calves.  

This fall, Ward Laboratories is hosting a four-part webinar series for producers called Producing Robust Livestock Through Nutrition, Genetic and Soil Health Management. 

The first webinar features Veterinary Epidemiologist Dr. Brian Vander Ley from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Great Plains Veterinary Education Center. Vander Ley has focused his career on improving cattle health and performance by understanding and eliminating disease through nutrition. 

Vander Ley says the need for building resilience in cow/calf systems is evident, as cow/calf producers generally operate “close to the edge” with slim margins. Operating close to the edge means a slip up could leave management open to catastrophic losses.  

“My definition of resilience is being able to take a hit and stay in business,” says Vander Ley. “Sometimes producers try to cut their operating costs in different places, which nutrition often falls into. Strategic feeding has the ability to add some insurance.” 

Consequences of thin cows

The consequences of cows with a body condition score (BCS) of four or less have the ability to affect the herd in the long run. Vander Ley explains producers can
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