Use Beef Quality Assurance this spring when bringing calves in for branding.
By: Rob Eirich, UNL Extension Educator and Nebraska Director of BQA
It is spring and that means its branding time across cattle country. As producers are finishing calving season and preparing for branding it is important to review BQA guidelines. Let’s take a minute to look at the key BQA principles:
- Discuss calf vaccination protocols with your veterinarian to ensure a strong herd health program.
- Make sure everyone is focused on the importance of "low stress cattle handling" … the lower the stress the better response we will get from the vaccines we select.
- Select vaccines that can be administered subcutaneous when possible.
- Keep vaccines out of ultraviolet light and in a cooler at proper storage temperatures.
- Prepare (mix) modified live vaccines as needed and not more than one hour prior to administration.
- Use clean administering equipment (syringes).
- Select proper needle size for young calves, recommend using 16-18 gauge, 1/2 - 5/8 inch needles.
- Change needles every 15 head or each time the syringe is reloaded.
- Give all injections in the neck region.
- Maintain the proper processing records.
BQA is a commitment to the beef consumers that we are using the Best Management Practices (BMPs) to produce safe, wholesome beef products. Product quality and integrity starts at day one of a calf’s life through focusing on care, well-being, and health of those animals entrusted into the producer’s stewardship.