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What’s important during this life stage?
- Establishing calf health (managing high-risk calves and getting them back on track prior to feedlot entry)
- Efficient calf growth at minimal cost
- Reducing calf stress prior to feedlot entry
- Bloat: Self-fed beef cattle can easily fall victim to bloat if proper precautions aren’t taken.
- Respiratory disease: Commingling of large groups of animals increases the risk of a novel pathogen being introduced to the herd.
Tips for maximizing health and performance
- Provide proper nutrition.
- Make sure that the trace mineral requirements of animals are being met, especially since most backgrounding systems are forage-based with limited supplementation in order to keep costs down.
- Minimize animal stress.
- Utilize a transition period, which will spread the animals’ exposure to stressors out over a longer, more manageable period.
- Establish gut health.
- Provide supplementation through use of a mannan-oligosaccharide product like Bio-Mos® 2 as cattle transition from weaning to backgrounding.
- Introduce grains slowly.
- This will allow the rumen to adapt to a higher starch content.
- Doing this also helps prevent bloat and ruminal acidosis.