Calves that are preconditioned at weaning are healthier and more resilient to withstand the rigors of shipping and commingling prior to introduction in subsequent production programs.
Calves that are preconditioned at weaning are healthier and more resilient to withstand the rigors of shipping and commingling prior to introduction in subsequent production programs. Preconditioning can add significant value to calves but requires planning and management.
Preconditioning adds value to calves due to the weaning, health and other management protocols that are included in the programs.
The value of Excell™ involves the longer-term benefits seen when the stress of weaning and shipping is overcome by getting the calves on feed quickly:
Stimulating feed intake:
Brings the rumen microflora back to normal (stress can reduce the population to 10-15 percent of normal)
Improved rumen function reduces chance of acidosis and digestive upsets
Increased intake provides more nutrients for maintaining the immune system to fight off pathogen challenges
Increased intake and improved rumen function increase nutrients available for growth, development, and feed efficiency
As with any economic decision, producers should evaluate the costs and returns of preconditioning programs. Additional costs of preconditioning vary across operations and situations and, while there is no guarantee of positive returns, the probability of positive returns is higher and more consistent in recent years.
Considerable research has shown that stressed cattle on weaning/receiving rations that stimulate intakes 2-3 weeks post weaning, perform significantly better, are healthy and more profitable than those that are not.
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