Might preconditioning of calves become a requirement? Dan Thomson, DVM, PhD, Beef Cattle Institute, Kansas State University, thinks it could happen and that it should.
“We’re facing issues on animal welfare on a daily basis,” Thomson says. “When we take calves and properly prepare them at the ranch for our marketing system and feedyard transfer, we take them from a high health-risk animal to a low health-risk animal at the feedyard, which is an animal-health and well-being game changer. It should be common sense.”
Thomson says decreasing stress through proper calf management on the ranch and improving animal well -being through better animal-health practices will help enhance our industry’s image. Preconditioning programs also help “improve predictability of performance and profitability.”
Thomson says more producers are preconditioning their calves, and he expects the trend to continue. “Preconditioning will become the norm, not the exception,” he says.