5/9/2023 - Weekly Blog - Herd Health
How We Maintain the Healthiest Herd Around
May 9th, 2023
Herd health has always been of particular importance to us. Healthy and happy cattle translates to higher profits and a more pleasurable ranching experience for us. Our animals are our livelihood and out of respect for that we want to give them the best life possible. In this blog post we will explore our vaccination and deworming practices, when we use antibiotics, and why 90% of our concern for herd health is actually driven by concern for the ecosystem.
Vaccination and Deworming Practices
This topic has been widely circulating in recent days and it's important that we address concerns when they arise. Vaccinations and deworming are an important part in protecting the health and vitality of our cattle. We vaccinate each of our adult cattle once a year with two vaccines that have been on the market for many years. They have been proven safe and effective for many years. We currently vaccinate with Triangle 10 and UltraBac8. Both of these vaccines are a killed virus type vaccine and safe to administer at any life stage. If you have concerns about these two vaccines please spend a little time looking them up. They are designed to work with immune system of the cattle to build immunity to 18 different diseases that can either affect the vitality or life of the cattle. Our calves get vaccinated and receive a booster dose at time of weaning with BoviShield Gold One Shot and UltraBac8. These once again have been proven safe and effective over many years. We vaccinate with BoviShield for calves because of the added protections against pneumonia which is the number one disease we battle with our herd each year costing us and our herd dearly. We DO NOT vaccinate with any form of mRNA vaccine. We also do not plan to do so until we are either forced to by law or we see that they have been proven safe though credible trials and over a decade of safe market usage. Currently there is no mRNA vaccine available to the everyday farmer and rancher. Even if there was we would not jump on the newest vaccine available because we want to see if there are long term effects to both the herd and the people who eat beef. Our priority is the health of both our herd and you!
"We DO NOT vaccinate with any form of mRNA vaccine. We also do not plan to do so until we are either forced to by law or we see that they have been proven safe though credible trials and over a decade of safe market usage."
Deworming is an important practice for our herd health, but can have significant impacts on our land health if managed improperly. We deworm twice a year in our herd. In the spring we deworm our cattle with Cydectin. This dewormer is very effective against worms and has the added benefit of not affecting the lifecycle of many of our beneficial insects and microfauna. We became concerned with this many years ago when we noticed that the cow patties (cattle fecal piles) were not being dispersed by insects and would lay untouched for months. This is not a natural occurrence outside of the hottest days of summer or the coldest days of winter. So after some research we found that our deworming practices were killing off our beneficial insects, specifically dung beetles. After re-evaluating we switched to Cydectin in the spring when the lifecycle of our beneficials is active, and use of Ivomec Plus was moved to a fall deworming when that lifecycle has gone dormant. Ivomec Plus is important for us to use in the late fall to treat for liver flukes. These parasites are most common in cattle after the wet growing season, so we treat for them when the time is optimal for our herd's health and the health of our ecosystem.
No matter if it is vaccines or dewormers there is a withdrawal date set by the FDA that designates when it is again safe to harvest and consume an animal after administering the drug. We make sure to keep careful records of when we administer these drugs and we always observe double the withdrawal time with any animal that may go to harvest as part of our beef program. This gives us the peace of mind knowing that our customers will not be consuming the drug. If at any time you have concerns about our vaccination and deworming protocols please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily answer any questions you may have. We know that the health of you and your family is of the utmost importance.
Antibiotics - Our 100% No Antibiotic Guarantee
Do we have antibiotics on our ranch? Yes. Will they be used on animals that are meant for the beef program? If needed. Will treated animals stay in the beef program? No, they will not.
Antibiotics are a necessary tool for us to maintain the health of our herd. A simple shot of antibiotics can alleviate the suffering of an animal or even save the life of an animal. We will always do our best to treat any ailments in our herd with care and good judgement. If an animal needs antibiotics then they will receive them. However, any animals that receive antibiotics will NOT be harvested for Mesquite Country Beef. We keep careful records of when, how much, and for what ailment antibiotics are administered. So you can rest assured that we know which animals have received antibiotics and that we remove them from the beef program.
How Does Land Management Play a Role?
Here at Mesquite Country Beef our motto is Healthy and Wholesome, The Way Nature Intended for a reason. We work with nature to support the health and vitality of our ecosystem. Every member of the ecosystem matters to us, from the microflora and microfauna in the soils, to the insects, to the fish and amphibians in the ponds, to the wildlife, and all the way up to our herd. Everything about maintaining a healthy ecosystem is about maintaining balance. We spray organic soil conditioners to feed and help our micro-organisms grow and flourish. This in turn helps the grass to grow strong and maintain a healthy balance of competition with weeds and broad leaf plants. We don't kill all of our weeds because they play an important roll in attracting insects. These insects in turn feed frogs, snakes, and small mammals. These small mammals in turn feed our cayotes keeping them away from our vulnerable calves. Our cattle harvest the plants and add fertilizer back into the ground to feed the microflora and microfauna. Our cattle produce tons of beef each year to feed the families or our customers. When this balance is carefully nurtured by us we see a massive drop in ailments. Our cattle are healthy because our ecosystem is healthy. So we focus the greatest majority of our time and energy into supporting the health of that ecosystem.
"Our cattle are healthy because our ecosystem is healthy."
I hope that this long blog post helped to clear up any questions or concerns you may have regarding the health of our herd and if our beef is safe for you to feed you and yours. I vow that we would not sell beef that we would not feed to our own family and friends. If at any time you have questions please reach out to us through email. We love interacting with our customers and want you to feel safe purchasing our products.