Feedlot specialist: Calves should be allowed to get used to being handled
A beef feedlot specialist says getting calves accustomed to being handled will improve production and disease detection. South Dakota State University’s Warren Rusche recommends that cattle producers stay connected to their livestock.
“Whether we’re riding pens with a horse, or walking pens on foot, we want those calves to get used to seeing us in their pen and get used to not thinking of us as a threat,” said Rusche, during a virtual session of DakotaFest, “because calves can hide illness awfully well when they think you’re the predator.”
Producers should not skimp on expenses when calves are just starting on feed, according to Rusche.
“There will be times later in the feeding period when we can think about reducing feed costs and costs per day,” said Rusche, “but in the starting phase, in my opinion, that’s not one of those times.”