Cattle health in feedlots

NSW DPI

Type: Webpage
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Interesting article on cattle health in feedlots. Specifically important to note the compounds to have on hand in the case of sick cattle to ensure treatment is not delayed.

This article talks about cattle health specifically in feedlots where sick cattle are removed from standard pens and relocated into a separate yard (hospital pen) where they can be regularly treated and monitored.

The items covered in this article were:

• How to recognize sick cattle

• Reading labels and treatment dosages

• Be aware of withhold periods (WHP)

• Feed-related sickness in cattle

• Non-feed related sickness in cattle

• First aid

Key points were as follows:

• It is important that cattle are monitored in feedlots at least daily to identify any sick or distressed cattle. Signs of sick cattle can include standing alone, unusual breathing patterns, panting, bloated, slow moving or unwillingness to move, irritated (swishing tail) or standing unusually.

• Treatment and dosage of drugs are extremely important for feedlot cattle to ensure over or underdosing. Owners or staff should be aware of any drugs that have a withhold period (WHP) as cattle cannot be slaughtered until the withhold period (WHP) has expired.

• Feed-related sicknesses include grain poisoning (acidosis), ergot poisoning, feedlot bloat, founder, polioencephalomalacia (PEM), ionophore poisoning, urea poisoning, urinary calculi (urolithiasis – bladder stones), vitamin A deficiency, vitamin E deficiency and diarrhea.

• Non-feed related sicknesses include bovine respiratory disease, foot abscess (footrot), bullers, pinkeye (infectious keratoconjunctivitis) and heat stress.

• Hospital pens in feedlots should be separate from other pens of cattle to avoid the potential spread of any infectious diseases. Sick cattle should have access to fresh water and shade.

Australia - NSW DPI
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