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Home / NEWS & MEDIA / Improving Stocker Gain
By Jeff Sarchet, DVM, senior veterinarian, Zoetis Beef Technical Services
Growing up on a feedyard of 5,000 head in the Oklahoma Panhandle, I observed firsthand the benefits of well-managed cattle coming in from the stocker level.
I work with a number of stocker operations across the country, and no matter the region, they share the same priority at this level of beef production — improving gain.
Before sharing strategies for improving gain, I want to take a step back and share my definition of “stockers.” Commonly between the cow/calf and feedlot stages, stockers buy calves and put them out on native grass for an extended period of time to increase gain. Depending on weather and grass growth, cattle may receive supplemental grain. Stockers then sell the cattle as larger lot loads to feedyards for finishing.
There are several strategies for improving stocker gain. Here are my top three suggestions to put to work on your operation.
Combining the above management strategies can present effective opportunities to put weight on stocker cattle and improve the health of the animals. If you have questions about increasing gain in your stocker cattle, I encourage you to talk with your Zoetis representative or your nutritionist, or visit zoetisUS.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR DRAXXIN: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information.
Do not use DECCOX in cows producing milk for human consumption.
DECTOMAX Injectable has a 35-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. DECTOMAX Pour-On has a 45-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. DECTOMAX has been developed specifically for cattle and swine. Use in dogs may result in fatalities.
Do not use SYNOVEX products in veal calves. Refer to label for complete directions for use, precautions, and warnings.
Cattle must not be slaughtered within 27 days after the last treatment with VALBAZEN. Do not use in female dairy cattle of breeding age. Do not administer to female cattle during the first 45 days of pregnancy or for 45 days after removal of bulls.
About ZoetisZoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com
For more information, contact: Leona Ling FergusonZoetis973firstname.lastname@example.org
Aimee RobinsonBader Rutter414email@example.com
About the author: Dr. Jeff Sarchet received his DVM from Oklahoma State University in 1985, a Master of Public Health from the University of Iowa in 2012, and in 2014, became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Sarchet owned a mixed-animal practice in Kansas for 21 years and joined Zoetis as a Beef Technical Services veterinarian in 2013. Dr. Sarchet resides in Decatur, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.
To download a high-resolution photo of Dr. Sarchet, click here.
References:1 Bagley C, Healey MC, Hansen D. Beef Cattle Handbook: Internal parasites in cattle. http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/bch/InternalParasites.pdf. Accessed December 2, 2016.2 Brodersen BW. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 2010;26(2):323-333. 3 Griffin D, Chengappa MM, Kuszak J, McVey DS. Bacterial pathogens of the bovine respiratory disease complex. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 2010;26(2):381-394.4 Cleale RM, Edmonds JD, Edmonds M, et al. Growth promoting hormonal implant pellets coated with a polymeric, porous film promote weight gain by grazing beef heifers and steers for up to 200 days. J Anim Sci. 2015;93(4):1933-1941.
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