The Sandhills Calving System For Scours Prevention

Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada for this piece! Last week we looked at the system Doug Wray uses to prevent disease spread in his newborn calves. His process is a variation of a system developed at the University of Nebraska about 20 years ago, known as the Sandhills Calving System (developed on pastures in the Sandhills of Nebraska). The Sandhills System was designed to protect calf health by providing separation between newborn calves and older calves (two weeks of age and older) during a critical time of the year when the risk of disease development, primarily scours, is high. Newborn calves co-mingled with older calves, particularly if they are concentrated in a relatively small area, and particularly if weather conditions are cool and wet is really the ideal scenario for the development of a scours outbreak in a cowherd. How Do Scours Spread? Research has shown the cycle of scours at calving often originates with mature beef cows as they carry the scours pathogen. Scour pathogen

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