As the owner of a herd of cattle or swine, you likely know how important maintaining the overall health and well-being of your herd is to keep them healthy, comfortable and producing at the level and quality that you need. Here, our Columbia vets explain the importance of herd health management programs and how we can help you maximize your herd.
It may not need to be said, but a healthy herd is a productive herd. Not only do illness and disease impact the health and well-being of your swine or cattle, they reflect in the herd's production.
Vets across the board agree that prevention is the best way of heading off disease and illness in any animal to ensure healthy and productive lives, and when you are managing whole herds of creatures, preventive medical care becomes all the more important to protect your animals' health and your livelihood.
What is involved in heard health management?
The core of herd health management starts with you.
Veterinarians won't be able to effectively work with you to schedule and manage the health of your herd if you aren't in tune with how they are doing. Routine walk-arounds to check in on how your herd is doing are critical to getting quick veterinary treatment to manage emerging issues in individual animals before they become a problem for the whole herd.
When a potential health issues arises, or you need to sit down and plan our your herd's healthcare, our vets will work with you to make sure your herd gets the attention they need. We always work to build relationships with you and create a herd health plan that is tailored not only to your animals' needs, but your own needs as a farmer or producer.
Beyond this general awareness of how your herd is holding up, there are a number of important factors our veterinarians consider when working with you on managing your herd's health. These include:
Vaccinations & Preventive Treatments
The core of any herd health management program is vaccinations. These will help to protect your herd from a whole host of dangerous illnesses that not only will threaten the lives of your animals', but will affect their production throughout their lives.
A healthy herd is a productive herd, and with vaccinations, deworming treatments and other preventive services, you can avoid the trouble of managing illness in your animals altogether.
Breeding Soundness and Reproduction Management
Carefully planning out your herd's breeding schedule and assessing the health and suitability of your head sire each season will help to ensure that your herd is able to grow safely and sustainably.
Our vets will work with you to determine the best and safest route for breeding your herd, including by conducting semen evaluations, pregnancy checks and remaining on-call in the event that a birth requires a C-section.
Nutritional Needs Assessment and GI Tract Care
Your animals' gastrointestinal tracts are often considered to be one of the most important means of maintaining their health, and this means being intentional about what you feed your herd in addition to routine checkups on your animals' gastrointestinal tracts.
Our vets will be able to work with you to ensure that your herd's GI tracts are in tip-top shape and that their daily nutritional needs are being met to help keep them healthy, and producing as expected.
Monitor Your Herd's Biosecurity
The biosecurity of your herd is their resilience against disease, parasites and health conditions that may be introduced in a number of different ways. While our routine herd checks and vaccinations help to ensure that your herd remains healthy, there are a number of avenues through which unexpected disease may make its way into your animals' systems.
This can include newly purchased animals, changes in feed, facility cleaning routines and more. As part of our herd health management services, our vets will sit down with you and review our recommended best practices to support your herd's biosecurity.