Stocker Operation Measures Returns of Antibiotic Program

Stocker Operation Measures Returns of Antibiotic Program

Oklahomans find seven health benefits to giving long-acting Draxxin at receiving.

Brock and Shelia Karges say extensive recordkeeping and analysis helped them determine whether the expense of long-acting Draxxin as an anti-infective drug at receiving was worthwhile.

The couple own Triple Heart Ranch, a large stocker operation in central Oklahoma, near the little town of Wanette. The operation runs more than 150,000 stocker cattle per year from a 150-mile radius of home.

The Kargeses list seven improvements their records showed them which the 10-14 day efficacy of Draxxin helped achieve.

1. Average daily gain increased by 2/10 to 3/10 pound.

2. Overall predicatability of performance increased, making it easier to hit the ranch's current desired finish point of 722 pounds.

3. Treatment costs after receiving dropped from $14.50 per head in 2008 to $1.86 per head in 2010.

4. Eye problems "went away."

5. They stopped seeing problems with Mycoplasma bovis.

6. Labor demands lessened and animal care increased as pen riders could spend the first 10 days after receiving getting cattle to feed and water instead of looking for cattle to pull.

7. Most of the death loss now comes in the first 14 days versus the first 60 days.

In the video on this page, Shelia Karges talks with Beef Producer Editor Alan Newport about how a long-acting anti-infective changed things on their operation.

For more information on how to evaluate the expense of long-acting antibiotics on stocker cattle, see the November issue of Beef Producer.

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