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Facilities Feed Program | Electronic ID Tags | Health Program | High Risk Program | Order Buying

ur focus is on preparing newly weaned calves for the Stocker and Feedlot Industries. Brown Ranches has been pre-conditioning its calves for almost 25 years…

If we look at how a feedlot operates and examine what takes place as calves are weaned and begin the growing and finishing process, we find that the period from the time weaned cattle are processed and started on feed is, by far, the most difficult period of that animal's life. This is the period when the injections, worming, implanting, ear tagging, etc. occurs. This is also when cattle are the most stressed and when the greatest amount of morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death loss) occurs. This period also requires the most labor to get all the work done that is necessary for proper weaning. Similarly, fresh cattle come into a feed yard, in many cases, having never seen a feed bunk or trough and having never drunk water from anything other than a stock pond. It is quite a challenge getting the cattle adapted to and started on feed. Interestingly, a few days delay can have a fairly significant effect on overall performance, as well as carcass characteristics, when the cattle go to the packer.

"Feedlots have found that by spending a bit more on cattle that have been PC, they can greatly reduce the amount they spend on labor, medication, etc. and subsequently experience better performance from the cattle in terms of gain and carcass traits ".1

Facilities: We have the most advanced, modern calf-receiving facility in South Texas. Our working pens were designed for low stress, ease of working, and speed. Our weaning pens are steel cable fences on springs to minimize bruising and are water sprinkled to minimize dust. Sick calves are removed from their group through a low stress alley system, treated, and isolated until well. Cattle water is fresh and clean and old water is flushed daily through our underground tile drainage system.

Feed Program: Our feed ration is designed and managed by our consulting nutritionist, Dr. Harry Anderson of Garden City, Kansas. We mix our own fresh feed ration twice daily to which we add certain feed additives and minerals to obtain a perfect growing ration for calves.

Calves are given a "starter" ration when they arrive at the lot. After 14 days, they are switched to a "growing" ration and their feed is increased daily up to 3% of their body weight. A very important part of our ration is our mineral additive that is designed specially for us, which assures each calf its maximum daily requirements of minerals and trace minerals to assure good digestion which promotes immunity to BRD. We expect gains of 1.7 to 2.5 pounds per day in the first 45 days. Feed charges fluctuate with commodity prices. Contact us for current prices.

Electronic ID Tags: Our state-of-the-art processing facility is equipped with a computerized electronic ear-tagging system to provide performance data on each calf, information vitally important in genetic selection and mandatory for Premium Calf Sales nationwide. The EID records everything about the calf's history including the date of each vaccination, the vaccine used, diet, weight at various dates, etc. All calves destined for a Premium Sale, such as the Jordan Cattle Auction in San Saba, Texas, must be given an EID (Electronic Identification Tag.) The imminent mandatory USDA ID system will soon require every bovine in the USA to be identified.

Health Program: Building immunity is the key to a successful "pre-conditioning" program and, in turn, a successful stocker-feeder program. We have an excellent consulting feedlot Vet who designed and monitors our health program. Dr. Frank Griffin of Hereford, Texas, designed our health program and keeps us updated with the latest medicines and vaccines available.

High Risk Program: Certain calves are considered high risk depending on their origin. When a set of calves is determined to be high risk, they go through this aggressive process: each calf is weighed in, sprayed, branded, wormed, dehorned, castrated, and ear-tagged with the owner's ID tag. They are given a blackleg shot, a BRD vaccination (the latest 4-way "respiratory complex" of modified live vaccines that cover BRSV, BVD, PI3, and IBR), and the first day of a three-day mass treatment for potential sickness. If the calf gets sick after the three day period, it goes to the hospital for another three-day treatment. Otherwise, they get a BRD vaccination booster on day eight.

*Our low death percentage is a direct result of applying good, expert advice combined with plain 'ol hard work and vigilance.

Order Buying: We buy, assemble, and shape up auction or county cattle to your order. Your calves are delivered to our yard as soon as possible after purchase to decrease exposure to auction barn stress, are processed the same day, and are immediately put on good feed and clean water. When your order is ready, your cattle can remain at our facilities for full backgrounding or be delivered to your specified location.

Charges upon request.

Dr. Stephen B. Blezinger, PhD from an article in Cattle Today online

*Death Loss: We are not responsible for death losses, but we do as much as possible to insure the good health and well-being of your cattle. If death losses occur they are reported to the owner immediately. FEED HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK.