Stress and immunity in receiving cattle
One of the most important steps in feedlot management is how to properly receive new cattle. Most calves arrive after long transportation with restricted feed. An effective receiving programme minimises the incidence of disease and gets cattle feeding. The impact of nutrition on immunity is highest during this period, and the efficacy of any vaccination programme depends upon the ability of the calf’s immune system to respond adequately.
Given long transport times, feed and water restrictions, the rumen of arriving calves will be functioning less efficiently than normal. At this time, they face high stress and a risk of BRD and digestive disorders. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is by far the most important disease found in newly received cattle, with the highest economic impact.
Management of high-risk calves after arrival is critical to achieve a healthy, successful transition to the new environment. The typical management recommendation is to provide an abundant supply of clean water, good-quality hay, and a clean, dry place to bed down.