Beef Quality Assurance at branding time
April 28, 2014
It is spring and that means branding time across cattle country. As producers are finishing calving season and preparing for branding/processing, it is important to review Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) guidelines. Let's take a minute to look at the key BQA principles:
Discuss calf vaccination protocols with your veterinarian to ensure a strong herd health program.
Make sure everyone is focused on the importance of "low stress cattle handling" … the lower the stress, the better the response from vaccines.
Select vaccines that can be administered subcutaneously when possible.
Keep vaccines out of ultraviolet light and in a cooler at proper storage temperatures.
Prepare (mix) modified live vaccines as needed and not more than one hour prior to administration.
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Use clean administering equipment (syringes).
Select proper needle size for young calves; 16-18 gauge, 1/2 to 5/8-inch needles are recommended.
Change needles every 15 head or each time the syringe is reloaded.
Give all injections in the neck region.
Maintain the proper processing records.
BQA is a commitment to the beef consumers that producers use the best management practices (BMPs) to produce safe, wholesome beef products. Product quality and integrity start at day one of a calf's life and are achieved by focusing on care, well-being and health of animals trusted to the producer's stewardship.