Preconditioning may be defined as preparing a calf to better endure stress associated with shipment from the ranch to the feedlot. The South Dakota preconditioning (“Green Tag”) program requires calves be castrated, dehorned and healed by sale time, vaccinated for IBR, BVD, PI and 7-way clostridia, treated for parasites, and be weaned and bunk adjusted for at least 30 days to be considered preconditioned. It is suggested to vaccinate calves at least two weeks before weaning to reduce stress.
Advantages to the program would seem to be heavier calves at sale time, reduced transit shrink, reduced sickness and death loss and improved performance in the feedlot. This research is part of a two year study to determine the effects of the “Green Tag” program on calf health and performance.
Department of Animal Science, Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Swann, J. K., "Effect of Preconditioning on Performance and Health of Feeder Steers" (1985). South Dakota Cattle Feeders Field Day Proceedings and Research Reports, 1985. 5.