360° Approach Taken to Herd Health
When it comes to herd health, two philosophies come into play at Judd Ranch:
- It's better to prevent disease than to treat it
- Judd Ranch customers deserve disease-free females and bulls.
"OUR HERD HEALTH PROGRAM STARTS THE DAY A CALF IS BORN AND CONTINUES THROUGHOUT ITS LIFETIME-OR UNTIL AN ANIMAL IS ON A BUYER'S TRUCK." -- DAVE JUDD
"Our program integrates vaccination, medicine and management to prevent disease. We keep disease at a minimum by preventing exposure to disease, and keep disease resistance high through nutrition, management and housing programs. While this takes a continual effort, it is worth the investment. We benefit, and our customers deserve this reassurance. "
Dr. Larry Mages, Cottonwood Animal Hospital, Ottawa, Kan., oversees the ranch's day-to-day veterinary service and has served as the ranch's local veterinarian for more than 20 years. Dr. Mages is the guy you typically see at the settlement table on sale day signing health papers.
Negative for Brucellosis
Judd Ranch tests all cows and herd bulls annually for brucellosis, and is an Accredited Brucellosis Free herd-Certification #271. Judd Ranch has achieved this brucellosis-free status for more than five years.
Negative for Johne's Disease
The prevention of Johne's disease, a silent chronic infection causing intermittent to continuous diarrhea and wasting in cattle more than two years of age, is always on Judd Ranch's radar screen.
Even though Judd Ranch has never experienced, or even suspected, any cases of Johne's disease in the herd, Judd Ranch has tested for Johne's disease.
"I can say with confidence that we are an extremely low-risk Johne's disease herd," Dave states. "I wish I could say we're a Johne's-free herd, but no cowman can say that. We're a Level 4 Johne's-free herd."
When it comes to herd health and Johne's disease, only an elite group of U.S. beef herds can say that they are a low-risk herd, and testing shows Judd Ranch is among the herds that can make that statement with confidence.
Negative for BVD-PI
For 10 years in a row, Dr. Larry Mages has tested all Judd Ranch sale bulls for persistent infection (PI) of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), with all testing negative.
Buyers can purchase Judd Ranch bulls knowing that each bull selling in the spring bull sale has tested negative for BVD-PI and will not spread BVD to their herds.
Every bull offered for sale at a Judd Ranch Bull Sale has passed a breeding soundness exam (BSE) performed by Dr. Larry Mages who has worked with Judd Ranch for more than 25 years.
In addition to measuring each bull's scrotal circumference, Dr. Mages' BSE includes a pelvic palpation to check for abnormalities and medical problems in the reproductive glands and examining each bull's testicles. Using electro ejaculation, Dr. Mages also examines the penis for soundness and checks the semen of each bull for sperm motility and concentration.
Genetic Defect Free
Dr. Ron Lemenager, beef extension specialist with Purdue University, urges cattle producers to avoid purchasing animals that carry genetic defects and can pass these defects to their offspring. And, while a genetic defect is not a disease, a genetic defect is similar to a disease because it can cause significant problems in a herd. "
Almost every breed has one or more genetic defects, and they can sneak up on you if you're not careful," Lemenager said.
Lemenager advises producers to study every animal's pedigrees and know which animals are free of genetic defects. The alternative is to only purchase breeding stock that have been DNA tested and declared free of known defects.
Ranch consultant Roger Gatz, Cattlemen's Connection, and the Judd Ranch crew agree with Lemenager. That's why Judd Ranch herdsires and AI sires have been tested for known genetic defects and are known free from known genetic defects.
EVERY FEMALE SELLING AT A JUDD RANCH COW POWER FEMALE SALE IN THE FALL AND EVERY BULL SELLING THROUGH A JUDD RANCH BULL SALE IN THE SPRING SELLS WITH A GENETIC DEFECT-FREE GUARANTEE FOR KNOWN GENETIC DEFECTS.