AgWatch


Selecting Cattle Against Pinkeye

ELDON COLE

MT. VERNON, MO.
   Glenn Selk, retired extension livestock specialist, Oklahoma State wrote in a recent news item about the heritability of resistance to pinkeye.
   Pinkeye possibly causes more dollar loss than you imagine. Weight loss in nursing calves is usually estimated in studies from 25 to 50 lbs. The group we feed the feedout steers with has data that indicates bad eyed calves fall 34 pounds behind the normal calves during the finishing phase. Glenn referred to an Iowa State trial that gave an estimate of 0.11 for heritability of resistance to pinkeye.
   The 0.11 is a low heritability and progress in developing pinkeye resistance in your cattle would be very slow. The study concluded that properly fed and immunized cattle, with a strong immune system will be more resistant to pinkeye. The various vaccines on the market seem to be getting more effective.    Some find even better results from autogenous bacterins made from your own herd.
   In case you have weepy, squinty eyes showing in your calves take action quickly rather than waiting a few days. Prompt treatment and separation of the affected animals from the others usually pays off with a quicker recovery. ∆
   ELDON COLE: Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri
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