Follow these tips to ensure beef health products are being handled correctly for optimum benefits for your beef operation.
Companies that manufacture beef health products are careful to ensure they are selling quality products to beef producers, but the manufacturers have no control of the product once it is sold. It’s up to the beef producers themselves to handle beef health products properly, and to administer the products so their livestock get the full advantages. Follow these tips for handling and administering your beef health care products from a UF/IFAS publication to ensure the health products you use are being handled correctly in order to get the best results for your beef operation.
The Importance of Proper Handling and Administration
The UF/IFAS publication highlights why it’s important to maintain the highest standards of quality when it comes to handling and administering beef health products. There are a number of reasons. First, best practices for handling and administering health products are required by Beef Quality Assurance. Furthermore, improper handling or administering can affect the quality of the product; this can have a negative effect on your cattle if used. Lastly, using beef health products that have been compromised or using them in a manner that lessens their effectiveness means you’re wasting your time and money.
Tips for Handling Beef Health Products
For proper handling, it is recommended you follow all Beef Quality Assurance techniques and guidelines suggested by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, such as:
- Read all labels, packages and instructions thoroughly.
- Maintain the proper temperature called for on packaging.
- Avoid putting products in sunlight.
- Label syringes with containing components and dates.
- Know and follow product expiration dates.
- Keep vaccines thoroughly mixed until the bottle is completely empty. The publication recommends a gentle swirl, as shaking the bottle can result in damage to cellular particles and/or the release of endotoxins.
- Do not pour injectable products from original packaging into another container.
- Do not mix health care products in the bottle or syringe, unless indicated on the label instructions.
- Do not reconstitute (prepare) more modified live viral vaccine (MLV) than can be used within an hour. According to the publication, “The shelf-life on reconstituted products is most effective if used within an hour. After an hour, the product loses its effectiveness.”
Tips for Administering Beef Health Products
- Use the proper needle diameter and length. The UF/IFAS publication maintains: “Use ¾ or 1-inch long needles for subcutaneous injections (SC). Use 1 ½-inch long needles for intramuscular (IM) injections in larger cattle and 1-inch long needles for IM injections in smaller cattle.”
- Injections should be in the neck, not the hip or round. From the publication: “Use subcutaneous (SC) route of administration unless intramuscular (IM) route is specified on the label.”
- Injection sites should be at least four inches apart, and they should be placed horizontally (side-by-side), not vertically (one over the other).
- Use the proper dosage from the packaging and follow label instructions for maximum volume per injection site.
- Keep needles clean. From the publication, “Disinfect needles between animals with a disinfectant-soaked sponge in a plastic paint tray… Change needles at least every 10 head,” and “Never re-enter a bottle with a used needle.”
- Ensure the animal restraints you’re using are adequate in order to reduce injury to animals and handlers and to prevent needle breakage.
- Document and keep records of each applied product, including dates, routes and sites of administration.
- Observe withdrawal times.
- Clean and disinfect syringes and all equipment when done using for the day. From the publication: “Syringes and equipment used to administer products must be completely dry and free of residues, including disinfectant residues.”
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.