Pre-Transport Management Affects Later Performance
Canadian researchers, Schwartzkopf-Genswein, et al., found that conditioning calves prior to transport allows them to better tolerate the stressors of transport and handling. For the purposes of this study, “conditioning” was defined as weaned and vaccinated at 13 and 29 days prior to transport, respectively.
This study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science found that calf management before transport allowed the animals to better handle the stress of transport. Conditioning, including weaning at 13 days and vaccination at 29 days, and short haul transport of 2.7 hours, led to lower cortisol concentrations, higher percentages of time feeding, and less time standing and milling in pens right after transport. In addition, these calves showed signs of lower stress through low shrink, high dry matter intake, and average daily weight gain in the first month after transport.