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Preconditioning Program Steps & Guildelines
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Iowa Preconditioning Calf Program

Steps
Guidelines

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
The Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, in cooperation with the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, initiated and has continually updated the Iowa Preconditioning Calf Program. The program has withstood the test of time and is the gold standard for such programs.

The preconditioning program occurs in a series of steps. Calves are vaccinated for IBR, BVD, BRSV, PI-3, seven-way Clostridia, Mannheimia haemolytica and Histophilus somni. They are treated for internal and external parasites and must be castrated and dehorned, if appropriate. Optional treatments include vaccination for Pasteurella multocida, other diseases and implanted with a growth promotant. All vaccinations and health procedures must be performed by a veterinarian.

STEPS
Step 1:
Feeder calves are inspected, vaccinated and treated by the veterinarian. Serially numbered green preconditioning tags are placed in the upper part of the left ear by the veterinarian. Optional vaccinations and procedures such as implanting are performed by the veterinarian. Cow/calf producers are urged to have these procedures performed at least 14 and preferably 21 days prior to weaning.

Step 2:
The calves are weaned and held at the farm of origin for at least 30 days. After the calves are weaned for 30 days, the veterinarian provides an official preconditioning certificate to the producer. The producer provides a copy to the buyer or auction market where calves are sold. The auction market, in turn, provides a copy to the buyer. The veterinarian keeps one copy and sends another to the office of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, which keeps the official records of the program. Feeder calves are not considered to be preconditioned until they have been weaned for 30 days and accompanied by an official preconditioning certificate.

Step 3 (Optional program):
Buyers in some areas have indicated a desire for a second vaccination. To accomplish this, calves are re-vaccinated 14 or more days after the first vaccination. A gold tag is placed in the left ear of the calves above the green tag. A "Gold Tag PreConditioning Certificate" is signed by the veterinarian and producer/owner after the calves have been weaned for 45 days. The gold tag indicates the calves have received a second set of vaccinations and have been weaned for 45 days. Requirements and optional procedures are similar to the green tag preconditioning program. Many cattle feeders who buy the traditional green-tagged Iowa PreConditioned Calves routinely re-vaccinate upon entry into the feedlot, but this is a matter of individual choice. Some feeders have requested that re-vaccination be performed in the herd of origin well in advance of sale and movement. The gold tag and "gold certificate" certify that this has been done.

It is important that cattle producers and feedlot operators are aware of several important rules and procedures:

Calves that have been green/gold-tagged but not weaned for at least 30/45 days may be sold, but they are NOT PRECONDITIONED and must not be represented as such. The preconditioning certificate is not provided to the owner until 30/45 days after weaning.

Preconditioning is regarded as valid for only one change of ownership!

Owner/producer vaccination is not accepted in this program. This ensures the integrity and quality of the products used in the program.

For more information on the Preconditioning Program participation, please contact the IVMA office at 800/369-9564.

IVMA/ICA PRECONDITIONING PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Issued April 2013
These guidelines supersede any previous guidelines
 
  1. The Preconditioning Program now includes Mannheimia haemolytica vaccination as a mandatory procedure for the 1st vaccine and optional for the 2nd vaccine.
  2. Pasteurella multocida vaccination is not required for either the Green or Gold tag program.
  3. Options for 2nd vaccination remain on the green tag preconditioning certificate.
  4. The Preconditioning Certificates were revised June 2013. All other certificates are obsolete and should be discarded. New certificates may be ordered by calling the IVMA at 800/369-9564.
  5. The intent of the green tags is to precondition calves. The green tag indicates that animal health products were administered by a veterinarian. The presence of a green tag does not indicate "preconditioned” unless the calves are accompanied by a preconditioning certificate.
  6. Castration/dehorning – The certificate now provides a line to indicate if castration/dehorning was performed by the owner. If so, there is a line to indicate the date the veterinarian checked those procedures.
  7. Calves that have been green/gold-tagged but not weaned for at least 30/45 days may be sold, but they are NOT PRECONDITIONED and must not be represented as such. The preconditioning certificate is not provided to the owner until 30/45 days after weaning.
  8. Preconditioning is valid for one change of ownership!
  9. A gold tag placed in the left ear indicates the calf has had two doses of the required vaccines and that both sets of vaccines were administered by a veterinarian. The calves are preconditioned only if accompanied by a gold certificate.
  10. If the double vaccination program is definitely going to be used, one gold tag will suffice. Keep in mind, if the calves are moved prior to the second set of vaccines and gold tagging there is no visual proof that the calves have been vaccinated.
  11. The Gold tag should not be placed until the second set of vaccines is administered.
  12. Preconditioned certificates must be signed by both the seller and the veterinarian.
  13. All green tag and gold tag numbers must be recorded. Trace back to the member veterinarian will come through the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association office. It is the veterinarian’s responsibility to trace a number to a herd/producer. Green and gold tags are available only through the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association to member veterinarians. The green and gold tags are patented by the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA), and must be applied to cattle by a veterinarian. A detailed procedure for handling any complaints associated with the program has been established and is rigorously enforced.
  14. Owner/producer vaccination is not accepted in this program. This ensures the integrity and quality of the products used in the program.
  15. The new Green & Gold certificates do not specify BVD I or BVD II.

Green:

  1. Vaccinations must follow BQA guidelines
  2. Calves must be at least 4 months old before first vaccine (they can be vaccinated earlier but that vaccine would not count as part of the PC program)
  3. Vaccination and mandatory procedures must be done 21 days prior to receiving a preconditioning certificate (mandatory procedures include internal and external  parasite control, castration and dehorning)
  4. Calves must be weaned for 30 days before a preconditioning certificate can be issued
  5. Calves must have been owned by the producer receiving the certificate for 60 days

Gold:

  1. Vaccinations must follow BQA guidelines
  2. Calves must be at least 4 months of age before first vaccine
  3. There must be a minimum of 14 days between first and second vaccine (from there it is at the discretion of the attending veterinarian)
  4. Calves must be weaned for 45 days before a preconditioning certificate can be issued
  5. Mandatory procedures must be done 21 days prior to receiving a preconditioning certificate
  6. Calves must have been owned by the producer receiving the certificate for 60 days
  7. The second vaccine must be administered at least 14 days prior to issuing a preconditioning certificate.

 

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