The Next Generation Preconditioning Program

AgriLabs PIN Plus 45 is a “next generation” preconditioning program for cattle producers who want to screen their cattle for persistently infected, BVD carriers as part of their overall management program.  Identifying and removing PI calves is an important management tool for the rancher who is trying to eliminate costly BVD problems from his herd.  Plus, having calves tested and proven to be persistently infected negative – PIN – increases their value to feedlot managers who are anxious to lower their health risks.  

There are a number of ways to screen for PI calves.  One of the simplest and most effective ways is the ear notch IHC test.  Using a standard pig ear notcher, a small sample of skin is collected from the calf’s ear, placed in a special vial containing formalin to preserve the sample and then shipped to the diagnostic laboratory at Iowa State University in Ames, or one of the other laboratories located throughout the United States. 

The laboratory will provide you with the test results for each individual animal, clearly identifying which animals are proven to be PI negative.  Calves that are known to be PI negative, in addition to being vaccinated and back grounded according to the PIN Plus 45 program, are even more valuable because of their lower health risk.

In recent years, more and more cattle feeders, as well as specific feeding programs, are requiring the health history of the cattle they purchase. They recognize that a properly preconditioned animal will require less labor, lower treatment costs, have lower morbidity and mortality rates and ultimately be more profitable for them.  Research on prices paid for feeder calves have clearly demonstrated that feeders not only recognize the value of preconditioned calves, they are also willing to pay more for them.  Developing a program to meet these needs was the basis of AgriLabs’ Health Plus management program.

The Health Plus Prewean program is recommended for producers who vaccinate their calves once, two to four weeks prior to weaning, and sell their calves right off the cow. The Health Plus 45 program is recommended for producers who wean their calves and then background them for a minimum of 45 days before they are sold. To qualify for the Health Plus 45 program, calves must be vaccinated twice with a respiratory viral vaccine. Health Plus 45 calves are better prepared for the stress of shipping and disease challenges they will face in the feedlot. The PIN Plus 45 program specifications are the same as the Health Plus 45 program plus the additional assurance the calves are persistently infected negative.

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