Keeping a Close Watch

Foxhollow Farm Keeping a close watch

Keeping a Close Watch. I take great pride in raising animals that are given the utmost love and respect. We raise animals that are healthy for our farmland and our community. Earlier this year, we had a tough situation hit a portion of our herd. Twenty-eight of our steers and heifers (out of a herd of 475) that are to be finished and processed in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 came down with pneumonia. Our head herdsman, Derek, noticed it immediately and took all the necessary precautions. We separated out the sick animals and kept a close watch. We ended up having to give these twenty-eight animals an antibiotic to save their lives. Three animals passed away. We were not willing to put the remaining animals at risk in order to adhere to our strict standards of providing antibiotic free beef.

All of that being said, we still trust in our beef and have decided to process and sell these animals, alongside the rest of our finishing group. We stand by the decision we made to save our animals. The grace period for that antibiotic to clear from their system is over.

You might be wondering ‘how did these twenty-eight steers and heifers get pneumonia in the first place’? This type of pneumonia is called Shipping Fever. It’s caused by a normal bacteria that cattle have in their bodies. When under stress, the bacteria makes its way into the lungs of cattle. Some people also call it Spring Pneumonia because in spring, the damp and fluctuating weather can cause animals stress. This spring, we saw a spike in temperatures, where it almost hit 80 degrees fahrenheit, and then a major dip in temperature down to 30- 40 degrees fahrenheit. That drastic shift in weather can cause stress which in turn can cause Shipping Fever Pneumonia.

All of our cattle are thriving animals now and healthy as can be. The beef from our entire herd is safe to eat. I ask that you continue to support my family farm. Here is a Breakdown of the withdrawal period that I found helpful. We had to use the Excede Antibiotic. It was Administered on April13th and 15th, 2021. The active ingredients are ceftiofur crystalline free acid. With this antibiotic there is a 13 day free slaughter withdrawal period. This means, after 13 days you cannot detect the antibiotic in any animal tissue.

Much appreciation for the lessons our farmland and animals teach us and the support we have from our community.

Maggie Keith

4th Generation Steward, Foxhollow Farm

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