What's a Closed Herd?
I hear "Closed Herd" thrown around a lot. People know it adds value but the definition seems to be unclear. To be truly "Closed" the herd can't have fenceline or direct contact with other livestock, wild animals or their fluids or feces. Visitors should be restricted to public areas where cattle don't have access.
A Closed Herd can't have biological contact with animals not raised on the farm, that includes visiting animals such as a bull, deer, dogs or horses. If an animal leaves the farm, say for breeding or to be shown at the county Fair, they should never come back into the herd. Animals should not be added through purchase or other sources. Even a very young bottle or graft calf can be a vector of disease.
With all these limitations, why would anyone Close their herd? This practice limits entry of diseases into the herd through strict management practices. A disease-free herd can remain that way with great care.
We take a lot of precautions to protect our herd's health.
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