Antibiotics. What a controversial subject! There are many articles and a great deal of science to consider when discussing antibiotic usage, but today I want to share with you my perspective on this subject.
My husband and I are cattle ranchers. Our job is to provide for our animals. We provide food, water, supplement and care. In particular, we care for them if they get sick. This morning, we had two yearling heifers that were quite obviously not feeling well. After studying them we could tell they each had an infection and we needed to administer antibiotics to both of them. After a quick call to our veterinarian we gathered a bottle of Terramycin and syringes, placing them into our saddle bags and rode back to the yearlings. We roped each heifer and gave them the appropriate amount of antibiotic based on their weight.
You may be wondering why we would rope a sick animal? Roping is quick and easy. We can have the medicine administered in a matter of minutes and the heifer didn’t have to travel. If we had tried to move her to the corral, a couple of miles away, that would have compounded the stress she is under from the infection. We will monitor both heifers throughout the day, checking that they are walking around, eating and drinking. We are hopeful that the one injection of Terramycin will be sufficient to combat the infection and the heifers will return to good health quickly.
Here is a link to the medication we gave the heifers today. It lists the proper uses of Terramycin (wound infection is the case for these heifers). This FDA site also lists withdrawal time: 28 days before slaughter. We aren’t planning to sell these heifers until later this summer, so they will certainly meet the required withdrawal time.
As a Mom, I don’t want to feed my children food that is laced with antibiotics any more than you do. As a beef producer, I don’t want my animals to suffer and I will treat them with antibiotics, if needed. After much research into FDA requirements and learning that the US beef supply is among the safest in the world, I am assured that feeding beef to my children is safe and continues to be an excellent choice for many of their nutrient needs.