Development of a health index using an automated, chute-side blood leukocyte differential to guide antibiotic treatment at processing
Keywords:antibiotics, animal welfare, blood leukocyte, performance, gain, selective treatment, metaphylaxis
Antibiotics play an important role in the health and welfare of livestock, but their use is under intense scrutiny. A recent feedlot trial examined the use of a chute-side, automated blood leukocyte differential (QScout BLD) to guide selective antibiotic treatment at processing. One objective was to develop an index that is predictive of performance (average daily gain and morbidity). The second objective was to determine the impact of selective treatment vs metaphylaxis at processing.