Our Health ProgramGrass-fed Genetics
The entire herd is vaccinated with a 7-way Clostridium, Clostridium Type A, BRD/PI3, and a 5-way Lepto. All heifers receive Brucella Abortus RB-51 strain vaccination at 4-8 months. Pregnant cows receive "Guardian", a scour prevention vaccine.
Parasite control is accomplished through selective worming with Safeguard. All cattle are treated with Vetrimec Plus w/Closulon in the fall which protects them against liver flukes and grubs. At the start of winter the whole herd is treated with Clean-Up II to control external parasites including lice. Since all cattle have tested negative for BVD and we now maintain a closed herd, persistent BVD infection is not an issue.
All cattle 2 years of age or older are tested annually by fecal culture for Johne’s Disease. This protocol has been in place since the inception of our Shorthorn herd. We participated in the Federal Johne's program until it was eliminated a few years ago. It was followed by a State Johne's program that has now also been recently eliminated. We were Certified Johne's Free under both programs and continue to follow the protocols of both Johne's programs while maintaining a closed herd. It is unfortunate that the Federal and State Johne's programs were dropped given the increasing incidence and insidious nature of Johne's Disease in both beef and dairy cattle. We have never had a positive test in our herd and intend to maintain the Johne's Free status of our herd through both a testing program and only using AI to further improve the genetics of our herd.
Our entire herd is also negative for Tibial Hemalia (TH), Pulmonary Hypoplasia Anasarca (PHA), Digital Subluxation (DS), and Myostatin (MYO) also known as Double Muscling. Recently we added Bovine Leucosis Virus (BLV) testing to our herd health program. Our entire herd has tested negative for BLV.
Whisper Polled Shorthorns are never fed grain or creep. From late March till November the herd grazes on rolling pasture hills. The pastures contain a mix of Orchardgrass, Tall Fescue, Annual Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Alice White Clover. During the rainy season (the rest of the year in Oregon) they are fed Orchard/Timothy hay supplemented with feeder Alfalfa hay. We utilize forage testing to maintain a balanced diet for the herd.
A complete mineral supplement that varies seasonally is fed free choice. We do not use protein blocks for a variety of reasons. We believe maintaining the herd on a continual natural grass based diet promotes their health and welfare, and it allows us to produce sale animals that meet discriminating buyers of productive efficient Polled Shorthorns.