Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2007


Published for the Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XX December 11, 12 and 13, 2007 - Fort Collins, Colorado.


Evidence based medicine is a balancing act between data and experience (Apley and Thomson, 2003). Decision making with just experience and no data has been termed “wizardry.” This would be similar as to saying we used drug A last year and they all died. This year we used drug B and they all lived. Great! Scientists and statisticians need not apply to work in this environment. The friendly drug representative that sells drug B is the expert. Paralyzed indecision is using only data with no experience to make decisions. This is the art of trying to fix problems from a computer print out or database without knowing the directions on how to get to the production unit. This article will use some data integrated with practice experience as tools to explain why our mortality rates in feedyards has increased over the last few years.