Spring Born Calves: Minimize Disease Challenge


Spring Born Calves When preparing to work spring-born calves prior to pasture season, producers should consider steps to protect against disease challenge. By vaccinating calves at one to three months of age, the first vaccination takes place at a time when the calf’s stress level is at a minimum. Calves that have been properly vaccinated will face less stress at weaning and are less likely to develop summer pneumonia.

• Respiratory - IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV and Pasteurella (Mannheimia haemolytica). Advantages of modified live (MLV) products include a fast immune response and long duration of immunity.
• Blackleg (7-way or 8-way Clostridial) or Blackleg/Pinkeye.
• Inforce-3 -Some herds include Inforce-3 intranasal vaccine to maximize respiratory protection for the Spring-to-Fall time span.

When calves are weaned, they should be vaccinated again. This increases their immunity and prevents the likelihood of disease transmission as calves are grouped together. Calf Weaners help reduce the stress of weaning by allowing calves to remain with cows for 4-10 days before separation.

• Respiratory - IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV and Pasteurella (Mannheimia haemolytica).
• Blackleg (7-way or 8-way Clostridial) or Blackleg/Somnus or Blackleg/Pinkeye.
• Inforce-3 - Since BRSV can be a significant problem at weaning, use of Inforce-3 intranasally can provide significant additional protection.

Stress and the changes that occur in the calf’s immune system as they adjust to new environments are nearly always part of a respiratory disease outbreak. Taking the time to vaccinate prior to these challenges will provide the greatest protection for calves.

As always, if you have questions about the health of your herd, we will do our best to help you find answers that make sense.

Arnold Nagely, DVM • Ray Shultz, DVM

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