Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.
It's Fall Vaccination Time!
Nov 13, 2009
It's FALL VACCINATION TIME! This posting is an addition to our October 6th BLOG.
I've had quite a few inquiries about vaccines, so let's re-visit some of the more important issuses surrounding your fall vaccination program.
This can be a stressful time for the cow, the calf and the farmer/rancher.
The main objective of your fall vaccination program is to prevent Year-Round IBR & * BVD.
Not try and treat it when it rears its ugly head at the most in-opportune time!
Common Diseases of Cattle
* Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD)
This is one of the most costly diseases for cattle producers. Signs may include scours, nasal discharge, coughing and fever. BVD can also cause infertility, abortion and birth defects. Type 2 BVD can cause hemorrhaging and death in susceptible young calves and adult cows.
Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC)
Also know as “Shipping Fever”, BRDC is a general term for the pneumonia commonly seen in recently weaned calves. Stress is a major contributor to BRDC. Events such as weaning (which we spoke about in last week’s blog), dehorning, shipping and weather changes like what we’re all experiencing now, can compromise the animal’s immune system, making it susceptible to disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Stress cannot be eliminated entirely from the cow/calf operation, but it can be reduced considerably through careful handling and ensuring sanitary conditions.
Some important considerations when planning Fall Vaccinations include:
PREGNANCY - DO NOT use a “Modified Live Virus” vaccine in pregnant cows or heifers because abortions most likely will result. The loss of a calf will on average, take the next 6 YEARS to make up for the profit potential loss! This is the one part of your operation where you have the power to control mortality. Read all vaccine labels. When in doubt, call your vet!
CURRENT HEALTH OF THE COW/HEIFER - If using a “Modified Live Virus” vaccine, only administer the vaccine in healthy cows/heifers prior to breeding as an aid in preventing abortion caused by IBR.
CATTLE AGE – Breeding age and bred cattle can always be safely vaccinated with “Killed vaccines”.
Breeding age cattle and heifer calves that are 5 – 6 months of age that haven’t been previously vaccinated will need 2 doses, 2 – 4 weeks apart. If you are unable to age group vaccinate, an alternative is to catch-up heifers every spring and fall (April & October).
DURATION of IMMUNITY – claimed by any vaccinerepresents the absolute maximum window of protection you should expect.For the optimal immune response, vaccinate as close to 30 days prior to breeding as you can.
Just because you can vaccinate up to a year ahead of breeding doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If a vaccine is labeled for 365 days of fetal protection, it has met minimum standards set by the USDA to obtain that label. It doesn’t necessarily mean the immune response is the same on the 364th day following vaccination as it is on the 3rd. Even the manufacturer’s own trial work that supports the product’s USDA license will show the protection begins to lessen as time passes.
SYNOPSIS - Vaccinate breeding heifers with two or more doses of modified live BVD vaccine
at least 30 days before breeding season.
Vaccinate all mature cows annually. Preferably, prior to the start of the breeding season.
It's not too late to vaccinate your cattle. But your program should be wrapped up/completed by December 1st. Have fun!!