NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


| Share

November 15 Agriculture Column


The weather sure feels like late fall and early winter is upon us.  I listened to the news last night and heard heavy snow amounts just to the east of North Dakota and a small storm moving through the western part of the state again Monday or Tuesday.  Sounds like snow for the weekend for us.  We can be really thankful for the weather we have had especially the way September treated us. Corn harvest is nearing completion with only a small portion of acres left to harvest and a fair amount of fertilizer applied.  It is also that time of year that our calf crop gets weaned.  We were down to my sister and brother-in-laws’ place on Saturday and you can definately tell what happened there in the last day or two.  The calves were all looking for mom and mama cow was out grazing in the nearby pasture.  Not what the weaned calf thought was a good choice. I know I have been talking more cattle and for good reason.  The cattle market is strong and delivering a great calf crop to market improves profitability.  Some might think we really don’t have much cattle in the area but if you consider the amount of cattle in the Lake Region you would be very much surprised. The information provided below comes from the cattle network and is a very useful tool in managing cow/calf vaccination program.

Vaccination timing of medicine in cattle

 Vaccination is one of the most important methods of preventing infections and disease in a herd. Vaccinations reduce the occurrence of disease outbreaks and the severity of disease in a herd. Vaccination programs can be tailored to meet individual producers' needs, depending on herd location, overall herd health, history of the herd and a variety of other factors. While the type of vaccine administered is a central part of herd health, the proper timing of vaccinations is also significant.

Cows and heifers should be vaccinated between 30 and 60 days prior to breeding in order to develop the best immunity and protection against several reproductive diseases. Vaccinating cows and heifers at this time allows them time to develop an immune response prior to bull exposure.

Modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines containing IBR and BVD, administered 30--60 days pre-breeding, seem to be the most popular choice of veterinarians and cattle producers. "Killed vaccines are generally considered safer than MLV vaccines, but are less likely to have as robust of an immune response," says Dr. Jerry Woodruff, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. "Cows and heifers vaccinated with MLV vaccine at least 30 days prior to breeding will have
optimal protection against IBR abortions and BVD persistently infected calves."

Young calves do not always receive enough protective maternal antibodies from ingesting colostrum. Preventive measures, like vaccinations, are important to protect their weaker immune systems. Vaccination of the young calf primes its immune system for a quicker response should the calf come in contact with a field strain of virus and sets the calf up for successful response to future vaccinations. Vaccination ultimately improves response time when viral exposure does occur, helping the calf avoid becoming sick.

Research studies have demonstrated that calves as young as five or six weeks of age can be effectively immunized against BVD virus.1 This work supports the practice of incorporating calf vaccinations at spring turnout or branding time. Young calves react well to MLV vaccines, but they should not be used in calves or nursing or pregnant cows unless their dams were vaccinated with a similar product prior to breeding. Spring turnout or branding is a convenient time for vaccinations. Increased stress levels have been shown to compromise the immune system of cattle. "Producers should focus on giving vaccines during low-stress times to give the immune system the opportunity to work at optimum levels," says Woodruff. "Controlling internal parasites has also been shown to enhance the immune system response."

Woodruff also recommends that producers incorporate clostridial-blackleg and pinkeye vaccinations prior to turning cattle out onto pasture. Breeding-age females could also be protected from reproductive diseases such as vibriosis, leptospirosis and trichomoniasis prior to breeding season.

Cattle producers should always read the label before administering a vaccine to make sure that it is appropriate for the animals they’ve about to vaccinate. Vaccinations should be used in conjunction with good management practices. Woodruff says the first step to determining what is right for your herd is to consult your local veterinarian.
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, Mo.) is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation based in Ridgefield, Conn., and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and approximately 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.