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Branding and vaccination of fall born calves

weaning beef calf best practices
If you haven't already, it's time for vaccinations.

Cool nights, warm days and rain showers sure beat the weather we had this summer. At the same time, those temperature swings can be hard on young cattle. It is essential to start priming the immune system of fall born calves against common diseases. For September calving herds we are a month from the start of breeding season. 

If we haven’t already, now is the time for administering boosters to the cowherd and “branding time” for fall calves. Vaccination programs begun at branding time can reduce disease and death losses. Additionally, this allows the calf to return to its familiar environment, including nursing its dam after the procedures have been completed. Returning the calf to its familiar environment minimizes some of the stress of handling, allowing the calf to perform more closely to its genetic potential, hence, increase production.

Here are basic program considerations to discuss with your vet:

  • Individually identify (if not already performed): brand, ear tag
  • Castrate
  • Dehorn
  • Growth Implants
  • Vaccination for Viral respiratory diseases
  • Vaccination for Clostridial: 7- or 8-way (Blackleg)
  • Parasite control program

These recommendations all have caveats and are region specific. The choice of brand or type of vaccination will depend upon the geographic location of the herd and the amount and type of risk in the population. Additional procedures may be necessary for your herd. If not already done, sit down with your veterinarian to discuss the vaccines and procedures that will result in the best economical return to your operation.

Source: Oklahoma State University

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