Home 5 Ag Stories Protect your herd from BRD, vaccinate early

Protect your herd from BRD, vaccinate early

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) can wreak serious havoc in a cattle herd. A veterinarian encourages farmers to prevent the disease, by vaccinating calves early.

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) accounts for approximately 75-percent of feedlot illnesses and 50-percent of feedlot deaths, according to Boehringer Ingelheim. The respiratory disease not only wreaks havoc in the feedlot, it also impacts a producers bottom line.

Dr. Stephen Foulk, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim, says setting your herd up for success starts with the “young ones.” He stresses the importance of getting calves off to a strong start.

“The best way to get calves off to a strong start is going to start with colostrum,” Dr. Foulk said. “You want to make sure they get adequate colostrum because this is going to bridge that gap from birth until the time the calf’s immune system can takeover and provide protection itself.”

Dr. Foulk says producers need to assess what they can do to help calves along during the transition period. He says early vaccination can help protect calves.

“Some vaccines and different delivery systems will allow us to vaccinate during this early phase, and we can take advantage of that,” Dr. Foulke said. “If we can get these vaccines in earlier in life, before their immune system can fully kick in, we can help protect them through this transition phase.”

Dr. Foulke shares vaccines can also reduce stress, ultimately enhancing bovine respiratory disease protection. He says the best way to go about keeping calves healthy is to make a plan and keep it simple.

“Go back to your basics. Make sure we have our plans set down, have our protocol set down,” Dr. Foulke said. “Make sure we have our nutrition down. Let’s make sure they can respond to that vaccine properly.”