Vaccination Questions

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Well-known member
Feb 16, 2009
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East Texas
I am getting started in the cattle business. I am currently buying young heifers and feeders from the sale barns. What is the best vaccination to give them in anybody's opinion and when should I give it to them. Also, do I vaccinate them every year. Also, I bought a couple of bred heifers, are the vaccinations different for these. Are antibiotics important or just when something is wrong? Any tips would be helpful as well. Thank You.
Some people give a shot of antibiotics when they bring "stressed" cattle home from a sale barn.
I don't believe in giving antibiotics unless they need it.
I would recommend giving the OPEN cattle Modified Live Vaccines - IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV (BoviShield Gold or Vista) You really need to check with a vet to see what is recommended for your area, or with the local extension office. MLV do not need boosters except possibly the BRSV (BoviShield Gold BRSV - but Vista does not need a booster) But, I would give a 2nd shot of MLV about 4 weeks later to make sure they all have 100% coverage (only about 80% get full coverage with 1 shot). MLV is CHEAPER than KILLED, and it gives (at least) 1 full year protection (possibly life).
For anything you purchase BRED, you can only give them a KILLED vaccine. Killed vaccines must have a booster within a specific time period (usually 2-4 weeks). If you don't give the booster, you might as well not give anything. Killed vaccines do not give very good coverage, and generally only good for 6 months. AFTER CALVING, I would give all cows a MLV shot PRIOR to getting rebred. Then, calves can receive a MLV while they are still nursing dam.
BE SURE TO READ LABELS - this info varies with different vaccines.
We vaccinate calves for:
IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSV, Pasturella, Lepto 5 (one shot) Vista
Clostridials, Homopholus Somnus - BarVac 7 Som
I should also say that every person you talk to will probably have a different answer for you.
We put bulls on tests, steers on tests, sell breeding stock out of state, and so we follow pretty strict health programs, so our cattle qualify for the requirements needed for all different programs.
Also, cattle should be DEWORMED - at least twice a year - spring & fall. In the fall, they need to be dewormed with a product that will kill grubs & lice (or use a seperate product) but, again you need to know the timeline for your area. In our area, we cannot use anything that will kill grubs after 11-1.

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