Should I change something up?

Cattle problems.
mdt192
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Should I change something up?

Postby mdt192 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:58 am

On our farm, the only vaccinations that have been given are blackleg vacs for replacement heifers. For the last 20 years, we have been a small operation (15 cows / 1 bull). We'll also pour on de-worm once or twice during the warmer months.

I feel like we should be doing more; however, we haven't had issues that would suggest a direction to go. The cows calf in a timely manner (100 days), 100% live calving rate (this year - usually 90ish%), wean adequate size calves, cows keeping condition, breed back quick, etc.

I hate to fix something that isn't broke and add cost in the process, but I don't want to be heading into an issue either.

Any advice?

Thanks
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Txpiney
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Txpiney » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:13 am

Sounds to me like your looking for something to worry about. With that said, I give a 7 way w/blackleg, injectable worker and a poor on spring and fall so I don't have to worry hopefully. But stuff still happens, it's just good insurance
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Rafter S » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:06 am

I certainly don't follow all the recommendations from the vets and pharmaceutical companies, but blackleg vaccine is cheap. I give it to all my calves when the youngest is 2 - 3 weeks old, and a booster to replacement heifers when I wean them.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:31 pm

Seems you are pretty much a 'closed' herd.
IF you decide to bring in outside cattle, I'd recommend adding something like Bovi-Shield Gold 5 for IBR, BVD, Pi3
and BRSV. $1.50 per shot

Had a friend years ago that had a closed herd, then added a part time hired man who also worked part time on
another farm. Long story short they believe he drug in BVD from that herd from manure on his work boots.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:10 pm

Yes, we all like to think our herd is closed (well, NOT mine!), but there is so many ways to be exposed to all the bugs lurking out there.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:52 pm

Rafter S wrote:I certainly don't follow all the recommendations from the vets and pharmaceutical companies, but blackleg vaccine is cheap. I give it to all my calves when the youngest is 2 - 3 weeks old, and a booster to replacement heifers when I wean them.


We had a case of blackleg in the county this year. I personally haven’t heard of any one having blackleg here since the 80s. The farmer told me the vet said start vaccinating for blackleg at 4 months old. Said before 4 months old he’d be wasting his time bc maternal antibodies would interfere with the vaccine. Can you vaccinate for blackleg earlier? Bc I’d like to do it at birth if it would work.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby farmerjan » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:11 pm

Our vet said almost the exact same thing. Maternal antibodies will interfere with blackleg vacc and it is a waste of time and money to do at birth, up to at least 8-12 weeks. We try to do all calves around 8-12 weeks when they are getting moved to summer pasture. There are few that might be a bit younger, but better if older when we move them. Have started giving it to heifers we are retaining at the 6-10 month age, when we are making our first "cut" as to who is staying and who is going, and that's it. They develop their own immunity as they age so the shot to the heifers is just to cover all the bases. It's cheap. We lost 2 calves at pasture about 20 years ago and the vet diagnosed Blackleg. Have been diligent about vacc since then. We give lepto to all cows, and breeding age heifers.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:15 pm

With the buzzard infestation we've been having,blackleg is a must...if it ain't on your property they will bring it to you...free of charge..one thing I would do is use a injectable wormer atleast once a season along with the pour on
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:31 pm

Does a cow develop immunity to BL on their own?? without any vaccine?
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:38 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Does a cow develop immunity to BL on their own?? without any vaccine?


Vet told me it only affects animals under 2 years of age. If he’s correct then the answer would be yes. Be simpler of immunity was passed from cow to calf.

The farmer I mentioned earlier lost 6. None under 300lb and none over 550. Just the (6) 4 weights. Go figure. I don’t quite understand as good as I would like to.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby bird dog » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:38 pm

A closed herd ain't much good if the neighbor you share a fence with brings in problems. Thats where my pinkeye problem came from.

mdt stick to what you are doing if its working. I give my calves two rounds of blackleg and respiratory shots because that is how I market them. It also seems to keep my summer time pneumonia and shipping fever in check. An implant will add some cheap pounds to your calves.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby TCRanch » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:23 pm

farmerjan wrote:Our vet said almost the exact same thing. Maternal antibodies will interfere with blackleg vacc and it is a waste of time and money to do at birth, up to at least 8-12 weeks. We try to do all calves around 8-12 weeks when they are getting moved to summer pasture. There are few that might be a bit younger, but better if older when we move them. Have started giving it to heifers we are retaining at the 6-10 month age, when we are making our first "cut" as to who is staying and who is going, and that's it. They develop their own immunity as they age so the shot to the heifers is just to cover all the bases. It's cheap. We lost 2 calves at pasture about 20 years ago and the vet diagnosed Blackleg. Have been diligent about vacc since then. We give lepto to all cows, and breeding age heifers.

Same here and we vaccinate at appx 12 weeks for blackleg, pinkeye & worming. The exception is when we used to band at birth and the bull calves got Covexin 8 for the tetanus. Booster of Covexin 8, Triangle 4 + PH K & worming when we wean.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:39 pm

If you send calves to the barn for feedlots the buyers would have less sickness and death loss if you vaccinated for respiratory issues.
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:11 pm

It is easy for us to suggest things, but what do you do with your herd? Closed herd? Finish out all your calves? Send feeders to sale barn? What do you do with your heifer calves?
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Re: Should I change something up?

Postby Lucky_P » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:14 am

We have about as close to a 'closed' herd as most are gonna get... no fenceline contact with other cattle, have purchased and brought in two bulls over the past 12 years, anything that leaves never comes back.

I'm a minimalist...
Calves get an 8 or 9-way Clostridial bacterin/toxoid, including tetanus, at around 2 wks of age, and then a booster 3-4 weeks later. The 'interference of maternal antibody' deal that so many of us older veterinarians were taught back in the day has been shown not to be a significant concern.
Cows and heifers get an initial round of two doses of a Lepto HB bacterin, and a yearly booster. If there were an effective Neospora vaccine, I'd probably use it. If I had anaplasmosis in the herd, I'd be vaccinating against it.

Steers and heifers not retained (and for the past year or so, all heifers) get an initial pre-weaning dose of Inforce-3 and BVD One-Shot at insertion of Quiet-Wean nose blabs, then a booster of Inforce-3 2-3 weeks later, when the blabs are removed and calves separated from the cows. This should provide these calves with protection against most respiratory pathogens they'll encounter when they leave the farm in another couple of weeks.

YMMV... you may need to do more... unlikely that you need to do less.
Deworming/castration/implanting... certainly things to consider, and timing may play a role in optimizing efficacy of those practices.
I'll deworm calves, weanling and yearling heifers, and the occasional first-calf heifer... but can't recall the last time I dewormed a cow that was over 3 yrs of age.

C.chauvoei, the organism that causes blackleg, is a soil organism... it's everywhere, worldwide. If you don't vaccinate, and you've had no losses to it... you've just been fortunate, and if you 'roll the dice' long enough, you'll pay the price.
No 'age limit' on non-vaccinated cattle contracting it... I've seen it in a 3-yr old bull (unvaccinated), and in mature cows that had pretty good history of having been vaccinated as calves... so I now advocate boostering the cowherd with a Clostridial bacterin/toxoid at least every 2-3 years or so.
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