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Vaccinations for calves

Dairy farmers are becoming increasingly aware that newborn calf vaccine protocols must be followed, and heifers must receive the appropriate type and quantity of feed to ensure the growth into a healthy dairy cow at a comparatively early stage.

Vaccinations for new-born calves prevent chronic illness during their infancy which may spread diseases leading to an increase in veterinary costs and a limited opportunity for genetic selection due to high mortality of replacement animals.

Shots for new-born calves determine the progress of the herd when they are being bred for replacement purposes. The profitability of the herd among other things is dependent on the health and management of replacement animals. Impaired calves can negatively impact herd productivity.

New heifers purchased without knowledge of their medical history or antecedents will also hinder the establishment of a sound herd.

The highest mortality rates and morbidity occur in calves before weaning, making vaccinations for newborn calves a critical aspect of rearing. Newborn Calf Vaccine Protocols are critical to ensure a safe and healthy life span for dairy cows.

These protocols begin at day 5 once the calves are allowed in their paddock.

Dosages comprising of Netfin/Furazolidone to be administered 2 tablets twice daily. Shots for newborn calves inclusive of deworming happens on day 7 & day 21, the dosage is determined by their body weight. Precaution should be taken to ensure that different de-wormers are administered to avoid the creation of resistance to de-wormers.

Vaccine shots are essential to fortify them against a host of infections that would otherwise have serious consequences to their health.  FMD vaccine and a booster dose is given after 21 days Regular measurement of bodyweight and deworming of the calves is critical.

A List of Vaccines is given below for easy reference:

Prevention against Age for Fist Dose Age for Booster dose Subsequent doses

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

 4 Months +  1 month after first dose  Six Monthly

Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (HS)

 6 months +         --  Annually
Black Quarter (BQ)  6 months +         --  Annually
Theileriosis  3 months +         -- Once in a lifetime. Usually given to crossbred and exotic cattle.
Brucellosis  4-8 months         -- Once in a lifetime dosage
Anthrax  4 months +         --  Anually
IBR  3 months + 1 month after first dose Six monthly
Rabies (Post bite therapy only) To be administered Immediately after suspected bite 4th day Days 7,14,28 and 90 (optional)

Newborn calf vaccine protocols protect calves and ensure that they grow into healthy adults.

Watch this video for information on rearing young calves.

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