A herd health management plan is vital to profitable beef production. Some producers, however, do not vaccinate until they experience a loss. The investment in disease prevention is less than the cost of disease treatment. Don’t wait until a disease out-break occurs before implementing a sound herd health program. For cattle to reach their performance potential, they must be healthy.
Many animal health problems can be controlled with good management, proper nutrition and vaccination against infectious diseases. Beef cattle vaccination programs vary, depending upon the type of operation and area of Arkansas. The purpose of this article is to provide the cattle producer with a basic herd health vaccination program. It is important to contact your veterinarian to determine if additional vaccinations are required for your area.
*Do not use modified-live products on calves that are still nursing cows.
Vaccination programs should always be customized for your operation. Items to consider while establishing a vaccination program include geographic region, type of cattle operation, frequency of introducing new stock, post-vaccination problems and export or interstate shipping requirements.
For best results, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage, method of administration, number of times given and proper storage.
Preventing diseases through the use of a herd health management plan saves time and money. For best results, work with a veterinarian who is familiar with your beef cattle operation. Justifying the cost of preventive management is sometimes difficult. The annual cost of a vaccine health program ranges from $3 to $10 per cow-calf unit. Experiencing a health disaster certainly drives home the point that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”