Should I vaccinate my weanlings?


“When a pneumonia outbreak occurs in a herd there is usually a fire-brigade-type response to it”

Should I vaccinate my weanlings?

  • ADDED
  • 27 days ago

“When a pneumonia outbreak occurs in a herd there is usually a fire-brigade-type response to it”

In Teagasc’s November 2019 beef advisory newsletter, Pearse Kelly, Head of Drystock Knowledge Transfer, focuses on respiratory diseases and vaccinating weanlings.

Respiratory diseases are by far the most common cause of ill-health and death in young stock over the winter housing period, he outlined.

“When a pneumonia outbreak occurs in a herd there is usually a fire-brigade-type response to it.”

“Unlike with a fire though, it is rarely stopped immediately. That is why the costs mount up.”

Preventative vaccination programme

Apart from the cost, a pneumonia outbreak can be very stressful for the farmer involved, Kelly said.

“Virus pneumonia affects the best calves in a herd just as much as the worst calves. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a group of sick animals back on track.”

By far, he added, the best approach all-round is to avoid a pneumonia outbreak in the first place, and this is where vaccines have a real role to play.

“The cost of a preventative vaccination programme against the most common of the pneumonia viruses would be less than 20% of the cost of such an outbreak.”

To ensure maximum cover is provided, Kelly outlined, it is necessary with most vaccination programmes, that a booster shot, as well as the initial primary shot, is given; these are usually three to four weeks apart.

Image source: File photo

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