Vaccination Schedule Guide For Cattle (Calves, Heifers, and Cow)

Cattle need to be vaccinated to prevent the outbreak of deleterious diseases that are capable of reducing the productivity of the animal in the future. A sick cattle is unproductive; it produces less milk and the meat conversion is very low. At different stages of growth, cattle have different vaccines to be administered to prevent the prevailing and peculiar diseases, hence, vaccination schedule for cattle is very important.

For cattle to reach the apogee of their performance potential, they must be healthy. Disease outbreak barely occurs suddenly, it takes a series of time for the disease pathogen to break down the immune system of the cattle before the victimized cattle show symptoms of diseases. By this time, the farmer becomes more disturbed and unsettled. So it’s better to gleefully prevent your cattle from diseases through vaccination than to traumatically treat a disease after its outbreak.

The productivity of cattle greatly depends on their health status; most farmers do not really bother about the health status of their herd until there is an outbreak of disease. Most times, the cost of treatment is far more than the cost of preventing the outbreak of most of the diseases.

So, why waiting for an expensive factor that can usurp the cost of your production when you can leverage on a cheaper one that will greatly improve your production. Everything that breathes has the tendencies to have a deviation in its health status.

Cattle are susceptible to various diseases, but the susceptibility varies with age. Calves are more susceptible to diseases such as blackleg disease than cows and bulls. Preventive measures start from when the calf is a day old till when it becomes cow or bull. Prevention, they say, is better than cure.

You need to be very conversant with your herd; follow the below Vaccination schedule for cattle to prevent the outbreak of various diseases at different ages. Here are the schedules of cattle at different stages of growth.

Vaccination schedule for calves (a day old to about 12 months)

Type of vaccinePeriod of vaccination
Blackleg 7-WayPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
IBR-BVD-Pi3 (Bovine Rhinotracheitis-Virus Diarrhea-Parainfluenza 3)Pre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
LeptospirosisPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
AnthraxPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
PinkeyePre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
PasteurellaPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
AnaplasmosisPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)
Haemophilus somnusPre-weaning (between 1- 4 months)

Vaccination schedule for heifer (young female cattle that is yet to calf)

Type of vaccinePeriod of vaccination
BrucellosisCalfhood (between 4-12 months)
IBR  (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis)Before breeding
BVD-Pi3 (Bovine Virus Diarrhea -Parainfluenza 3)Before breeding
BRSV  (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus)Before breeding
VibriosisBefore breeding
LeptospirosisBefore breeding
Blackleg 7-wayBefore breeding

Vaccination schedule for cattle (matured male and female cattle)

Type of vaccinePeriod of vaccination
IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis)Annual
BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhea)Annual
Pi3 (Parainfluenza3 )Annual
BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus) vaccineAnnual
Leptospirosis (5-way)Annual
VibriosisAnnual (administered 30-60 days before breeding)
E.coliAdministered  twice at about 30-60 days before calving
TrichomoniasisAnnual ( administered 30-60 days before breeding)

At this juncture, it is very cogent I draw your attention to some critical points about vaccination. They are:

  • Do not vaccinate sick cattle: Vaccine is not meant for treatment but for prevention. When your cattle are sick, administer relevant drugs for treatment but once they are certified fit, you can then administer a vaccine to prevent a future outbreak of the disease.
  • Give the right dosage of vaccine: Vaccines often come with dosage; do not overdose or under-dose. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the vaccine and adhere to them strictly.
  • Dispose the container of the vaccine as far as possible immediately after use: Do not make the mistake of dumping the container of the vaccine carelessly in your farm after use; it is hazardous. It is best you bury it at a reasonable depth that is far from the sight of humans and the cattle.
  • Do not consume the meat from the cattle or their milk after vaccination: it is detrimental to your health.
  • Get your vaccines from a certified veterinary store or agro store.

Follow this Vaccination schedule for cattle strictly; it will keep your herd safe from diseases and increase the profitability and productivity of your herd. Also, proper sanitation has to be adopted; ensure your ranch is clean to protect your cattle from ectoparasites. Observe new cattle closely through quarantine before introducing to the herd. All these complement your vaccination, thus, keeping your herd healthy always.

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