Fluctuating temperatures and wet weather have brought some devastating respiratory outbreaks to our area. While bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, stress is an important part of the disease process as well. Stress suppresses the immune system and creates an opportunity for pathogens to cause disease. There are many causes of stress including shipping, commingling groups, weaning, weather fluctuations and feed changes.
Fall calving is wrapping up and we are already looking towards preparing for the next breeding season. Many cow-calf operators use important management tools, including pre-breeding vaccination and post-breeding pregnancy checks, to maximize the health and productivity of the herd. However, bulls are equally important to a successful breeding season. While bulls don’t always come through the chute when the cow herd is being worked, vaccination and deworming has a great effect
Alvis Dairy is one of two remaining dairy farms in Goochland County, Virginia. Erin Henley, part of the fourth generation currently working on this family-owned and -operated farm, oversees the health and welfare of their 850 lactating cows, as well as growing calves and dry (non-lactating) cows. Erin works six to seven days a week from dawn till dusk (and in the middle of the night at times) to ensure that her animals are healthy, comfortable and producing a wholesome produc
Preventive health is one of the most important elements of maintaining a healthy, productive herd of cattle. It is much more effective to prevent illness than to treat it. While no vaccine can compensate for poor management, proper vaccination of healthy cattle can minimize the effects of disease in your herd and maximize growth, fertility, and production. While the majority of my clients have a regular herd vaccine protocol in place, often in conjunction with herd health vis
Calf scours can be a major headache on both beef and dairy operations. In either situation, the underlying cause is typically inadequate colostrum intake or a dirty environment. Scours is often a bigger problem in spring calves because severe weather can lead to stressed animals in a muddy, cold environment. Prevention is the best way to control scours. Because the infectious agents involved in scours are typically viral or protozoal (coccidia, cryptosporidium), treatment cen
As we enter 2017, it is critical that all herds be in compliance with the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules that are now in effect. In spite of the multitude of meetings, newsletters and discussions that have been held regarding this subject, very few farms have obtained a signed VFD to be in compliance with the new rules. The answers to most frequently asked producer questions are listed below: The VFD applies only to medically important antibiotics in feed. In Virginia,
Vaccines are an important part of herd health management. It is a relatively inexpensive way to invest in the health of your herd by preventing or reducing the severity of respiratory, reproductive and other disease.
All cattle in Virginia should receive the following vaccines annually:
Clostridial 7-way: Commonly called “blackleg”, this is a vaccine that is critical in calves and should be boostered annually in animals one year and older. Calves should recei
Cows twin at a rate of one to seven percent, with dairy breeds twinning two to three times as frequently as beef cows. Most would prefer this number to be zero due to several negative consequences of twinning, including: Increased risk of calving difficulty, retained placenta and metritis. This often leads to delayed return to fertility. Dairy cows calving with twins are more prone to transition issues such as ketosis and DAs. Twins more than double the risk of abortion and i