Preg-Check Considerations to Help Ensure Healthy Calves
Hill: “Each fall is a really important time for herd health management as we preg check and obviously we want to identify open cows and get them removed from the herd so we are not wasting feed on a non-productive cow. Also a really important time as we look at that last trimester of pregnancy to get these cows prepared with vaccination considerations, nutrition considerations, parasite control — all important things this time of year.”
Dr. Hill says that if the cow herd was not vaccinated in the spring before breeding, now is the time to give the annual respiratory and reproductive vaccine boosters. He explains that vaccinating cows prior to calving also can stimulate antibody production that will result in higher-quality colostrum.
Hill: “You really get two benefits from vaccinating cows in the fall. One — does the cow some good from protecting her from diseases she might be susceptible to. Number two is that you stimulate antibiotic production that will result in a higher quality colostrum for the calf when it is born. Especially thinking about the pathogens that can cause calf scours or respiratory disease — if we can boost those in the cow’s system in the later stages of pregnancy then that colostrum is going to be much higher quality and more protective for the calf.”