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Guide to Recommended Vaccinations for Beef Cattle

Vaccinating your beef cattle is crucial in preventing diseases that can impact the health and productivity of your herd. The vaccination program you choose should be tailored to the specific needs of your cattle based on factors such as geographic location, age, and physiological stage. Below is a table summarizing recommended vaccines for beef cattle and their administration schedule:

DiseaseRecommended Vaccination PeriodMonths HighlightedFrequency of VaccinationAge of First VaccinationPhysiological Stage
Blackleg, Anthrax, BotulismAnnually before rainsJan to MayAnnually4 monthsCows, heifers, bulls
Lumpy skinBefore the rains annuallyFeb to JulyAnnually6 monthsCows, heifers, bulls
Vibriosis2 months before breeding seasonNoneAnnually18 monthsNon-pregnant cows, heifers, and bulls
Contagious abortion4-8 months of ageNoneOnce-off4-8 months of ageHeifers only
Rift Valley feverAnnually before rainsJan to JulyAnnually7 monthsCows, heifers, bulls
Three-day stiff sicknessAnnually before rainsJan to AugustAnnually8 monthsCows, heifers, bulls
Reproductive diseasesCattle Master annuallyNoneAnnually6 monthsCows, heifers, bulls, calves
Clostridial diseasesOne shot ultra/Coglavax annuallyNoneAnnually6 monthsCows, heifers, bulls, calves
Scourguard10 and 6 weeks before calvingNoneAnnuallyN/APregnant cows and heifers
BEEF CATTLE VACCINATION GUIDE

Notes:

  • Breeding season usually starts in November or December under controlled breeding. Calving typically begins around August or September.
  • Vibriosis vaccination should be given to all breeding stock two months before the start of the breeding season.
  • Only heifers should be vaccinated for contagious abortion at 4-8 months of age.
  • Blackleg, anthrax, botulism, lumpy skin, three-day stiff sickness, and Rift Valley fever should be vaccinated against before the onset of the rainy season.
  • Pregnant cows should be vaccinated with Scourguard at least 10 weeks before calving.
  • Three-day stiff sickness vaccination is mainly done for dairy cattle before the onset of the rainy season.
  • Clostridial diseases should be the first vaccination given to cattle.

Remember that a proper vaccination program can help reduce the incidence and severity of diseases, improve herd productivity, and ultimately increase profits. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best vaccination program for your cattle based on your specific circumstances.

Reference:
Fivet Animal Health

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