Overton offers this hypothetical vaccine schedule as an example of a dairy bull vaccination protocol:
At 12–13 months of age, IBR, BVDV, BRSV, PI3. Overton prefers modified live virus (MLV) and a cytopathic virus vaccine to reduce the risk of persisently-infected testicles that may result from use of noncytopathic vaccine. Bull are also given a leptospirosis hardjo-bovis and 5-way vaccine, a double dose of vibrio and a 7-way clostridial.
At 13–14 months, bulls are given IBR, BVDV, BRSV, PI3 (cytopathic and MLV). Bulls are also given a leptospirosis hardjo-bovis and 5-way vaccine, a double dose of vibrio and a 7-way clostridial.
At 20-months of age bulls are given another dose of vibrio and a leptospirosis hardjo-bovis plus a 5-way vaccine.
As far as internal parasites, Overton notes that in the Southeast, it’s primarily important to be aware of Ostertagia issues.
Dairy bull nutrition
Dairy bulls should be introduced at a body condition score (BCS) of about 2.5 to no more than 3.0 on a 1 to 5 scale, Overton suggests. Dairy bulls will definitely gain weight while in the breeding pens since they are consuming the lactating diet.
“Fat bulls are usually lazy with a reduced libido and more susceptible to the effects of heat stress,” says Overton, and there can be issues with overfeeding protein, energy and calcium since they are eating the same ration as the cows. Because of this, Overton recommends a rotational management system for dairy bulls.
Care and handling of eletroejaculators
Electroejaculators are an expensive piece of equipment often used in rugged conditions. Neogen offers these tips for the care and handling of electroejaculators. While this information is specific to the ElectroJac 5, the basic care and handling guidelines apply to any electroejaculator.
- Make sure the battery is connected properly.
- Do not lay the probe on anything metallic when it is connected to the electronics. Doing so could short the electrodes and may blow the fuse or possibly damage the electronics.
- Keep probe away from water and water pressure.
- Keep the electronics away from water. The electronics instrument case is not waterproof. Water can damage the unit’s electronics.
- Be careful when handling the dwell box. The on/off switch and the dwell switch can be damaged when the box is not handled with care.
- Hold the bull’s tail down to prevent the probe from slipping out and falling to the ground.
- Contact the manufacturer’s customer service for assistance if the animal appears to be experiencing undue distress while using the equipment.
- Do not attempt to alter or repair the electrojaculator. Contact manufacturer’s customer service for all maintenance and repair matters.
- Make sure that the bull is disconnected from the unit and probe before opening the chute.