If you custom-raise replacement heifers and are responsible for the vaccination program, how do you decide what vaccines those animals should get? Dan Little, a consulting veterinarian and founder of DairyNet2000, Inc., based in Brookings, S.D., suggests that you base your vaccine decision on these four criteria:

  • Source herd. What diseases or health problems are going on in the herd where the animals originated? Which vaccines are included in the whole-herd and dry-cow vaccination programs?
  • Stage of grower. At what age do you receive animals?
  • Problems in other stages. If you raise animals through multiple stages of growth, have you run into any disease challenges at certain stages of development?
  • Destination herd. Are the animals going back to the source herd or a new herd with different disease challenges?