The period between weaning and breeding is often a forgotten age, says Mark van der List, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

“The period from just after weaning through breeding is a lot less risk, but still very important because we have to make sure that these animals maintain their growth rate to enable them to calve at an appropriate (age and) weight,” van der List said during the Dairy Calf & Heifer Association’s October Webinar. “We have to make sure they’re not picking up any diseases which will affect their productive life, or diseases which may affect breeding or their ability to sustain a pregnancy.”

Diseases of concern to heifers between three and 11 months of age include: respiratory diseases, intestinal diseases, clostridial diseases, mastitis and pinkeye.

Vaccination can help prevent many of these diseases in heifers of this age group. According to the Dairy Calf & Heifer Association’s Gold Standards III, successful vaccination programs should result in adequate levels of immunity for the environment in which calves and heifers are being raised. Please see section VII of the Gold Standards III to learn more about the components of a successful vaccination program, as well as proper vaccine handling and storage practices. Also remember to follow Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) guidelines for handling and administering all vaccines.

Listen to what van der List had to say about vaccination and common mistakes that lead to vaccine failure.

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