Why at 9pm?
Because, NP and I both have off farm jobs and by the time the work day was done and all other essential items were crossed off the list, that was the time that we had left!
Vaccinations are a key part (but not the only part) to preventing illness and we take it very seriously. We work with our veterinarian to determine which vaccines we need to give our critters (cows, horse, and dogs!) as well as when and how to give them.
So, most recently, at 9pm on a rainy night, NP and Dallas set up a working chute and we vaccinated the heifers that are due to calve in May with a vaccine called Scour Bos. I won’t get into all the nitty gritty of it, but buying vaccines can feel kind of like buying cereal in a grocery store – a handful of companies all manufacture similar but slightly different products. Scour Bos is one of several vaccines that is given to a pregnant cow but that actually benefits the calf en utero. You see, mothers have this fantastic ability to provide immunity to their offspring. They do this in utero via the placenta where antibodies pass from mother to babe and also after the calf is born via the antibodies they provide in their colostrum, or first milk. Read more about colostrum here.
On this particular night, we were giving a vaccine that will protect the (unborn) calves against several different causes of scours, aka diarrhea.
Other things we vaccinate for at Brun Ko Farm include blackleg & some common bovine respiratory viruses. Different farms and different parts of the country face different challenges – meaning each farmer has to work with his or her vet to develop a vaccination schedule that is best for their unique situation.
In addition to deciding which vaccines are best for our herd, we also have to make sure that we are giving them in an appropriate manner so that the vaccine has the best chance of doing its job and also to ensure that we aren’t compromising the quality of meat in the future.
Morris Veterinary Center PSC does a good job of further explaining how vaccines work and also the protocols that farmers follow to ensure that they are administering the vaccines properly. You find that info at http://www.morrisvetcenter.com/morrisvet/Livestock/Bovine-Vaccinations.asp
**Thank you Dallas for the pictures!!**
With that, thanks for reading and as always,
Brun Ko Farm