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Maintaining a successful cow-calf operation requires taking a wide range of factors into consideration. From planning calving intervals to providing clean water, it’s all in the details.
A common misconception is that administering vaccines to young calves will create an immunity early on. Unfortunately, vaccinating calves whose immune systems haven’t started to develop is a waste of resources; the lack of an immune system means there will be no significant response to the vaccine. Securing herd immunity requires much more than just inoculating calves and their mothers – it requires that they already be at the right age, in top condition and not be stressed.
There are a few factors that will influence how will a bovine’s immune system responds not only to infections but also to building immunity naturally and with the aid of vaccinations. The most vital of these is that each animal has an optimally-functioning rumen with a balanced pH. This will foster the growth of beneficial gut flora that is essential for proper digestion and ultimately, a strong immune system. Maintaining a low-stress environment and providing adequate nutrition and 24/7 access to clean water are some of the key elements in achieving a herd with a naturally strong constitution. This will help secure greater gains at harvest time.