Controlling bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in young, naïve calves takes careful planning and management. Using a three-pronged approach, you can ensure your calves have the best chance to be healthy and thrive during the next phase of their lives, and help build your reputation for selling healthy, quality calves, too.

To control BRD, minimize the exposure to diseases by:

  • reducing the risk of disease introduction through carrier animals and herd additions;
  • reducing external stressors like handling and sorting, commingling, malnutrition, weather and weaning; and
  • implementing a robust preweaning vaccination program, giving those animals the appropriate antigens at the appropriate time.

“Preweaning vaccination starts at branding, or even at birth, on many ranches,” says Dr. Travis Van Anne, Senior Professional Services Veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. “Oftentimes, we start at birth with a clostridial vaccine like Alpha-7®, and then at branding, around 1 to 3 months of age, we give a combination BRD vaccine, like Pyramid® 5 + Presponse® SQ, which has no age restriction for calves and can be used at this time as long as the cow is not pregnant.”