Developing a herd-health program for an entire year, including a written summary of goals and requirements, can help assure you have the right products on hand at the right times and prevent losses due to disease. Glenn Rogers, DVM and cow-calf veterinary operations manager for Pfizer Animal Health, offers these tips for developing a herd-health plan.
- Work with a local veterinarian. A veterinarian will help you tailor a plan to fit your specific operation’s goals.
- Determine the optimal time of year for calving and breeding. Circumstances are always chang-ing, so periodically reevaluate your choices.
- Determine the optimal length for the calving and breeding seasons. This depends on the goals of your operation, management resources, geography, breed and other factors.
- Research diseases and parasites significant in your region. Again, your local veterinarian can provide valuable assistance.
- Determine the ideal time to administer preventive measures for each disease or condition. Vaccinating at the correct time can help maximize performance.
- Determine which health and management practices will require cattle handling. Then combine them into a limited number of working sessions.
- Develop a one-page plan summary. Successful planning combines immunology, management and economics into a simple, cost-effective program.
- Select reputable products that are backed by research results that demonstrate effectiveness.
- Periodically update programs. As management changes and improved products become available, adjust your plan accordingly for best results.