Vaccinations For Newborn Calves

Calf vaccination is an important part of every herd health program. An effective vaccination protocol can be developed to fit most operation and management approaches. This guide describes three calf vaccination approaches that have been successfully implemented in cow-calf operations in New Mexico. However, producers should consult with their local veterinarian to design a vaccination program that fits their particular operation.

The foundation for each vaccination approach discussed below is the administration a 7- or 8-way clostridial vaccine at 2 to 3 months of age (branding), plus a modified-live virus (MLV) vaccine given at the same time for viruses commonly associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex. The viruses included in most MLV-BRD vaccines are infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), parainfluenza-3 virus (PI3), and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV). Vaccinations given at 2 to 3 months of age produce initial immunity. However, additional “booster” vaccinations should be administered at or near weaning so the immune systems of the calves become even better prepared to fend off actual disease challenges. Additional vaccinations required to help prevent pneumonia caused by Mannheimia/Pasteurella will be needed, especially during the weaning period. The difference in the three options described below is the timing of booster vaccinations at or near weaning. Producers should consult their veterinarian to determine which MLV vaccine to use at branding. Their input will be valuable in developing your vaccination and deworming protocols. Deworming calves at weaning is beneficial and should be included in a weaning program.


Calving season for many producers is near, which means it is time to develop a Herd Health Plan (HHP) to start those newborn calves out on the right track, promoting good health. An appropriate Herd Health Plan/Protocol ensures that all cattle are raised in the best health. A strong HHP begins with a yearly production calendar that includes cattle nutrition, reproduction management, vaccination schedules, and marketing – all of which are critical to sustainable beef cattle production. Management practices can be better matched with cattle needs by looking at the annual production cycle month-by-month.

Once a production calendar is developed, a producer can work with his or her veterinarian to plan a specific preventative health program for their herd. The veterinarian can help a beef operation best tailor health management to deal with local diseases, parasites, and other regional health issues. Specifically for young calves (birth to three months), the core vaccination program should include: 4-way IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV; 2-way Pasteurella; and 4/7-way Clostridial. There are additional considerations, such as fly control and implanting, that producers should discuss with their veterinarian to best meet the herd needs and goals. Depending on labor and timing, developing a strong plan can improve effectiveness and economics for the operation.

Features of Vaccinations For Newborn Calves

Dosages comprising of Netfin/Furazolidone to be administered 2 tablets twice daily. Shots for newborn calves inclusive of deworming happens on day 7 & day 21, the dosage is determined by their body weight. Precaution should be taken to ensure that different de-wormers are administered to avoid the creation of resistance to de-wormers. Vaccine shots are essential to fortify them against a host of infections that would otherwise have serious consequences to their health.  FMD vaccine and a booster dose is given after 21 days Regular measurement of bodyweight and deworming of the calves is critical.

Prevention againstAge for Fist DoseAge for Booster doseSubsequent doses
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) 4 Months + 1 month after first dose Six Monthly
Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (HS) 6 months +        — Annually
Black Quarter (BQ) 6 months +        — Annually
Theileriosis 3 months +        —Once in a lifetime. Usually given to crossbred and exotic cattle.
Brucellosis 4-8 months        —Once in a lifetime dosage
Anthrax 4 months +        — Anually
IBR 3 months +1 month after first doseSix monthly
Rabies (Post bite therapy only)To be administered Immediately after suspected bite4th dayDays 7,14,28 and 90 (optional)

Prices of Vaccinations For Newborn Calves

$31.64 – $124.99

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