Be aware of pneumonia

Every dairy producer knows what a case of pneumonia costs him to treat, but do you know what underlying pneumonia costs in terms of disease impact?

Speaking at the Dairy Event, Pfizer Animal Health’s vet Carolyn Hogan told visitors how only 16% of one-year-old calves are vaccinated for pneumonia.

“The cost for a dairy calf infected with pneumonia is about 43 and 82 for a beef calf.

“But what producers sometimes fail to realise is a dairy calf at risk costs 30 and 75 for a beef calf, because of underlying factors, such as restricted calf growth, poor ventilation and weight loss.”

The unseen costs must be considered, she stressed.

“Pneumonia can be particularly damaging to heifer replacements as it can delay conception at first service, reduce productivity, add up to two weeks on the calving pattern and reduce overall milk yield.”

Miss Hogan suggested looking at housing design, location, ventilation, shared airspaces with older cattle and low heat production from low stocking densities, to reduce risks.