The Lowdown on Vaccines
You know that a key part of ensuring your flock’s health is preventing diseases with vaccines. But do you know the difference between the 3-in-1 and 6-in-1 products, and what you should be using? We’ve summed up the leading sellers and how they can help you improve your flock and your profits.
Glanvac 3 & Glanvac 3 B12
The minimum vaccine that you can give a sheep. Glanvac 3 protects against Cheesy Gland, and two of the clostridial diseases; Tetanus & Pulpy Kidney. Cheesy gland is one of the key diseases to prevent, as has a big impact on your return. For instance, if cheesy gland is found in a limb at the abattoirs, it is standard protocol to cut the whole limb off. You lose a lot of weight and therefore dollars, so make sure you are at least using Glanvac 3. Glanvac 3 is also available with the addition of B12, which is vital for energy production and body and wool growth. Glanvac B12 can correct vitamin B12 deficiency which will improve growth rates in young and growing sheep, and improved meat and wool quality in ewes.
Glanvac 6 & Glanvac 6 B12
Like Glanvac 3, Glanvac 6 will protect against Cheesy Gland, Tetanus, Pulpy Kidney, and also Blackleg, Black Disease and Malignant Oedema. These are known as the five clostridial diseases, plus Cheesy Gland. Like Glanvac 3, Glanvac 6 is also available with the addition of B12.
Tip: For lambs, whatever you use at marking (3 or 6), use the same at weaning. Remember, you need two shots of the vaccine for it to work. Why two shots? The first dose primes the immune system, but only gives short term protection (and in some animals none at all). It’s not until the animal receives the second dose of vaccine that the immune system is capable of actually protecting against the disease. When done correctly, protection will last in most cases for 12 months. After that, give them a yearly booster to provide further protection. Without the booster dose, the animal is at risk of disease.
Weanerguard 6-in-1 & Weanerguard 6-in-1 +SE B12
6 in 1 treatment for lambs from 15 to 37kg liveweight to prevent the five clostridial diseases and cheesy gland for use at weaning. It also contains moxidectin to treat and control internal parasites, nasal bot and itch mite in sheep. This is why it is given at variable rates, to give a correct dose of moxidectin. Also available with vitamin B12 and selenium as a supplement to prevent deficiencies.
Tip: If you plan on using Weanerguard at weaning for a drench, then you must use Glanvac 6 at marking to prime their immune system for maximum protection.
Eweguard 6-in-1 & Eweguard 6-in-1 +SE B12
The same as Weanerguard but a higher dose 6 in 1 treatment for ewes. Can be given 3-4 weeks before lambing for the prevention of the five clostridial diseases and cheesy gland, and also contains moxidectin for the treatment and control of internal parasites, nasal bot and itch mite. Also available with vitamin B12 and selenium.
To protect against arthritis (erysipelas). Arthritis causes hot and swollen joints and a reluctance to walk or stand. It’s a painful and unnecessary disease. Affected animals often don’t do as well as others, and if they do make it to the abattoirs, the affected limb is typically cut off. Studies indicate that Arthritis-affected carcasses lose an average of 3kg of trim, which costs producers $17.25 per carcass.
At a minimum, lambs should be given a shot at marking, and pregnant ewes should be given a dose at crutching, along with their annual Glanvac booster. These shots help prime the lambs within the womb. For extra protection, give lambs a booster dose at weaning.
Tip: Eryvac and Glanvac can be administered together through a dual vaccinator gun, saving you time and effort.
Scabiguard controls Scabby Mouth in lambs and sheep. Scabby Mouth causes painful lesions forming on the lips and face of lambs, and around the udders of ewes. Affected lambs then don’t eat as well and hence either don’t put on weight as quick or lose weight, causing lost productivity and returns. Prime lambs failing to gain 0.5 kg/ week equates to at least $7.19 (dressed) lost meat per lamb. It takes up to 5 weeks for lesions to heal in unvaccinated sheep. Lambs need to be vaccinated at marking using a scabiguard applicator, which is applied as a single scratch on a bare patch of skin under the foreleg.
When to use?
Ewes: Should be given a yearly booster of Glanvac, this is normally done at crutching time, which also primes the lambs if they are in the wombs. Hence, crutching is usually done 6 – 8 weeks before lambing.
Lambs: Should be given a 3 or 6 at marking and then also a booster of the same at weaning to provide the maximum length of protection of 12 months.
Rams: Should be vaccinated pre-joining to ensure reproductive performance.
With the price of sheep and lambs being what they are, we recommend using Glanvac 6B12 and Eryvac, as this covers all diseases, has the benefits of B12 which helps with meat & wool production, while the Eryvac protects against arthritis.
Tips for better vaccination:
- Only use 1/4″ long 18G needles.
- Vaccinate under the skin, on the side of the neck
- Using an angle of vaccination suitable for the class of stock (45-degree angle for lambs and short wool adults, 90-degree for long wool adults).
- In adults with significant wool growth, use the vaccinator to help part the wool.
- Take care to avoid critical structures near the base of the ear.