During winter times, it is usually a challenge for dairy farmers as the wide temperature swings and wet-warm weather will cause the cows to be stressed, leading to increase incidence of disease such as pneumonia.
Here are some tips to prevent and address pneumonia in dairy cows:
1) Good air
The most important measure in preventing pneumonia is to have good ventilation.
Open up the curtains during warm and humid days to allow plenty of air flow.
Open up the windows that have been close to prevent stagnant areas. Heifers housed outdoors with a run-in shed normally do better than those housed indoor due to better ventilation.
For older barns, consider putting some fans to increase air ventilation.
Consider having air flow and quality test run on your farm under normal working conditions.
Make sure to have a vaccine program in place. Consult your veterinarian to develop a program that suit your needs.
Consider adding pneumonia-specific vaccinations just before winter to provide additional protection to your cows.
Make sure your cows are in healthy condition when receiving vaccinations.
Make sure the vaccines are kept in good condition before administering it to the animals.
3) Avoid adding stress
Winter is already a stressful period for the cows.
Avoid transporting the animals or any other activities that will cause stress for the cows.
Catching any early signs of illness will give you a better chance for effective treatment.
If you suspect an animal is sick, take its temperature.
Consult your veterinarian for treatment protocols that meets your farm requirements.
5) Facing outbreak
Even if we tried our best, sometimes you will face disease outbreak.
Treat the affected animals as soon as possible and aggressively to prevent any long-term damage.
Consider isolating the affected animals to prevent spread of disease.
During an outbreak, consider vaccinating the healthy animals to prevent spread of disease.
While vaccinating will add stress to the animal, when use properly, it can help to prevent the disease during an outbreak.