Utilizing vaccines to help your clients establish immunity in their herds is critical to the success of their operations. Establishing this immunity helps prevent reproductive and respiratory diseases that can negatively impact performance and profitability. When considering the production elements that influence overall profitability of any cow/calf herd, reproductive efficiency may top the list for producers. Several factors — including vaccine choice — can impact the success of your clients’ breeding programs.

Recent research from South Dakota State University1 demonstrates the positive impact of utilizing an inactivated vaccine 30 days prior to breeding. The trial was conducted on previously vaccinated cattle with known vaccination history from heifers to 13 years of age, comparing Vira Shield® (inactivated) to Bovi-Shield® (modified-live or MLV). The data shows:1

  • Vira Shield had a 6.5% higher artificial insemination (AI) conception rate
  • Vira Shield hada higher percentage of cows calving in the first 21 day
  • Delaying when the animal conceives/calves can have implications on the success of your operation, including pounds of calf weaned, rebreeding, longevity in the herd and overall herd profitability

“Modified-live vaccines (MLV) have long been the backbone of building total herd immunity, or setting the immune system up for success,” says W. Mark Hilton, D.V.M., PAS, DABVP (beef cattle) and Elanco technical consultant. “What this recent data indicates is that inactivated vaccines — like Vira Shield — should be used after this broad protection is established. The research is clear — inactivated vaccines at the pre-breeding stage translate to improved reproductive success, which equates to more calves to sell.”

Reproductive efficiency and your client’s bottom line

Optimizing reproductive efficiency is critical to achieving success in the beef business. Helping your clients effectively manage estrus synchronization (ES) and timed artificial insemination (TAI) can put dollars in their pocket. In fact, there is nearly a $50/head advantage to managing ES and TAI on an operation.2  Implementation of these and other management protocols, coupled with an effective inactivated vaccine regimen utilizing Vira Shield, can have a positive effect that leaves your clients with:

  • Increased conception and calving rate
  • Improved calf uniformity
  • More calves born earlier in the season
  • Shortened calving season
  • Heavier calves at weaning

“If we take a herd with solid management practices and do not increase inputs, but instead simply move from an MLV vaccine protocol to an inactivated vaccine protocol 30 days pre-breeding, and we end up with more calves born, I’d call that a win,” says Hilton. “Applying the math from the SDSU study, you could assume 2.8 more calves born per 100/hd, each born about 1.4 days earlier.1 Estimating the value of additional calves, and the extra weight gain on all calves in the herd, you could be looking at an additional approximately $2,800.”*

Vira Shield — the right choice

The data demonstrate Vira Shield’s positive impact on reproductive efficiency** when compared to Bovi-Shield, and Vira Shield also provides benefits compared to other inactivated vaccines. Vira Shield helps establish lifelong immunity by providing a complete line of flexible, safe and powerful inactivated vaccines that protect against up to 13 respiratory, reproductive and leptospirosis diseases. 

  • Vira Shield 6 + VL5 HB is the only inactivated vaccine to provide vibrio, lepto hardjo bovis (LBH) and BVD type 2 protection in one bottle — defense that Triangle® and CattleMaster® cannot deliver3,4
  • Provides 12-month duration of immunity for LHB,5 the most common cause of leptospirosis,6 and provides the only U.S.-specific lepto strain
  • Safe for cattle at all stages of gestation, including pregnant cows, heifers and calves nursing pregnant cows

“As you’re working with your clients to optimize reproductive efficiency, consider the impact of a change in vaccine,” says Hilton. “A simple change, without increasing input costs, could lead to better results — and be better on your clients’ bottom lines. The broad-spectrum protection and long-lasting immune response that Vira Shield delivers, along with the boosted AI conception rate, can provide a big economic benefit.”

To learn more about how Vira Shield can help improve reproductive parameters for your clients, reach out to your Elanco sales representative or visit Elanco.us.

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