Small stock production: Vaccinate sheep and goats by following this programme

Vaccine programmes differ from area to area and even from farm to farm, depending on temperature, rainfall, season, local disease outbreaks, farm specific resistance and resilience and of course – management. There is no one-size-fits-all schedule. It’s up to you to make sure that your particular programme caters for your flocks and herds.

Small-stock are a primary source of protein in the Sub-region and a potential source of income for small-scale commercial farmers. Mortalities in small-stock populations are unacceptably high and farmers need help to overcome this problem. Vaccinating animals prevents needless losses in many cases.


Vaccinating small stock requires handling facilities. A crush is a basic requirement for livestock farmers but animals can also be handled in pens such as these lamb pens.



When to vaccinate Vaccine Dose Method
August – September
(4 – 6 weeks before stress period)
Bluetongue                  (not necessary in goats) 1ml – once every 3 weeks – three times. subcutaneous
(just under the skin)
Adults – once a year
Kids – one initial shot then
a booster 4 – 6 weeks
Pulpy kidney 1ml subcutaneous
(C. ovis)
2ml subcutaneous
(associated with abscesses)
5ml subcutaneous
Rift Valley Fever (live) 1ml subcutaneous
Rift valley Fever (inactive) 2ml subcutaneous
4 – 6 weeks before breeding season Chlamydia 1ml subcutaneous
Kids at 2 weeks and again 4 weeks later Pasteurella


2ml subcutaneous



Chlamydia seems to have been a problem in some countries this season with many goat farmers experiencing kid losses in their flocks just before due date. There is a vaccine available to prevent chlamydia – use it.

Rift Valley Fever is associated with hot wet conditions and spread by mosquitoes. It causes heavy losses in livestock.

Pasteurella is stress related and caused by difficult weather conditions, weaning and diet changes. Vaccinate animals about 2 months before the anticipated stress event.

Blue tongue is mainly a disease of sheep. Goat farmers do not need to vaccinate against Blue tongue.

Vaccinations should be given one at a time and not to animals who are on a course of antibiotic treatment.

During September deworm all animals.

A change of season means a change of diet. Pulpy kidney is a danger when there is a sudden improvement in the diet especially from a high fibre, poorer quality diet to a protein-rich or carbohydrate rich diet. Vaccinate for pulpy kidney this month and keep an eye on your animals when the vegetation starts to flush.

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