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Beef Management Tips

13 April 2008

Beef Management Tips

Dr. Mark Wahlberg, Extension Livestock Specialist, VA Tech, Livestock Update, April 2008.

Spring Calving Herds

Finish calving

  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day, heifers more often - assist early if needed

  • Keep calving area clean and well drained, move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving

  • Ear tag all calves at birth; castrate and implant male calves in commercial herds

  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves

  • Feed cows extra energy after calving; some protein may be needed also

  • Implant calves at turnout if not implanted at birth

  • Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available

  • All bulls need a breeding soundness exam 30 days before start of breeding season

Fall Calving Herds

  • Creep graze calves while on cows

  • Give pre-weaning respiratory vaccinations - IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSV, pasteurella

  • Collect 205 day weights on calves; weigh and body condition score cows

  • Wean commercial calves based on marketing plan for calves - many valued added feeder cattle programs require calves to be weaned 45 days

  • Re-implant commercial calves - do not implant replacement heifers

  • Pregnancy check cows 60 days after bulls were removed

  • Continue feeding high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetany

Pastures and Forages

    Fertilize pastures and hay fields according to test

  • Begin managed intensive grazing

  • Check hay making equipment

April 2008

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