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October Beef Management Tips

01 October 2008

Beef Management Tips

By Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech. Beef managment tips for September.

Spring Calving Herds

  • Work calves prior to weaning, administer pre-weaning vaccinations
  • Wean calves this month or early next month
  • Market calves to your best advantage
  • Make arrangements for backgrounding calves
  • Feed replacement heifers to gain 1.5 - 1.75 lbs per day or use the target weight method to calculate rate of gain
  • Pregnancy check cows
  • Body condition score cows at weaning and separate thin cows
  • Cull open, old and very thin cows; check feet and legs, udders and eyes
  • Switch to high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetany
  • Finalize winter feeding strategies and inventory feed supplies, and secure feed for winter
  • Fall Calving Herds

Continue calving

  • Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date
  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day, heifers more often - assist early if needed
  • Keep calving area clean and move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving
  • Body condition score cows at calving; plan nutrition/grazing program based on BCS
  • Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Give selenium plus vitamin E and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Feed cows extra energy after calving; protein supplementation may be needed if good pasture is not available. Cows calving at BCS less than 5 should receive special nutritional attention.
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available
  • Reproductive tract score and measure pelvic areas on yearling replacement heifers; RTS should be 3 or better and pelvic areas
  • should be more than 150 sq.cm
  • Plan estrous synchronization program; line-up AI technician and supplies

October 2008

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