October beef management ideas

John Hall, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Virginia Tech, shares this list of management practices you should be doing in your herd for October

John Hall, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Virginia Tech, shares this list of management practices you should be doing in your herd for October. In spring calving herds:

· Give pre-weaning injections to calves not already weaned

· Wean calves this month or early next month

· Market calves at sales, graded sales, telo-auction or as off-farm truckloads

· 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

· Inventory feed supplies and secure feed for winter

For 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; some protein may be needed also if good pasture is not available. Cows calving at BCS < 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 >150 sq. cm

· Purchase estrous synchronization supplies; line up AI technician or AI supplies