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