Beef management tips for April, by Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech.

Spring Calving Herds

  • Finish calving
  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day, heifers more often to 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 supplemental energy after calving; some protein may be needed also
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available
  • All bulls need a breeding soundness exam at least 30 days before start of breeding season
  • Fertilize pastures and hay fields according to soil tests
Fall Calving Herds
  • Creep graze calves while on cows
  • Give pre-weaning respiratory vaccinations IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSV, pasteurella
  • Collect weaning weights on calves; weigh and body condition score cows
  • Wean commercial calves based on marketing plan for calves
  • 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