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

Spring Calving Herds

  • Have all calving supplies on hand and review calving assistance procedures
  • Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date
  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day during calving season, 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 and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Late gestation mature cows should gain 1.0 lbs per day
  • Target gain for pregnant heifers and 3-yr olds should be 2.0-2.5 lbs per day
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium mineral available
  • Vaccinate cows against scours if it has been a problem
  • Evaluate herd genetic goals and assess bull battery, make plans to attend spring bull sales and/or order AI semen
  • Frost seed clovers (mid to late in the month)
Fall Calving Herds
  • End breeding season early in the month
  • Remove bulls and check condition
  • Begin creep feeding or creep grazing calves if desired
  • Plan marketing strategy for calves
  • Begin feeding high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetany
  • Continue to check calves closely for health issues
  • Frost seed clovers (mid to late in the month)