This month, take note of these management tips for the best care to both your spring and fall calving cowherds. The following list will help you survive the winter with ease.

Spring Calving Herds

  • Secure winter feed supply!
  • Body condition score cows and separate thin cows
  • Market calves to your best advantage
  • Background calves for sale in December, if possible, feed replacement heifers to gain 1.5 - 1.75 lbs per day or use the target weight method to calculate rate of gain
  • Cull open, old and very thin cows; check feet and legs, udders and eyes
  • Test hay for nutrient quality
  • Get list of bull sales coming up early this winter

Fall Calving Herds

  • Secure winter feed supply!
  • Finish calving
  • Check cows 2 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
  • Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Keep good calving records so that calves may be marketed as age/source verified
  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Feed cows extra energy after calving; stockpiled fescue will take care of needs. Cows calving at BCS < 5 should receive special nutritional attention.
  • Test hay for nutrient quality
  • Look for opportunities to secure low-cost feed supplies of bulk feeds or commodity feeds
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available
  • Begin breeding replacement heifers late this month; try AI on heifers
  • Get breeding soundness exams done on all bulls
  • Purchase new herdsires at upcoming bull sales