April beef management calendar

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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

Source: Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, VA Tech

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