November beef management calendar

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Spring Calving Herds

  • Secure winter feed supply!
  • Body condition score cows, separate thin cows and provide nutritional management to improve BCS prior to calving
  • 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
  • Cull open, old and very thin cows; check feet and legs, udders and eyes
  • Consider alternative marketing strategies for cull cows to take advantage of seasonality in cull cow price
  • Test hay for nutrient quality
  • Get list of bull sales coming up early winter and spring

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

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

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