Spring Calving Herds

  • Inventory feed supplies, test hay for nutrient content and plan winter feeding strategies
  • Give pre-weaning vaccinations to calves
  • Make final preparations for calf crop marketing program
  • Pregnancy check cows
  • Body condition score cows at weaning and separate thin cows
  • Put open, old and very thin cows on cull list
  • Make arrangements for backgrounding calves
  • Continue feeding high Se trace mineral salt
  • Continue to stockpile forages, if possible

Fall Calving Herds

  • Body condition score cows; plan nutrition and grazing program on BCS
  • Inventory feed supplies, test hay for nutrient content and plan winter feeding strategies
  • Make sure all calving supplies are on-hand
  • Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date
  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day; heifers more often – assist early if needed
  • Keep calving area clean and well drained; move healthy pairs to large pastures 3 days after calving
  • Ear tag all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Feed cows extra energy after calving especially to two-year-olds; cows calving at BCS < 5 should receive special nutritional attention
  • Keep high quality, high Selenium, high magnesium minerals available
  • Plan estrous synchronization program; line-up AI technician and supplies

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