Beef Production Calendar
For late March Calving Cows

The beef production calendar is a management tool for producers to help them in scheduling practices pertaining to the cow herd over a 12 month period. The calendar is based on a late March calving beef herd. The calendar addresses three categories:

  • General Management Practices,
  • Feeding Management, and
  • Herd Health.

There are practices for producers to consider in these specific areas each month as the beef herd progresses through the production cycle for cows that give birth to calves in March.

March (1)      April (2)      May (3)      June (4)
July (5)      August (6)     September (7)      October (8)
November (9)      December (10)      January (11)      February (12)

Numbers above denote ordinal numbers of our beef herd management calendar cycle.

 

March (1)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Move "close" cows to calving area about 10 days before expected calving.
  • Observe every 3-4 hours after calving starts.
  • Follow calving season management practices as for heifers previous month.
    • Mark cows having calving difficulty or other problems for early culling
    • Body condition score all females as they calve.
  • Switch heifers to lactation ration by 10-15 days after calving.
  • Plan pasture management & feeding program:
    1. Temporary pastures, rotation, etc.
    2. Early weaning, drylot, etc.
  • Observe calves for scours & respiratory problems.
  • 15 th-25 th vaccinate cows within 3-4 weeks of calving: enterotoxemia C &D toxoid booster: Scours vaccine.
  • Observe cows for prolapse & retained placenta.

 

April (2)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Continued calving manage procedures.
  • Make final selection of replacement heifers.
  • Market cull replacement heifers.
  • Watch closely for grass tetany.
  • Evaluate profit potential for creep feeding & use of hormone implant.
  • Feed magnesium oxide in mineral mix if in grass tetany prone area.
  • Switch cows to lactation ration by 10-15 days after calving.
  • Hold off pasture until adequate growth for adequate nutrition.
  • Plan for winter feed supply.
  • Check bulls for breeding soundness and fertility.
  • Vaccinate replacement heifers for vibriosis, leptospoirosis, IBR, BVD (optional; MLV-consult veterinarian, killed vaccine - safe when given anytime). Consult your veterinarian.
  • 15th-25th vaccinate all pregnant cows not yet calved w/Scours vaccine.

 

May (3)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Continue calving
  • Breed yearling heifers beginning 20 days before cows.
  • Plan fly control program.
  • Watch for grass tetany.
  • Brand if in brand area.
  • Implant steer calves?
  • Hold off grass until adequate - may need to feed and supplement cows until grass is adequate.
  • Continue feeding magnesium oxide.
  • Provide salt, free choice - locate away from water.
  • Be sure water supply is adequate.
  • Vaccine open cows for vibriosis, leptospirosis, IBR, BVD (optional; MLV- consult veterinarian, killed vaccine -safe when given anytime) if not vaccinated as replacement heifers. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Vaccinate calves for blackleg & malignant edema.

 

June (4)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Body condition score all females.
  • Start fly control program.
  • Breed cows beginning 10th - 15th.
  • Remove bulls from heifers after 45-50 days.
  • Plan weaning program.
  • Sell or decide management of all dry cows.
  • Be sure water supply, salt mineral/vitamin mix are adequate.
  • Rotate young bulls & feed some grain while not with cows.
 

 

July (5)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Control flies
  • Be sure water supply, salt mineral/vitamin are adequate.
  • Treat pinkeye early.

 

August (6)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Control flies.
  • Plan calf weaning management.
  • 15th to 31st remove bulls from cow herd.
  • Be sure water supply is adequate.
  • Be sure salt, mineral/vitamin are adequate.
  • Treat pinkeye.

 

September (7)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Pregnancy check heifers - sell open heifers.
  • Wean calves off cows marked for culling.
  • Market cull cows.
  • Turn early weaned calves to good pasture or feed early weaning ration in dry lot.
  • Make sure salt, mineral/vitamin are adequate.
  • Vaccinate calves for IBR, leptospirosis.
  • Vaccinate heifers calves for brucellosis (2-6 months of age).

 

October (8)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Wean calves.
  • Identify low producing cows.
  • Wean calves.
  • Pregnancy check cows.
  • Body condition score all females.
  • Market or develop feeding/marketing plan for open cows and low producers.
  • Feed weaned calves for desired gain based on management and marketing plan.
  • Turn cows to crop residue or winter range.
  • Provide adequate salt mineral/vitamin mix free-choice.
  • Check for cancer eye & other health problems.
  • Vaccinate calves with 7-way clostridium.
  • Vaccinate for IBR, leptospirosis, BVD, (optional) somnugen, (optional), BRSV (optional). Consult your veterinarian.
  • Treat for grubs.

 

November (9)

General Management

Feeding

Health

 
  • Rotate cows in stubble & stalk fields.
  • Provide salt, mineral/vitamin mix.
  • Pour for lice if not grub treated.

 

December (10)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Body condition score all females.
  • Separate 1st & 2nd calf heifers from cows (oldor thin cows may be included with heifers).
  • Test feeds for quality (protein, energy (TDN), and moisture) that will be used in the winter feeding program.
  • Feed alfalfa hay as a supplement to range, stalks or stubble when most nutritious part is consumed or when snow covers ground.
  • Start heifers on balanced ration designed for last 1/3 of pregnancy.
 

 

January (11)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Plan to attend a cow/calf management, feeding & marketing program.
  • Provide ample water (ice-free in winter).
  • Prepare calving quarters-clean sodded area.
  • Body condition score entire herd; target cows to calve in BCS 5 and first-calf-heifers in BCS 6.
  • Start cows on ration developed for last 1/3 of gestation.
  • Feed bulls same ration as cows but feed to appetite - if too thin, feed some grain.
  • Provide adequate salt, mineral/vitamin mix, free choice, until turned to pasture.
  • Make sure Vitamin A is adequate.
  • Replenish equipment and supplies needed for calving season.
  • 1-15th vaccinate pregnant yearling heifers: with enterotoxemia C & D toxoid if enterotoxemia has been a problem and with Scours vaccine if virus diarrhea has been a problem. Consult your veterinarian.

 

February (12)

General Management

Feeding

Health

  • Purchase additional bulls.
  • Move bred heifers to calving area 10 days before calving expected (about the 20th).
  • Provide small area for" close" heifers.
  • Observe heifers every 3-4 hours after calving starts -assist delivery.
  • Eartag calves & keep appropriate records.
  • Move pairs to clean pastures as soon as possible after calving.
  • Dehorn (& castrate) calves shortly after birth.
  • Provide a high quality ration.
  • Provide salt mineral/vitamin mix.
  • Help calf nurse, if needed.
  • 15th - 25th revaccinate pregnant heifers notyet calved: enterotoxemia C & D toxoid; Scours vaccine.
  • Dip navel of newborn calves in iodine solution.
  • Treat calves with scour vac Reo orally at birth if viral scours a problem.
  • Drench calves dehydrated by scours with prescribed solution.