Beef Production Calendar

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 twelve-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
  • 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.
  • 15th-25th 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
  • 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
  • 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


July (5)
General Management Feeding Health
  • Be sure water supply, salt mineral/vitamin are adequate.


August (6)
General Management Feeding Health
  • Be sure water supply is adequate.
  • Be sure salt, mineral/vitamin are adequate.
  • Treat pinkeye.


September (7)
General Management Feeding Health
  • 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 heifer calves for brucellosis (4-12 months of age). Consult veterinarian.


October (8)
General Management Feeding Health
  • 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. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Treat for grubs.


November (9)
General Management Feeding Health
  • Rotate cows grazing range or corn residue.
  • Provide salt, mineral/vitamin mix.
  • Pour for lice if not grub treated.


December (10)
General Management Feeding Health
  • Body condition score all females.
  • Separate first- & second-calf heifers from cows (older, 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 or protein supplement for cows grazing range.
  • Start heifers on balanced ration designed for last 1/3 of pregnancy.
  • Rotate cows to new corn residue field when 50% of husk and leaves are removed.
  • Feed complete ration if residue is covered with ice and snow.


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.
  • Plan Breeding Soundness for bulls.
  • Consider Sandhills calving system if scours have been a problem.
  • 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.
  • 1st-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
  • Provide a high quality ration.
  • Provide salt mineral/vitamin mix.
  • Help calf nurse, if needed.