You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive.
These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website
(through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only.
As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.
To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at
Newsletter Archive index:
Beef Management Tips
Livestock Update, October 2000
John Hall, Extension Specialist, Beef, Virginia Tech
October Beef Management Calendar
Spring Calving Herds
- Give pre-weaning injections to calves not already weaned (VQA )
- Wean calves this month or early next month
- Market calves at VQA sales, graded sales, telo-auction or as off-farm truckloads
- Make arrangements for backgrounding calves
- Feed replacement heifers to gain 1.5 - 1.75 lbs per day or use the Target Weight method to calculate rate of gain
- Pregnancy check cows
- Body condition score cows at weaning and separate thin cows
- Cull open, old and very thin cows; check feet and legs, udders and eyes; cull especially hard is feed is short
- Switch to high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetnay
- Inventory feed supplies and secure feed for winter
Fall calving herds
- Continue calving
- 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 move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving
- Body condition score cows at calving; plan nutrition/grazing program based on BCS
- Ear tag and dehorn 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; some protein may be needed also if good pasture is not available. Cows calving at BCS < 5 should receive special nutritional attention.
- Keep high quality, high magnesium high selenium minerals available
- Reproductive tract score and measure pelvic areas on yearling replacement heifers; RTS should be 3 or better and pelvic areas should be >140 sq. cm
- Purchase estrous synchronization supplies; line up AI technician or AI supplies
Treat for grubs now. November 1 is the cut off date for treating cattle for grubs. After that date, grubs may have migrated to areas around the spinal cord and esophagus. If grubs are killed after they have moved to that location, they can cause a severe inflammatory reaction resulting in paralysis or suffocation of the cow. Grubs cause damage to the hide as they cut breathing hole in the skin of cattle. In addition, they reduce animal performance. Many types of pour-ons are available to treat grubs. They include organophosphates like Warbex, Spot-on or Tiguvon as well as the new endecticides like Ivomec Pour-On, Dectomax or Cydectin.
Pregnancy Check Cows at Weaning. Open cows should not be carried through the winter especially this winter with the short feed supply. Cows should be palpated by a veterinarian at weaning to determine pregnancy status. In addition, a good veterinarian can "age the fetus" to give producers expected calving dates for cows. Pregnancy checking costs only a few dollars per cow especially if it is combined with other management practices. Keeping any cow costs an average of $300 per year in Virginia. So if you keep an open cow your are giving away $300 without getting any return.
Virginia Cooperative Extension