What is in this article?:
• Though it requires more facilities, labor and feed, pre-conditioned calves are in high demand.
• Numerous research and Extension trials have demonstrated that calf growth is very efficient during this 45 day period and returns are far above costs.
Evaluate feed supply
• Plan for winter by evaluating feed and forage supplies and options, including conducting forage tests to determine nutritional content of hay on hand.
Nutrition and forages
• Body Condition Score cows at weaning and separate thin cows
• Use palatable feeds and high quality hay to background calves.
• Continue stockpiling forages.
• Continue to manage first-calf heifers separately; give them the best forage. Thin mature cows could be added to this group.
• Continue to feed high Se trace mineral salt. A forage analysis can reveal what other minerals should be supplemented.
• Continue to manage growth of warm season grass pastures by rotational grazing. As warm season pastures approach dormancy, continue to use rotational grazing to manage residue.
• Store your high quality hay in the dry.
• Collect and submit forage samples for nutrient analysis.
• In consultation with your veterinarian, finalize vaccination and pre-conditioning protocol for calf crop. Administer pre-weaning vaccinations.
• Make plans to pregnancy check heifers as soon as possible after bull removal. This will allow options in marketing open heifers.
• Remove bulls after 60 days for a controlled calving season.
• Schedule pregnancy check of the cow herd with veterinarian
• Collect 205-day weights on calf crop at appropriate time (AHIR age range 120-280 days), along with cow weights, hip heights and body condition scores (cow mature size data taken within 45 days of calf weaning measure).