• Identify replacement heifers. Utilize available tools including genetics, dam performance, individual performance, and phenotype. Restrict replacement heifer pool to those born in defined calving season.

Fall calving herds (September-November)

General

• Secure necessary supplies for calving season (ob equipment, tube feeder, colostrum supplement, ear tags, animal health products, calving book, etc.)

• Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date.

• Check cows frequently during calving season. Optimal interval is to check calving females every 4 hours. Address calving problems early.

• Utilize calving area that is clean and well drained. Reduce exposure to scours by moving 2-3 day old pairs out of calving area to separate pasture (reduce commingling of newborn calves with older calves).

• Identify calves promptly at birth. Record birth weight, calving ease score, teat/udder score, and mothering ability of cow.

• 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

• Evaluate growth of yearling heifers with goal of reaching 60-65 percent of mature weight by breeding. Depending on forage quality, supplementation may be needed to meet weight gain target.

• Continue to feed high Se trace mineral salt.

• Reserve high quality hay and pasture area for cows post-calving.

• Use grazing management to control the residue of warm season pastures as they approach dormancy. Use strip-grazing as a tool to increase the efficiency of utilization of cool season pastures by cows post-calving.

• Store your high quality hay in the dry.

• Collect and submit forage samples for nutrient analysis.

Herd Health

• Ensure colostrum intake first few hours of life in newborn calves. Supplement if necessary. Newborn calves need 10 percent of body weight in colostrum first 24 hours of life.

• Provide selenium and vitamin A and D injections to newborn calves.

• Castrate commercial calves at birth.

• Monitor calves closely for scours and pneumonia, have treatment supplies on hand.

Genetics

• Collect yearling performance data (weight, height, scrotal, ultrasound) in seedstock herds.

• Evaluate bull battery and begin planning for the breeding season by evaluating herd goals and objectives.