Planning ahead – tips for beef producers
• If you have already done a pre-weaning working, revaccinate (booster) calves as needed. Treat calves for internal and external parasites. If you vaccinate calves yourself, be sure to store, handle and administer vaccines properly.
• Schedule a pregnancy examination of cows if not done previously. Winter feeding costs can be minimized by eliminating open cows prior to winterfeeding.
• Wean calves before cows lose body condition.
• Obtain weaning weights of your calves and remember weaning is the time to do your first round of culling and selecting breeding stock. You can eliminate obviously inferior calves, especially those with wild or nervous dispositions.
Consider the number of heifers that you will need to save for your cow herd. Bulls which are old, unsound, roguish, etc. can be culled now. It is not too early to begin thinking about replacements now.
• Evaluate the body condition of your cows and improve their condition prior to winter.
• Obtain yearling measurements (weight, hip height, scrotal circumference, etc.) on replacement animals -especially for registered ones, check pelvic areas, too.
• The calving season should be in full swing for fall calvers. Check cows frequently. Identify calves and commercial males should be castrated and implanted.
• It is time to get everything ready for the fall-breeding season, too. Line-up semen, supplies, etc. now and get your bulls ready to go (do not forget their breeding soundness evaluation).
• Put fall-calving cows on accumulated pasture before the breeding season. This has generally been a good year for moisture. Be sure to save some grass in the breeding pastures.
For additional information contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; e-mail DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU; or visit the office located at 4275 N. Highway 25W in Goldbug.