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Timely tips for September

Author: Kristy

By Dr. Roy Burris, University of Kentucky Beef Extension

Spring-Calving Cows

● Begin evaluating heifer calves for herd replacements – or culling. Each time you put them through the chute you can evaluate them for several traits, including their disposition.

● When planning the preweaning working, consult with your veterinarian for advice on animal health products and procedures. Some procedures which can be done now are pregnancy checking cows (which will allow time to make culling decisions prior to weaning time). The remainder of the work, like booster shots, can be done at weaning time.

● Limited creep feeding can prepare calves for the weaning process since they can become accustomed to eating dry feed. This will especially benefit those calves which you are going to keep for a short postweaning period – like the CPH-45 program. It’s time to start planning the marketing of this year’s calf crop.

● Stresses associated with weaning can be minimized by spreading-out other activities commonly associated with weaning – like vaccinations, deworming and, perhaps, castration and dehorning (which should have already been done!). Therefore, this month is a good time to do a “preweaning” working of cows and calves.

Fall-Calving Cows

● Watch for those calves which may come early and be prepared to care for them.

● Fall-calving should start this month. Get your eartags ready. Cows should be moved to a clean, accessible pasture and be watched closely. Tag calves soon after they are born and record dam ID and calf birthdate, etc. Castration is less stressful when performed on young animals and calves which are intended for feeders can be implanted now, too.

● Move cows to best quality fall pasture after calving. Stockpiled fescue should be available to these cows in November-December to meet their nutritional needs for milking and rebreeding.

● Start planning now for the breeding season. If using AI, order supplies, plan matings and order semen now. Stockers ● Calves to be backgrounded through the winter can be purchased soon. A good source is Kentucky preconditioned (CPH-45) calves which are immunized and have been preweaned and “boostered”.

● Plan your receiving program. Weanling calves undergo a great deal of stress associated with weaning, hauling, marketing, and wide fluctuations in environmental temperature at this time of year. Plan a program which avoids stale cattle, get calves consuming water and high quality feed rapidly. Guard against respiratory diseases and other health problems.

Stockers

● Calves to be backgrounded through the winter can be purchased soon. A good source is Kentucky preconditioned (CPH-45) calves which are immunized and have been preweaned and “boostered”.

● Plan your receiving program. Weanling calves undergo a great deal of stress associated with weaning, hauling, marketing, and wide fluctuations in environmental temperature at this time of year. Plan a program which avoids stale cattle, get calves consuming water and high quality feed rapidly. Guard against respiratory diseases and other health problems.

General

● Consider nitrogen application to fescue pastures for stockpiling early this month and allow them to grow and accumulate until November, or when other sources of grazing have been used up – so that grazing may be extended and feeding can be delayed. To make best use of this pasture, put fall calvers or thin spring-calvers on this pasture and strip graze. Consider seeding of winter animals in pastures which were damaged by drought.

● Plan the winter feeding program. Take forage samples of hay which you will feed this winter. Request protein and TDN analysis so that supplemental feed needs may be estimated. Don’t wait until you run out of feed in February to purchase extra feed. Plan to minimize hay storage and feeding losses because feed is too expensive to waste.

● Don’t graze sorghum or sudan pastures between the first frost and a definite killing frost because of the danger of prussic acid poisoning. Johnsongrass in stalk fields can also be a problem after a light frost. Grazing can resume after the sorghum-type grasses have undergone a killing frost and dried up

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