Beef Cattle Management Calendar

Click on a month to view suggested Cattle Management Tips, or view the information as a PDF document.

 

 

January

  • Apply lime for summer crops.
  • Check for lice and treat if necessary.
  • Control weeds in cool season pastures.
  • Begin grazing winter clover pastures when approximately 6 inches high.
  • Rye should be 12-18 inches high.
  • Check mineral feeders.
  • Put bulls out for October calving season.
  • Make up breeding herd lists if using single sire herds.
  • Watch for calf scours.
  • Give bulls extra feed and care so they will be in condition for breeding season.
  • Make sure cow herd has access to adequate fresh water.
  • Buy only performance tested bulls with superior records.
  • Get taxes filed.
  • Discuss herd health with your veterinarian and outline a program for the year. Review herd health program with your veterinarian regularly.
  • Carry a pocket notebook to record heat, breeding abnormalities, discharges, abortions, retained placentas, difficult calvings and other data.
  • Observe cow herd for calving difficulties.
  • Watch for grass tetany on winter pastures.
  • Increase magnesium levels in mineral mixes if grass tetany has been a previous problem (if you are not already using a high magnesium mineral).
  • Examine bulls for breeding soundness and semen quality prior to the breeding season.
  • Vaccinate cows and heifers against vibriosis and leptospirosis prior to the breeding season.

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February

  • Top dress winter forages, if needed.
  • Check and fill mineral feeders.
  • Put bulls out with breeding heard.
  • Work calves (identify, implant with growth stimulant, vaccinate, etc.).
  • Make sure lactating cows are receiving an adequate level of energy.
  • Watch calves for signs of respiratory diseases.
  • Cull cows that failed to calve while prices are seasonally up.
  • Check for lice and treat if needed.

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March

  • Prepare land for summer crops.
  • Begin grazing warm season permanent pastures.
  • Check and fill mineral feeder.
  • Observe bulls for condition and success. Rotate and rest if needed.
  • Deworm cows as needed.
  • Make sure calves are healthy and making good weight gains.
  • Hang forced-use dust bags by April 1st for external parasite control or use insecticide impregnated ear tags.
  • Identify, vaccinate, implant and work late calves.
  • Put bulls out March 1st for calving season to start December 9.
  • Remove bulls March 22nd to end calving season January 1.

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April

  • Plant warm season annual pastures.
  • Plant corn for silage.
  • Check and fill mineral feeder.
  • Check dust bags or apply treated ear tags.
  • Check for external parasites and treat if necessary.
  • Observe cows for repeat breeders.
  • Deworm cows as needed if not done in March.
  • Vaccinate against blackleg and brucellosis after 3 months of age and before 12 months of age.
  • Market cull cows and bulls.
  • Update market information and refine market strategy for calves.

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May

  • Remove bulls.
  • Harvest hay from cool season crops.
  • Plant warm season perennial pastures.
  • Fertilize warm season pastures.
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Check for spittlebugs and treat if necessary.
  • Apply spot-on agents for grub and louse control.
  • Check dust bags.
  • Vaccinate and implant with growth stimulant at 90-120 days, when you have herd penned.
  • Dispose of dead animals properly.
  • Update market information and refine marketing plans.
  • Remove bulls May 21 to end calving season March 1.

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June

  • Last date for planting sorghum.
  • Check mineral feeder, use at least 8% phosphorus in mineral and not over 2 ½ to 1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.
  • Check pastures and hay field for spittlebugs, mole crickets and army worms. Treat if necessary; best month for mole cricket control.
  • Check dust bags.
  • Watch for evidence of pinkeye and treat.
  • Utilize available veterinary services and diagnostic laboratories.
  • Get heifers vaccinated for brucellosis if not already done.
  • Pregnancy check cows.
  • Update market information and plans.

    -Make first cutting of hay.
  • Put bulls out June 1 for calves starting March 11.
  • Re-implant calves at 90 to 120 days with growth stimulant.

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July

  • Control weeds in summer pastures.
  • Apply nitrogen to warm season pastures, if needed.
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Check for army worms and mole crickets, and treat if necessary.
  • Wean calves and cull cow herd.

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August

  • Cut corn silage.
  • Cut hay.
  • Apply lime for fall and winter crops.
  • Harvest Bahia grass seed.
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Update market information and marketing plans.
  • Check for army worms, spittlebugs, and mole crickets, and treat if necessary.
  • Check dust bags.
  • Wean calves and cull cow herd.
  • Watch for evidence of abortions.
  • Observe animals regularly for signs of disease.
  • If cattle grubs were found on cattle last winter or heel flies were observed in the pasture, treat for cattle grubs this month.
  • Pregnancy test and cull open heifers from replacement heard.

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September

  • Cut hay.
  • Heavily graze pastures to be interplanted to cool season pastures.
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Check for mole crickets, spittlebugs, and grass loopers, and treat if necessary.
  • Check dust bags.
  • Wean calves and cull cow heard if not already done. Remove open, unsound, poor producing or overage cows.
  • Train cowboys to observe normal and abnormal behavior and signs of disease.
  • Be sure any replacement purchases are healthy and have been calfhood vaccinated for brucellosis.
  • September or October is a good time to deworm the cow herd if internal parasites are a problem.
  • When replacement heifers are weaned, give them required vaccinations and teach them to eat - then put them on a good nutrition program.
  • Determine bull replacement needs, develop selection criteria, and start checking availability of quality animals.
  • Review winter feed supply and feeding plans so that needed adjustments can be made before supplies tighten and prices rise.

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October

  • Plant cool season legumes.
  • Plant small grain pastures.
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Check for external parasites, especially lice, and treat if needed.
  • Check for spittlebugs and grass loopers and treat, if needed.
  • Watch condition of cow herd; maintain adequate nutrition.
  • Isolate any additions to the herd for 30 to 60 days and observe for signs of disease; retest for brucellosis and leptospirosis.
  • Be sure you have adequate handling facilities, and they are in good working order.

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November

  • Have soils tested.
  • Observe cows daily to detect calving difficulty.
  • Use mineral with high level of magnesium if grass tetany has been a problem in the past.
  • Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
  • Maintain adequate nutrient level for cow herd.
  • Calve in well-drained pastures.
  • Survey pastures for poisonous plants.
  • Start summarizing your annual records, both production and financial - then you will have time to make adjustments for tax purposes.
  • Re-evaluate winter feeding program and feed supplies.

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December

  • Begin grazing small grain pastures (if ready).
  • Check mineral feeder.
  • Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
  • Deworm cows and heifers prior to winter feeding season.
  • Observe regularly for calving difficulties.
  • Rotate calving pastures to prevent diseases.
  • Watch for scours in calves.
  • Investigate health of bulls before you buy.
  • Have dead animals posted by a veterinarian or diagnostic laboratory.
  • Complete review of management plan and update for next year.
  • Check replacement heifers to be sure they will be ready to breed 3-4 weeks prior to the main cow herd.

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