Spring-calving cow herd
· Dry cows in good condition can utilize crop residues and lower quality hay now (but don’t let them lose any more body condition). Save higher quality feed until calving time. Keep a good mineral supplement with vitamin A available.
· This has been a good year for fall pasture growth. Extend grazing for as long as possible to decrease the amount of stored feed needed.
· Evaluate body condition of cows. Sort thin (less than CS5) cows away from the cow herd and feed to improve their condition. Two and three-year olds may need extra attention now. These cattle can use the extra grass that has accumulated in this exceptional growing season.
· Culling decisions should be made prior to winter feeding for best use of feed resources. Consider open, poor-producing and aged cows as candidates for culling.
· A post weaning feeding period will allow you to put rapid, economical gains on weaned calves, keep them through the fall “runs” and allow you to participate in Kentucky CPH-45 sales.
Consider this health and marketing program which is designed for producers which are doing a good job of producing high quality feeder calves.
· Replacement heifers require attention during the winter, too. Weaned heifer calves should gain at an adequate rate to attain their “target” breeding weight (2/3 of their mature weight) by May 1.
· If you need to replace cows, consider buying bred heifers in some of the Kentucky Certified Replacement Heifer sales which are being held across the state this month.
Cows that have calved need to go to the best pastures now! Help them maintain body condition prior to breeding in December.
Continue to watch fall-calving cows. Catch up on processing of calves including identification, castration and vaccinations.
Vaccinate the cows while they are open and prior to the breeding season. Move cows to accumulated pasture or increase feed now.
Start the breeding season in late November or early December for calving to begin in September of 2017.
If you are using AI and/or estrous synchronization, get your supplies together now. Don’t forget Breeding Soundness Evaluations (BSE) on your bulls. Make final selection of replacement heifers now.
For more information, contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; visit the office or email DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.