Cow-Calf Management Tips
Tips to think about:
- Don’t forget to make the main thing, the main thing. Your cows produce a calf and that calf is what you market to make money. You need to keep your costs below your break-even to stay in business.
- Evaluate your beef management strategy annually and incorporate new ideas when they make sense, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure, UF/IFAS Extension Agents are here to help.
- When developing replacement heifers, they must
- Conceive early in the breeding season
- Calve early in the calving season
- Provide adequate milk (good mothers)
- Rebreed on time with mature cow herd
- Develop a professional relationship with a Large Animal Veterinarian and have them evaluate your herd health program to find out if you are protected against unwanted diseases. By having this working relationship there may be a better chance they’ll answer the phone when you call afterhours if they know your operation.
- Using reproductive technologies such as estrus synchronization, artificial insemination, and embryo transfer can be one of the quickest ways to improve your herd’s genetics.
- If you use artificial insemination, remember that your clean-up bull(s) may breed half of your herd, make sure you are happy with their genetics.
- Sorry bulls cost the same to feed as Good bulls. Only keep good bulls.
- Having all bulls (including clean-up bulls) evaluated for a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) prior to the breeding season is a great way to prevent problems before they occur.
- Check the pregnancy status of your cows and heifers 45 – 60 days after your breeding season is over and cull accordingly. Yearly maintenance cost per cow in the Southeastern United States can range from $500 to $650 per year. If they are not producing a calf, they are costing you money.
- After calving, cows and heifers have the highest nutritional requirement in your herd; adjust their nutrition accordingly.