The 4th Quarter of cattle management is upon you. Fall working is one of the cattle producers best opportunities to make decisions that affect herd health and profit or loss. This is a good chance to go “hands on” with every cow and to plan for a favorable breeding and calving season. Get the play-by-play for your herd to finish the season strong!
Fall Cattle Management Checklist:
The first step to winning any football game is to ensure your players are healthy and able to perform at the top of their game. The same applies to cattle. Studies indicate that parasite loads can reduce an animal’s ability to produce a strong immune response to antigens in Fall vaccination. A healthy immune system is necessary for vaccines to be effective. Parasites can hinder that process.
To maximize nutrition as grasses begin to deplete and feeding programs begin, cattle should be dewormed for optimum feed conversion. Likewise, football players should boost their immune system for optimum touchdown conversions.
- Dectomax Pour-On Wormer provides the convenience of a pour-on and kills more species and stages of parasite than any other dewormer.
- Valbazen Broad Spectrum Dewormer aids in the removal and control of liver flukes in addition to internal and external parasites. Heavy rain and flooding along the Gulf Coast where liver flukes are common has increased the need to consider using Valbazen for liver fluke control. Valbazen is currently the only option for fluke control available at this time.
For more cattle dewormers (wormers), Click Here.
Ear Tags, Weaned Calves
Record keeping is one of the most important aspects of football and calving season. Any sort of record begins with a roster. Can you imagine watching a football game where the players had no numbers or names on their jerseys? It would be impossible for the coach to measure players performance. The same holds true for identifying calves and cattle.
Ear tags are used to individually identify cattle within a herd and are necessary for making cattle management decisions. Ear tags allow you to match mother cows to baby calves, can aid in determining how old a cow is or note which animals you need to treat for sickness. It’s not uncommon to keep a list of ear tag numbers to “look at closely” when you go through your freshly weaned calves.
- Allflex Global Large Ear Tags (3″ x 2 1/4″) come in packages of 25 consecutively numbered tags with matching-color studs. They are available in blue, white, red, orange, yellow and green. Other numbers and colors are available by special order. The Large tag works best for calves and smaller livestock and may be considered too small for cows and bulls.
- Allflex Global Maxi Ear Tags (4″ x 3″) come in packages of 25 consecutively numbered tags with matching-color studs. They are available in blue, white, red, orange, yellow and green. Other numbers and colors are available by special order. The Maxi tag works best for cows and bulls.
- Allflex Global Super Maxi Ear Tags (4 5/8″ x 3″) come in packages of 25 consecutively numbered tags with matching-color studs. They are available in blue, white, red, orange, yellow and green. Other numbers and colors are available by special order. The Super Maxi tags are most appropriate for mature cattle and provide the most area so details are as big as possible.
- For the DIY Cattleman, go with the option of blank ear tags and a marking pen to write the dam’s number on the tags yourself.
- Blank Allflex Global Large Ear Tags (3″ x 2 1/4″)
- Blank Allflex Global Maxi Ear Tags (4″ x 3″)
- Blank Allflex Global Super Maxi Ear Tags (4 5/8″ x 3″)
- Allflex 2-N-1 Ear Tag Pen is designed with two marking tips (fine & broad) and specially formulated for use on Allflex ear tags. you can write the dam’s number on the blank ear tags yourself in a fade resistant, black ink.
- Allflex Universal Total Tagger Ear Tag Applicator is excellent for tagging calves, cows, bulls, sheep & goats. It is the preferred tagger for use in open pastures. The deep jaw makes proper placement easier and the grip is designed to ease hand fatigue from repeated use. It comes with loading pin and replacement pin. Allflex Universal Total Tagger fits Allflex Global and EID tags.
- Allflex Retract-O-Matic Ear Tag Applicator is excellent for tagging cows, bulls, or any animals coming through the chute and is designed to tag from the back of the ear. The automatic applicator retracts the pin out of the ear before the animal can react. It comes with loading pin and replacement pin. Allflex Retract-O-Matic Ear Tag Applicator fits Allflex Global and Agritags.
For more cattle ear tags and identification products, Click Here.
Band & Castration
Castration is considered to be a necessary cattle management practice for many reasons, including: cessation of the production of male hormones, prevention of mating genetically inferior livestock, to decrease aggression for enhanced on-farm safety for handlers and animals, to decrease costs of managing bulls (larger, stronger facilities), to avoid price discounts from feedlots and meat packers, and to produce meat with a quality acceptable to consumers (higher grade, more marbling,more consistent).
Instituting an early castration program will minimize the pain, stress and complications that go along with this procedure and improve the welfare of your animals.
- California Bander is a simple and easy-to-use tool for band castration.
- Jeffers Band Castrator has an aluminum construction and can be used for calves, goats and lambs without blood loss, shock or open wounds.
- Jeffers Castrator Bands are cost-effective rubber rings for use with band castrators. They are quick and easy to apply.
- Tetanus Toxoid vaccination is highly recommended before castration. Tetanus Toxoid stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to tetanus and gives residual protection for a period after banding, specifically around the time when infection is a threat.
For more cattle band and castration products, Click Here.
As the fictional football wide receiver, Rod Tidwell, famously said in the movie Jerry Maguire, “Show me the money!” Implanting nursing calves with growth-promoting implants is one of the most economically justifiable cattle management practices available in the beef industry. Implants have been shown to increase weaning weights of nursing calves in hundreds of research trials. Stocker and feedlot calves exhibit even greater responses than nursing calves. Implanting returns more revenue per dollar invested than any other cattle management practice.
- Ralgro Implants increase weight gain and improve feed conversion of weaned beef calves, growing beef cattle, feedlot steers, and feedlot heifers. Ralgro also increases the rate of weight gain in suckling calves. Each dose contains 36 mg of zeranol.
- Synovex C Implants helps increase daily gain and feed efficiency in suckling beef steers or replacement heifers 56 days of age to 400 lbs of body weight. Each dose contains 100 mg of progesterone and 10 mg of estradiol benzoate.
- Synovex H Implants helps increase daily gain and feed efficiency in heifers weighing 400 lbs or more. Each dose contains 200 mg of testosterone and 20 mg of estradiol.
- Synovex S Implants helps increase daily gain and feed efficiency in steers weighing 400 lbs or more. Each dose contains 200 mg of progesterone and 20 mg of estradiol.
For more cattle implants, Click Here.
Inspect Fencing & Pasture Land
Regular maintenance for farm fences is a must to keep them in service and to reduce associated expenses with fence repair. Repair or replace anchor post assemblies whenever they show signs of weakness. Refasten loose wires to posts and splice broken wires when necessary. Wire fences naturally loosen over time and with temperature changes which makes Fall a perfect time to check that they are at the proper tension. Also check the tighteners. Keep weeds and brush cleared from the fence line, especially on electric fences. Here are some fencing accessories to keep in your cattle management playbook for Fall maintenance:
- Never-Rust Aluminum Electric Fence Wire is made from a high-grade alloy that is highly visible to livestock and humans. Easy to re-spool and ideal for controlled grazing.
- Gallagher In-Line Strainer operates with a cliplock action to easily tighten fences.
- Multi-Post Pinlock Insulator is a durable and flexible insulator that can securely snap on metal T-posts, can be nailed to wooden posts, or screwed to vinyl posts.
- Step-In Posts are ideal for temporary electric fencing such as controlled grazing & pasture management.
- Eight Light Voltage Tester indicates voltage produced on a fence line or by a fence controller.
Pasture land should be inspected in the Fall and a rotation plan should be made if livestock are overgrazing in certain areas. When the plants are grazed too short or down to bare earth, damage is done to the plant allowing weeds to gain a foothold. Weeds reduce the production of your pasture and may even harm your livestock.
For more cattle fencing and fence accessories, Click Here.
Jeffers recommends that you discuss your herd’s vaccination program for your operation and geographical area with your veterinarian. Vaccination is an effective tool to help reduce the incidence of disease and economic loss in your cow herd.
Cows and Bulls should receive protection by vaccination from the following viral diseases:
- Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR)
- Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVD & BVDV) Type 1 & 2
- Parainfluenza 3 (PI3)
- Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV)
In addition to the viral diseases, attention should be given to breeding and pregnancy protection. Choose a vaccine that also protects from Campylobacter Fetus (Vibriosis) and Leptospirosis including Lepto Hardjo-Bovis (LHB). For cows that are pregnant consider an all killed vaccine which is safe for pregnant cows as well as calves nursing pregnant cows. Replacement heiffers may be vaccinated with the same regimen as the brood cow. A number of vaccines are available from Jeffers that meet the above criteria, such as:
- Triangle 10 For vaccination of healthy cattle as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by infectious IBR, BVD (types 1 & 2), PI3, and BRSV viruses, Leptospira pomona, L. hardjo, L. grippotyphosa, L. canicola, and L. icterohaemorrhagiae.
- Vira Shield 6 + L5HB For use in healthy cattle, including pregnant cows and heifers, as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by infectious IBR, BVD (Type 1 and Type 2), PI3, and BRSV viruses and Leptospira canicola, grippotyphosa, hardjo-bovis, icterohaemorrhagiae, and pomona. For use in calves vaccinated at four weeks of age, or older, as an aid in the prevention of hardjo-bovis kidney colonization, and as an aid in preventing urinary shedding and reproductive tract infection for 12 months. Produced from non-cytopathic (BVD Type 1 and BVD Type 2) and cytopathic (BVD Type 1) isolates. Vaccinated animals subsequently exposed to L. borgpetersenii serovar hardjo (type hardjo-bovis) have been shown to clear renal infections within 8 weeks of exposure.
- Master Guard 10 HB contains BVD Type I and BVD Type II and is recommended for the vaccination of healthy dairy and beef cattle 5 months of age or older, including pregnant cows, as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by infectious IBR, BVD (Type 1 and 2), PI3, BRSV and as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar hardjo-bovis and Leptospira canicola-grippotyphosa-hardjo-icterohaemorrhagiae-pomona.
Calves born in the spring that are up for weaning (3 months of age or older) can be protected from viral infection with these vaccinations:
- Triangle 5 For vaccination of healthy cattle of any age as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by infectious IBR, BVD (types 1 & 2), PI3, and BRSV viruses.
- Vira Shield 6 For use in healthy cattle, including pregnant cows and heifers, as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by IBR, BVD (Type 1 and 2), PI3, and BRSV viruses.
- CattleMaster Gold FP 5 For vaccination of healthy cattle, including pregnant cows, as an aid in preventing abortion caused by IBR (bovine herpesvirus Type 1), persistently infected calves caused by BVD (Types 1 and 2), and respiratory disease caused by IBR, BVD (Types 1 and 2), PI3, and BRSV.
A “must do” for calves 3 months of age or older is to vaccinate with a 7 or 8 way clostridial. Consider using these vaccines:
- Covexin 8 For the vaccination of healthy cattle and sheep as an aid in the prevention of diseases caused by Clostridium chauvoei, C. septicum, C. novyi Type B, C. haemolyticum (known also as C. novyi Type D), C. tetani and C. perfringens Types C and D. Immunity is also provided as an aid in the prevention of diseases caused by the beta and epsilon toxins of an additional organism, C. perfringens Type B. Although C. perfringens Type B is not a significant problem in North America (US), immunity is derived from a combination of Type C (beta) and Type D (epsilon) C. perfringens fractions.
- Cavalry 9 For the vaccination of healthy cattle 3 months of age or older as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by Clostridium tetani, C. chauvoei, C. septicum, C. novyi Type B, C. haemolyticum, C. sordellii, and C. perfringens Types C & D. Immunity is also provided as an aid in the prevention of diseases caused by the beta and epsilon toxins of an additional organism, C. perfringens Type B. Although C. perfringens Type B is not a significant problem in North America (US), immunity is derived from a combination of Type C (beta) and Type D (epsilon) C. perfringens fractions.
- One Shot Ultra 8 For vaccination of healthy cattle as an aid in preventing blackleg caused by Clostridium chauvoei; malignant edema caused by Cl. septicum; bacillary hemoglobinuria caused by Cl. haemolyticum; black disease caused by Cl. novyi; gas-gangrene caused by Cl. sordellii; enterotoxemia and enteritis caused by Cl. perfringens types B, C, and D; and bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis caused by Pasteurella haemolytica type A1. Although Cl. perfringens type B is not a significant problem in North America, immunity is provided by the beta toxoid of type C and the epsilon toxoid of type D.
Cows may be vaccinated as well to boost the antibodies in the cows colostrum and in turn offer protection to the calf for the first few months of life.
Like the proper use of any tool, vaccination is subject to proper timing, proper route of administration, correct dosage and type of vaccine. Beef Quality Assurance Guidelines should always be followed when administering vaccines, meds, or dewormers.
For more cattle vaccinations, Click Here.
The key to winning any football season and calving season for that matter, is proper preparation and planning, strength and conditioning of your players, hard work, dedication and determination. You’ve got your 4th Quarter Touchdown Checklist for cattle management, the leaves are changing colors, and a cool breeze is beginning to blow. Whether you’re a coach or a cattleman, NOW is the time to go out on that field, put some W’s on the board and finish this season STRONG! 1-2-3 Break!
If you have more questions about calves, calving, vaccines, or livestock, feel free to contact our Livestock Product Specialist, JR Miles. He can be reached Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm CST at 1-800-533-3377 x 376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information given here is meant to be helpful and educational. It is in no way intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.