FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Beef Cow Herd Protocols
“Simplicity is the key to compliance.”  Keep it simple and practical.

I trust all you cow herd owners have a good set of corrals and chutes by now. Thanks to the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement program; good facilities make working cattle so much easier and safer.

Vaccination, breeding and management protocols all run together. In our practice we have severed beef cow herds on the protocols that follow, we have tweaked on them for 25-30 years and they work pretty good.

Spring Calving Herd 
Turn bulls in with cows on May 5 for 75 days. Calving starts on about February 15. By the last week of April most all cows have calved and the calves are big enough not to be trampled at roundup! Get them up and separate the cows from calves, it works well to turn the cows out of the calves, then run the calves through the chute.

All calves get the same shots from 1 day old to the oldest.

  1. 7 Way Clostridial/ Blackleg
  2. 5 Way Modified Live IBR
  3. Pasteurilla (can be brought in contribution with blackleg or IBR or given separately.)
  4. Cut bull calves with a blade. No bands = too many mistakes.
  5. Number tag calves helps with records. A. If he’s tagged, he’s vaccinated! B. If you see number ? out on the pasture and he is behind in weight and performance, find his mother and make a note to cull her.

If you have a few cows that have not calved yet on working day, cut them out into the front lot and work them and their new calves later. Cows that have already calved get

  1. Modified Live IBR + Lepto
  2. Deworm (I like injectable wormer.)
  3. Multimin, Vitamin Mineral shot helps conception.
  4. Make sure cows have number tags you can read.

Bulls too all above.
About 30 days before sale/weaning day, gather the herd.


  1. Booster- 5 Way IBR Modified Live
  2. Booster- Pasturella
  3. Booster-7 Way Blackleg
  4. Deworm if necessary
  5. Fly control as needed

Cows-good time to spray or pour if flies are bad.

Fall Round Up!! Payday!!
Option 1-Sell
Be sure and tell buyers about your double vaccination program.

Option 2– Wean

  1. Repeat 5 Way Modified Live IBR
  2. Repeat Pasteurella
  3. Repeat 7 Way Blackleg
  4. Deworm Fly control as needed
  5. Vitamin shot
  • If calves did not get this 30 days prior to weaning, booster wean calves in 3-4 weeks post weaning with Modified Live IBR, 7 Way Blackleg, and Pasteurella.

“Don’t winter junk.”

Fix a catch and pass system out of the chute.
Pass means she’s good.

  1. Produced a good calf.
  2. Pregnant- call the vet.
  3. Good feet, teeth, udder, and good disposition.

“Life is too short to keep a mean cow.” Vaccinate only the good ones, sell the rest!

  1. Killed IBR Lepto Combo.
  2. Scours prevention shot: E Coli + Clostridium Prefrigens Type C
  3. Deworm
  4. Vitamin Shot
  5. Check ear tags

Fall Calving Herd
Turn bulls in around December 5. Calves born September 15. November 15-30 work herd just like Spring herd. 30 days prior to sale/weaning get herd up follow same protocol as spring herd. On wean/sale day do the same spring protocol.

These are the same protocols I presented recently to the 2013 Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association convention at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Until Later,

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