Managing (culling) your herd


Having experienced such a dry hot summer, we will give you a few suggestion about managing your cattle herd this winter. We know that feeding costs for this winter will be more than we have experienced in the past few years.

As fall approaches, most cow-calf operations are weaning, vaccinating and sorting cattle. This is the perfect time to decide which animals should stay in the herd and which cows will be sold off. There are several decisions to be made to determine which animals need to go to town.

The first criteria to consider is reproduction. If a cow is not pregnant at the time of weaning, then that cow should not be kept in the herd. Any cow that fails to calf every 365 days should be culled. The only decision to make is when to sell her.

Then there are those cows that do not have good mothering abilities and therefore do not raise good calves. We also need to evaluate their dispositions. Crazy cows can effect the attitude of the herd around them. When you have the chance to get her into a trailer, ship her.

At culling time cows should be examined for physical problems that interfere with a cow's production potential. Lameness, bad udders, and blindness are just a few of these problems. Cow age is also an important consideration. Badly worn and missing teeth can reduce her production and even her ability to survive. Longevity is a cow is a desirable trait, but consider culling her wile she still has acceptable salvage value.

Since slaughter prices on cattle have stayed relatively high, and because it cost more to feed a cow than a calf, it might be a season to to decide to cull the cows more closely and keep some of the calves back to grow to a heavier weight.


New Vaccine Available

image hereINFORCE 3 is a new intranasal vaccine to help protect high risk calves from respiratory pneumonia. It contains temperature-sensitive IBR and PI3 strain, as well as naturally temperature-sensitive BRSV. Because they are temperature-sensitive they can only grow in the relatively cool nasal passages.Like TSV2 it contains IBR and PI3 strains, but INFORCE 3 has the addition of BRSV. The BRSV fraction has proven to be far superior to the traditional IM or SQ route of administration. The product has proven to be very safe and can be given to calves as newborns. In my opinion the new vaccine will be the most beneficial when used in high stress stocker calves as part of a comprehensive receiving program.