The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension offers these suggestions for planning for calving season.
Help your beef producers prepare for calving issues, keep good calving records and get ready for the next breeding season.
Check Calving Supplies
- Make sure OB chains, calf puller, lubricant (do not use soap), and disinfectants are handy.
Watch for reproductive prolapse
- Occasionally, beef cattle develop problems with prolapses near the time of calving. There are two distinct types of prolapses occur in the reproductive tract of cattle: vaginal or uterine.
- See these Extension Fact Sheets for more information: Reproductive Prolapses of Cattle FSA No. 3102
Learn the signs of calving distress
- Approximately 3% of all beef calves born in the U.S. will be lost due to calving difficulty. Several factors can play a role in causing calving difficulty including heavy birth weights, abnormal fetal position, limited pelvic area and the female's age.
- See these Extension Fact Sheets for more information: Addressing Calving Difficulty FSA No. 3105
Check Body Condition
- Cattle that are in the correct body condition at calving stand a much better chance at rebreeding. Monitor body condition scores often and make changes in cattle diets to keep them in an optimum condition.
- See these Extension Fact Sheets for more information: Feeding Beef Cows Based on Body Condition Scores - MP-373
Plan Bull Purchases
- Many producers spend many hours in the process of purchasing a bull. It's a big decision - one that can impact their herd for many years beyond the expected usefulness of the bull due to his daughters remaining in production. It pays to have your producers do some homework on determining what kind of bull they need prior to purchase.
- See these UA Extension Fact Sheets for more information
- Beef Sire Selection - FSA-3075
- Bull Purchasing and Management - FSA-3072
- Crossbreeding Systems for Small Beef Herds - FSA-3055
- Understanding and Using Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) - FSA-3068
Keep Calving Records
- Calving records are an important part of a beef operation. Without them, determining herd productivity is difficult. At the minimum keep track of cow ID, calf ID and calf birth date. If in Arkansas, contact your county extension office to order the Arkansas Herd Inventory Program Field Record Book (MP421).
- See these UA Extension Fact Sheets for more information: Computerized Herd Management Software for Cow-Calf Producers - FSA-3108