Tom Troxel, PhD, University of Arkansas, offers these management tips for spring-calving beef herds:

Tips for spring calving herds:

  • Prepare for upcoming calving 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.
    • 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.
  • 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: 
  • Plan Bull Purchases
  • Keep Calving Records
    • Calving records are an important part of your operation.  Without them, determining herd productivity is difficult.  At the minimum keep track of cow id, calf id and calf birth date.  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