Question i had some questions about beefmaster cattle or just cattle in general. we have cows calving now. so i need to know is there any meds or vacc i need to give to the cow or the calf, and when should i vacc the calf and what should i vacc the calf with. also if i'm keeping the calves as replacement heifers should i wean them off and if so when should i do it and do i need to give them special feed. thank you so much. GOD Bless
Answer Your best bet is to see your large animal veterinarian. It's too late to vaccinate your cows now, but for your calves you will have to prepare for giving shots for things like lepto, BVD, BRSV11 and 2, IBR, PI3, clostridial diseases (9-way is best), scours vacc. (esp. E.coli), and other vaccinations for anything else that is prevalent in your area. You may want to keep some electrolytes and milk replacer and colostrum on hand in case you have a calf that is not doing well or goes under with scours or some illness that is giving it scours.
For replacement heifers, yes definitely wean them off, but wean them the same time you are going to pull off the bull or steer calves. Best time to wean is when the calves are around six or eight months of age--whatever time is best to hit the markets or when you want to do pre-weaning or preconditioning the steer calves before you sell them off to some stocker buyers. Since they're calving now (late May to early/mid June), wean them at the end of the year or in February, depending on how big they get and how much they start pulling down their mothers (body-condition-wise). I don't know what you intend to do with the steer calves once they're weaned, whether, as I assumed, you will sell them soon after or keep them for a few more months to background them, but with the heifers, they don't really need to be fed anything special other than some higher quality feed or the same feed you would feed the steer calves if you kept them to background them for a while. Avoid feed that is too high in energy because you don't need them to get fat (too much energy could compromise their reproductive system and mammary development), but feed them feed that is higher in protein to help them grow. You will need to visit your local feed store to find what feeds are best to feed those heifers besides the usual hay and grass that they should get as a main source all their time.
Forage-Beef Extension Specialist. Knowledge in almost everything to do with beef and dairy cattle. Strong points include forage production, pasture and rangeland management, grazing management, breeding/calving/weaning, cattle genetics, breeds, feeding and nutrition, starting-up, and most physiological questions. I AM NOT A BOVINE VETERINARIAN; so please any questions that concern serious health of your cattle must be taken to your local large animal veterinarian.
Part of a farm family that bought, raised, and sold stocker/backgrounder steers; assisted with health management, handling, feeding, pasture management, and forage production. Also worked at local mixed-practice veterinary clinic. Experience with cattle included breeding soundness exams on bulls, castration, fixing prolapses, preg-checking, C-sections, calf pulling, vaccinations, etc. Worked at a local farm and ranch supply store selling medications and feed for livestock. Research assistant for the University of Alberta with range health assessments, and helping with various rangeland research projects. Always learning and gaining more experience as time goes on.
Publications Alberta Farm Express
Agri-News and Call of the Land (Alberta Agriculture)
Education/Credentials BSc in Agriculture (Animal Science Major) @ University of Alberta, June 2015 graduate, but started studies in 2005. An Sci degree allowed me to specialize and gain significant knowledge in beef & dairy cattle production,animal behaviour and reproduction, ruminant nutrition, forage production/management, rangeland and pasture management & ecology, and plant identification.
Past/Present Clients Various eef and forage producers in Alberta, CAN