Adding value to your calves | TSLN.com

Adding value to your calves

Dave Barz, DVM

I do not know if I have ever seen this much rain in June and July. The corn, wheat and beans looked really great until the hail wiped some of them out. The pasture grass looks as good as I’ve ever seen it so we should have plenty of late season grass. The high point of my week was working my first set of calves this year for early weaning. I enjoy seeing the result of my clients’ planning and herd work. Maybe it is a little early but these seedstock breeders are planning an October sale and are weaning in the next few days. Most of you won’t be weaning this soon, but now is the time to plan your fall marketing strategy.

This year the calf market appears to be weaker than previous years. With the adequate grazing conditions you should plan to add value to your claves. If you work your calves early, you can perform procedures which will increase the value of your calves at sale time.

Proper vaccinations will add about five dollars per hundred to your calves. Last year, in our area, the calves with vaccination records were worth more dollars. Most people now precondition their calves so it may appear that everyone gets the premiums. Now some buyers are asking for third party verification of the vaccinations. Utilize your veterinarian to verify procedures you perform.

Treat your claves for internal parasites. We have been finding large populations of parasites in cow herds which have been dewormed with pour-ons. These cows then shed large amounts of eggs onto the lush green pasture. When you process your calves, deworm them to remove the parasites which compete with them for nutrients. Not only will it add pounds to your calves during late season grazing, but it will allow them to respond and develop better immunity from your vaccination program. More pounds and better immunity – a win-win situation.

Late summer is the best time to use growth implants on your calves. Many of you do not implant your calves because the market appears to pay more for non-implanted calves. Be sure and calculate the exact result of not implanting. Your gains will improve and your feed efficiency will add 25 pounds to each weaning calf. This will more than compensate for the non implant premium. Clients who back ground their calves have seen good improvement in gains with late summer implanting followed by a booster implant during the feeding period.

Some of our clients utilize electronic identification tags (EIDs) in their herds. Those who maintained ownership through slaughter received $35 per head premium. Most of our clients feel they get some financial benefit from the EID tag even though they do not retain ownership until slaughter.

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Planning and preparation can add dollars to your calf crop. The use of a good vaccination program, deworming, implanting and EIDs can add value. Visit with your veterinarian or extension specialist to decide which procedures fit best in your herd. Adding dollars and pounds to your calves while promoting better health and immunity will set you apart in the beef industry creating increased demand for your calves in the future.

I do not know if I have ever seen this much rain in June and July. The corn, wheat and beans looked really great until the hail wiped some of them out. The pasture grass looks as good as I’ve ever seen it so we should have plenty of late season grass. The high point of my week was working my first set of calves this year for early weaning. I enjoy seeing the result of my clients’ planning and herd work. Maybe it is a little early but these seedstock breeders are planning an October sale and are weaning in the next few days. Most of you won’t be weaning this soon, but now is the time to plan your fall marketing strategy.

This year the calf market appears to be weaker than previous years. With the adequate grazing conditions you should plan to add value to your claves. If you work your calves early, you can perform procedures which will increase the value of your calves at sale time.

Proper vaccinations will add about five dollars per hundred to your calves. Last year, in our area, the calves with vaccination records were worth more dollars. Most people now precondition their calves so it may appear that everyone gets the premiums. Now some buyers are asking for third party verification of the vaccinations. Utilize your veterinarian to verify procedures you perform.

Treat your claves for internal parasites. We have been finding large populations of parasites in cow herds which have been dewormed with pour-ons. These cows then shed large amounts of eggs onto the lush green pasture. When you process your calves, deworm them to remove the parasites which compete with them for nutrients. Not only will it add pounds to your calves during late season grazing, but it will allow them to respond and develop better immunity from your vaccination program. More pounds and better immunity – a win-win situation.

Late summer is the best time to use growth implants on your calves. Many of you do not implant your calves because the market appears to pay more for non-implanted calves. Be sure and calculate the exact result of not implanting. Your gains will improve and your feed efficiency will add 25 pounds to each weaning calf. This will more than compensate for the non implant premium. Clients who back ground their calves have seen good improvement in gains with late summer implanting followed by a booster implant during the feeding period.

Some of our clients utilize electronic identification tags (EIDs) in their herds. Those who maintained ownership through slaughter received $35 per head premium. Most of our clients feel they get some financial benefit from the EID tag even though they do not retain ownership until slaughter.

Planning and preparation can add dollars to your calf crop. The use of a good vaccination program, deworming, implanting and EIDs can add value. Visit with your veterinarian or extension specialist to decide which procedures fit best in your herd. Adding dollars and pounds to your calves while promoting better health and immunity will set you apart in the beef industry creating increased demand for your calves in the future.

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