Fall is an important time in the management of beef cows. Valuable management can include pregnancy exams, vaccinations, deworming and delousing. Pregnancy exams done in the fall can determine whether or not a cow is bred. Early determination of open cows can have a positive economic impact. Typically beef cows are not culled until the spring when they do not produce a calf. Because an average cow will eat approximately $400 worth of hay throughout the winter, it is cost effective to have infertile cows leave the herd in the fall. This can also improve the fertility of the herd as fertility is a heritable trait. Pregnancy exams can also give valuable information to determine the stage of pregnancy, the sex of the calf, and whether or not the cow is carrying twins. If the goal is to determine the sex of the calf, pregnancy exams are best done between 55 and 80 days.
The fall is also a great time to get caught up on vaccinating your herd. A killed 10-way vaccine is recommended for pregnant cows. This vaccine will protect against respiratory and reproductive disease. Deworming and delousing are also recommended in the fall. An adequate deworming and delousing protocol can help insure cows maintain their weight over the winter and deliver a nice, healthy calf in the spring.