Veterinary Care to Maximize Cattle Production

Sullivan Veterinary Clinic understands that caring for your beef cattle herd can be both rewarding and challenging. Our support for cattle ranchers focuses on quality customer service, including herd management, wellness care, surgery, reproductive services, farm calls, and after-hours emergency care. We also perform cosmetic surgical procedures, such as de-horning bulls.

Your successful beef operation depends upon a healthy, thriving, productive herd, and we work with you to support your production goals. In addition, we assist our large animal clients by offering resources for accessing current knowledge about herd management and advanced veterinary practices.

This section contains some basic information about setting up a cattle operation.

Shelter and Equipment

While cattle require minimum shelter, weaned calves and cows calving need at least an open shed. You may need chutes for efficient maintenance and care, used when worming, dehorning, palpitating, or vaccinating. Chute size and style will vary based on your needs and financial plan.

Proper feeding and watering equipment is a must. You may need feed troughs for specific feed and supplements and you will always need an adequate, reliable water source.


Cattle require a balance of protein, energy, water, minerals, and vitamins for optimal health and production, called a ration. Feed is separated into two classes:

  1. Roughages—Feeds high in fiber and low in total digestible nutrients, such as grazable pasture, alfalfa, grass hay, and straws.
  2. Concentrates—Feeds low in fiber and high in digestible nutrients, such as grains, cottonseed meal, wheat bran, and soybean meal.

In general, pasture rotation, hay, and concentrates will depend upon your specific operation.

Wellness Care and Herd Management

Veterinary wellness care and planning is the easiest and cheapest method of disease and parasite control. We recommend the following simple steps to begin your wellness care regime:

  • Dehorn calves of horned breeds—Removing horns is safer for you, the animal, and the other animals in your herd.
  • Castrate male calves—Castration is necessary to produce beef that meets American market requirements.
  • Wean calves—Separating calves completely from their mothers promotes a cessation of milk production in cows and restores the heat cycle.
  • Vaccinations—Creating a vaccination schedule that meets the needs of your herd will prevent costly disease and promote healthy reproduction.

In this part of the country, Sullivan Veterinary Clinic generally recommends the following:


  • 8-Way clostridial vaccine at 3-6 months of age, with a booster in 3-4 weeks
  • Vira Shield 6 + VL5 at 3-6 months with a booster in 3-4 weeks

Adult Cows and Bulls:

  • 8-Way clostridial vaccine annually
  • Vira Shield 6 + VL5 annually


  • Foot rot vaccine and anaplasmosis vaccine, both given annually


Browse the Colorado State Extension web page regarding the basics of livestock management.

North Carolina State University Extension has many interesting articles on animal agriculture and animal husbandry.

Store Accessories Store Accessories

Our in-house retail area carries a variety of products, tools, and accessories for the convenience of our Sullivan Veterinary Clinic customers. View our retail area for product information and ordering options, and enjoy the ease of our online shopping service.

Rx Refills Rx Refills

Convenient veterinary prescriptions, refills from our full-service pharmacy, and a variety of payment options—Sullivan Veterinary Clinic has pharmaceutical services to meet the needs of every large or small animal owner. Learn more about accessing our veterinary pharmacy.

“Dr. Sullivan, Thanks so much for your kindness and understanding with me and my horse Buddy. You and your staff made it easy for me to let him go. I don’t understand a lot about EPM but Buddy’s last few days were hard, watching him go down so fast. I pray one day there will be a cure or vaccine for this. Again, thank you and your staff. We were blessed to have you as our vet. God Bless You All!”~ submitted by Sullivan clients David and Sue Trichelle