First page of toolkit

BQA Cattle Care Tool Kit


September 25, 2023 - Beef Quality Assurance and Beef Checkoff

Recommended Record Keeping Topics and Tools (Not All-Inclusive)

  • Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) - Essential to establishing and maintaining care for your animals.
  • Veterinary emergency number in cell phone/tool box/on fridge.
  • Common disease prevention and treatment protocols (Developed with your herd veterinarian).
  • Equipment (Catch pen and functional chute, head catch, halter, sorting stick, pliers, tags, refrigerator, others)
  • Calving book (Record breeding dates and due dates with associated sire) or computer program.
  • BQA Daily Biosecurity Plan for Disease Prevention - Understand what disease risks you can control and improve.
  • Premises Identification Number (PIN) application for EID tags and USDA Program testing such as for Tuberculosis or Brucellosis.

Basic Medical Supplies

  • Thermometer for large animals
  • Pen light or Flashlight with batteries
  • Stethoscope (for checking heart rate)
  • Exam gloves (Latex or nitrile)
  • Obstetric (OB) sleeves
  • OB lubricant for calving (Talk to your veterinarian about types)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Hypodermic needles of various sizes (See BQA Field Guide page 17)
  • Syringes (1, 3, 6, 12, 20, 35 mL sizes)
  • Bandage scissors (Don’t get wimpy ones!)
  • Weight tape or scale weight
  • Duct tape
  • Balling gun - calf size and adult size (Have vet train to give pills or boluses)
  • Ear tagger and tags
  • Tag pen
  • Tag cutter
  • Soap for first step in cleaning (such as wounds or vulva for dystocia)
  • Disinfectant rinse
    • Betadine solution: mix 5 mL per liter (20 mL per gallon) water or saline
    • Chlorhexidine solution: mix 2 oz (60 mL) per gallon water
  • Functional refrigerator, fridge thermometer, and dedicated storage for animal health products


  • If a calving cow or heifer has been actively trying to calve and has shown no progress in 30 minutes, you need to call a veterinarian for assistance.
  • Tip: If nose and feet are not visible and cow or heifer is straining, call your vet!
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Obstetrical chains and handles OR straps
  • Clean towels
  • Esophageal feeder (at least 2 - one for colostrum, one for sick calves)
    • Have vet teach you when this is needed and proper technique to prevent injuring the calf!!
  • Large trash bags
  • Heat lamp
  • Calf blanket or Large dog coat
  • Waterproof coveralls or apron
  • Old T-shirts or sweaters (for rags or drying)
  • Navel dip (such as Iodine or Chlorhexidine solution)
  • Colostrum replacement (contains more than 100 g of immunoglobulins or IgG)
    • Your veterinarian will guide you on how to use
  • Electrolytes - Talk with your veterinarian on specific products
  • Pain medication for cattle will be specific to your operation - work with your vet

Bandaging Materials

  • Roll gauze
  • Self-adhesive, flexible wrap (VetWrap or similar)
  • Elastic adhesive tape
  • White tape
  • Ace bandages (3 inch and 6 inch)
  • Roll cotton
  • Flexible ice packs
  • Non-stick wound pads (Telfa or similar)
  • Gauze 4x4 pads
  • AluSpray (Aerosol bandage)
  • Catron Fly Spray

Veterinarian Recommendations

  • Work with your veterinarian for your herd’s specific needs.
  • The following product recommendations will vary based on region, cattle risk, and cattle age or type: Vaccines, vitamin/ mineral supplements, dewormers, pain medication, antibiotics, and performance enhancing products.

Basic Injection Guidelines

  • Give injections in neck, in front of slope of shoulder
  • Use proper needle size
  • Deliver subcutaneous (SQ) when possible, using less than 15 cc per site or as indicated on label
  • Never administer more than 10 cc per IM injection site
  • Space injections at least 4” (hands width) apart on neck, utilize other side of neck
  • Always follow label instructions including proper dosage, route, and withdrawal times

The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for professional advice from a veterinarian. No veterinarian-client-patient relationship is created by using this list. Consult your herd veterinarian for more information.


Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at