- Extremely low temperatures and wind can increase energy requirements
20-50%. Increase feed accordingly.
- Monitor body condition score (BCS). Cows in last trimester of
pregnancy should have a body condition score of 3.5-4.0 on a scale
from 1 to 5. Body condition is a reflection of cow herd nutritional
programs and environment.
- If forage quality is low, consider having a sample analyzed
to determine possible supplement needs. Energy, protein, phosphorous,
selenium and vitamin A are nutrients likely to be deficient.
- Be sure cow herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on
body size and stage of production, cattle need 19-42 litres/head/day,
even in the coldest weather.
- Consider weighing replacement heifers to ensure they will reach
70% of their mature weight by breeding season.
- Gather genetic information for the upcoming breeding season
- bull test reports, artificial insemination catalogues - and
order required semen well in advance of breeding season.
- Visit bull test stations; monitor the performance of bulls on
test; speak with breeders - it often pays to shop early.
- Ensure herd bulls are ready for the upcoming breeding season.
Proper pre-breeding nutrition is essential to ensure the bull
has adequate reserves for a successful breeding season.
- Consider having a semen evaluation performed on herd bulls to
prevent surprises come breeding season.
Spring Calving Herds
- If calf-scour vaccine is going to be used, properly time injections.
Consult your veterinarian for whole herd health management.
- Consult your veterinarian in regard to pre- and postpartum vaccination
- Prepare for calving season by assembling supplies (i.e., tags,
selenium and Vitamin A, electrolytes, pharmaceuticals for scours
and respiratory problems and iodine) and equipment (i.e., calving
assistance equipment, oral calf feeder, heat lamps, dehorning
and castrating materials) and by preparing calving facilities.
- Separate lactating and gestating cows.
- Keep calving facilities and calf pens well bedded and dry.
For more information:
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