Weaning is one of the more stressful times for calves. Managing weaning stress is a major factor that determines when many producers market their calf crop. Weaning stress is a combination of nutritional and social changes forced upon the calf. Avoiding the risk of health problems at weaning is one reason some producers choose to wean on the trailer as the calves go to the sale barn.
I have been traveling a fair bit the last couple of months and participated in a number of activities and conferences that have discussed the future of beef production and the overall Beef Industry. Some of the topics have been more related to the near future and others a much more distant future, maybe not even in my life time. We all deal with change every day and realize that it’s outcomes can be viewed as positive, negative or pretty neutral.
I once heard a salesman that fully understood the benefits of using CRYSTALYX® Brigade® on weaned, stressed calves, say, “There are only two things wrong with Brigade®… #1. It does not cost enough and. #2. It is too easy. I’ll likely never forget that statement, as it has a lot of truth in it, and it provides insight in to human nature. Many times we have an internal, or gut feeling that if something is easy – then it may not be the best solution. Same goes for the cost of something; generally, the more you spend the better product or response you get.
It is easy to discount cow nutrition during early pregnancy since 75% of fetal growth occurs during the last 2 months of gestation. Oftentimes, producers tend to supplement heavily in preparation for breeding but then slack off and wait until the last half of pregnancy to focus on supplementation again. However, maternal nutrition during early pregnancy is much more important than you think. As we head into Fall breeding here is some food for thought…