If you need to change the body condition of your cows so they will be in the best condition possible for breeding season, now is the time to act. An important activity to do before we get busy with fall harvest is to give your cow a close look. I am not talking about a passing glance, but take the time to critically evaluate each animal; better yet, utilize a trusted advisor such as your feed supplier to body condition score your cows. They have not seen them as often as you nor do they have the “family history” that may bias your scoring. The recent USDA-APHIS survey of Cow Calf Operations indicated that less than 15% of producers use Body Condition Scoring (BCS) as a management tool.
Beef production critical control points and cow supplementation
I recently had the good fortune to attend a company-sponsored conference on Beef Production Critical Control Points. Just the title/topic of this conference would open up a long list of subjects one would expect to learn. Nutritionists, veterinarians, economists, ranchers, feedlot operators and anyone else would come up with a long list or perhaps their own specific list. In fact, many surveys by various organizations and institutions exist with a near endless list of production management categories. (See chart below).
Managing CRYSTALYX in hot weather
CRYSTALYX® low-moisture blocks (LMB) are a popular free-choice supplement that provides consistent low daily intakes that generally deliver less than 1 pound per head, per day for grazing beef cattle. These LMB supplements are manufactured by dehydrating molasses and then blending with dry ingredients to arrive at a specific nutrient profile for grazing livestock. Some formulations feature higher protein guarantees, while others feature a mineral/vitamin supplement depending upon what may be required.
The cow-size debate continues
Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to attend the Joint Annual Meetings for the American Society of Animal Scientists. One of the hot topics was the debate on cow size and management.