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Fall: An excellent time to put weight on your cows

Fall can be a very busy time of the year for Cattlemen. Weaning, harvesting and attending to children and grandchildren in school activities are just a few of the opportunities that take up our time as we prepare for Winter. For those of you with spring calving herds, Fall also offers an additional opportunity to put weight on cows – cheaply. 

After weaning, and before the cold temperatures of Winter arrive, cows have a relatively low maintenance energy requirement (compared to Winter or lactation). This means that more of the forage they consume goes into weight gain. Add to this, a CRYSTALYX® protein supplement, and you can put even more weight on those cows ahead of Winter. Most forage grazed in the Fall is mature or dormant. It is not uncommon to increase the digestibility of such forage by 10%, with the addition of a protein supplement. This increased digestibility of the forage will also allow the cow to consume more forage. This double increase (forage digestibility and forage intake) greatly increases the weight gain you can see in your cows this Fall.

With your time at a premium in the Fall, a self-fed supplement like CRYSTALYX® offers you another win-win program. When properly stocked, barrels of CRYSTALYX®should last from 2 to 3 weeks. This greatly minimizes the time (labor) and expense of delivering a supplement.As noted earlier, you likely have other things to attend to. 

With your cow herd well into gestation, you are already investing in your 2012 calf crop every day. Next year’s calves should be as, or even more valuable than this year’s calf crop. Take care of those calves by putting more weight on your cows this Fall. This will give you cows in better condition for calving next spring. Cows in better condition at calving will have healthier calves and breed back quicker. You can do all this right now without investing a lot of time in getting it done.