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Importance of cow nutrition in a spring calving herd

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The below excerpt was taken from a recent episode of the CRYSTALYX® Block Talk Podcast with Nutritionist; Jill Larson.

Importance of cow nutrition in a spring calving herd

Spring calving is here for many cow-calf producers and that means changes in the nutritional requirements of a cow to maintain body condition and help support the health of her calf.

Once a cow’s calf hits the ground, the demand for high-quality colostrum and for lactation comes into full-swing. And for the cow herd, this involves a substantial increase in the demand for proper nutrition to meet those needs, especially with an increase in demand for energy and crude protein.

CLICK HERE to listen to full podcast

Colostrum production

As most producers know, once the calf is born, getting colostrum into its system is crucial for its immune system. Along with the age of the cow and body condition, nutrition leading up to calving has a huge impact on colostrum quality and quantity.

  • Cows in poor body condition have less nutritious colostrum and produce less total volume of milk
  • Research has indicated that if a cow is deficient in nutrients during gestation, her calf will have a slower time getting up and will take longer to actually consume that needed colostrum

Cow nutritional requirements after calving

The lactation phase is the most nutritionally-stressful time for the cow. During peak lactation — around two months post-calving — the average beef cow produces around 20 pounds of milk each day, and milk contains a high concentration of protein; therefore, the cow’s protein requirements increase.

Supplementation during this time of year, before spring growth in our pastures, is key for cows to consume the proper nutrients they need. CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements can improve forage digestibility and can provide a complete mineral package that’s important for milk production and for reproductive success.

Help improve cow-calf performance with:

Blueprint is a premium nutritional program that incorporates BIOPLEX® organic trace minerals, which are better absorbed, stored and utilized by the animal. Learn more at

ClariFly® Larvicide prevents adult house, stable, face and horn flies from developing in and emerging from the manure of treated cattle. ClariFly interrupts the fly life cycle by interfering with the molting process.

CRYSTALYX offers the following ClariFly products: