In the Field

"My cows can't get through the winter on slough hay alone."

Body condition scoring is an easy and practical method of assessing the nutritional status of a cow.

Brian Babb and sons, run a 400 cow operation in North East Alberta on 10,000 acres. From past experience, Brian knows that cattle with low body condition score are more likely to be open. Cows need to fit their environment. The cheapest way to keep cows over the winter is to allow them to graze stockpiled forage on their own. The cold and snow filled winters of Bonnyville, Alberta test man and beast to meet feeding requirements. Extra feed along with supplementation is the key to winter grazing.

Brian uses CRYSTALYX® Brand Low Moisture Blocks, realizing that crude protein less than 7% needs supplementation. Brian’s cows can’t get through winter on slough hay alone. As the season goes by, swath and bale feeding supplement helps hold body condition when they need more nutrition to grow the calf.

Chelated minerals have been a big part of the Babb’s supplementation program. Animals may receive adequate protein and energy but may still suffer from lack of mineral intake and absorption. Brian always looks for the most cost effective, most palatable, and safest supplements. Brian makes sure his herd’s intake of minerals is adequate. He free choices Mineral-lyx® normally. Brigade® and Crystal-Phos® (Chelated Products) are introduced before calving and into breeding. Brian also feeds Conventional Dry Minerals (CDM) in Total Mixed Rations (TMR’s) when applicable.

Brian found out a long time ago that most fetal growth occurs in the last two months before calving. The management or lack of nutritional supplementation in this time frame, can easily be monitored by body condition scorying. CRYSTALYX® Low Moisture Blocks can be free choice for protein/mineral balances.