Having a Successful Calving Season

(Bob) Healthy calf, healthy cow – that’s all you can hope for out of any calving season. But keeping cows in condition to breed back anticipates a successful future. (Lamb) We assess body condition score on a score of one to nine, with one being really thin and nine being a really fat, obese cow, and so, what we want, is we want cows to be at a body condition score of five or six when they calve, because it seems to stimulate the rest of the reproductive system of the cow. (Bob) It also gets her calf off to a quality start. While a cow’s weight can vary 200 to 400 pounds in a year, they need to be gaining as calving time approaches. (Lamb) So, increasing nutrition approaching calving so that they’re in decent condition, increasing condition approaching breeding is extremely important. (B0b) For cows that need a condition adjustment, Lamb says the second trimester, usually right after weaning, is the best and cheapest opportunity. (Lamb) This is the period of time in which the cow has so few nutritional requirements, just basically maintenance of her own body reserves, because the fetus isn’t big enough to really consume a lot of nutrients. (Bob) It’s all smooth sailing from there, just maintaining condition until ramping up for calving. No need to worry that a cow can suddenly gain too much in the last weeks. Lamb hasn’t seen that occur. (Lamb) But what we do see, is we see healthier calves, we see calves that perform better, and we see cows that start to cycle better afterwards. So having cows calving in a body condition score of five or six is great. (Bob) I’m Bob Cervera.

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