Management for beef cow/calf producers – some strategies for your cowherd | TheFencePost.com

Management for beef cow/calf producers – some strategies for your cowherd

Richard Snell
Barton County Extension Agent

If you are a beef cow-calf producer, it’s time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd.

Realizing that some of you are fall calvers, this information is focusing on spring calving cows.

* Finish culling cows in order of priority. You may want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher. “Three O Rule” Open. Old. And Ornery. Get rid of physical problems such as structure, feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Finally, cull out poor producers.

* Continue feeding/grazing programs started in October and November.

* Supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving.

* Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein

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* Use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.

* Control lice.

* Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather.

* Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements.

* Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly.

* Forage test to divide forage supplies into quality lots to determine supplementation needs.

* Feed lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation).

* Feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy.

* Higher quality feedstuffs should be utilized for replacement females and younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.

Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter.

* Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs).

* Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures.

If you are a beef cow-calf producer, it’s time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd.

Realizing that some of you are fall calvers, this information is focusing on spring calving cows.

* Finish culling cows in order of priority. You may want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher. “Three O Rule” Open. Old. And Ornery. Get rid of physical problems such as structure, feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Finally, cull out poor producers.

* Continue feeding/grazing programs started in October and November.

* Supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving.

* Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein

* Use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.

* Control lice.

* Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather.

* Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements.

* Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly.

* Forage test to divide forage supplies into quality lots to determine supplementation needs.

* Feed lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation).

* Feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy.

* Higher quality feedstuffs should be utilized for replacement females and younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.

Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter.

* Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs).

* Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures.

If you are a beef cow-calf producer, it’s time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd.

Realizing that some of you are fall calvers, this information is focusing on spring calving cows.

* Finish culling cows in order of priority. You may want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher. “Three O Rule” Open. Old. And Ornery. Get rid of physical problems such as structure, feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Finally, cull out poor producers.

* Continue feeding/grazing programs started in October and November.

* Supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving.

* Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein

* Use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.

* Control lice.

* Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather.

* Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements.

* Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly.

* Forage test to divide forage supplies into quality lots to determine supplementation needs.

* Feed lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation).

* Feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy.

* Higher quality feedstuffs should be utilized for replacement females and younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.

Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter.

* Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs).

* Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures.

If you are a beef cow-calf producer, it’s time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd.

Realizing that some of you are fall calvers, this information is focusing on spring calving cows.

* Finish culling cows in order of priority. You may want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher. “Three O Rule” Open. Old. And Ornery. Get rid of physical problems such as structure, feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Finally, cull out poor producers.

* Continue feeding/grazing programs started in October and November.

* Supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving.

* Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein

* Use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.

* Control lice.

* Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather.

* Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements.

* Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly.

* Forage test to divide forage supplies into quality lots to determine supplementation needs.

* Feed lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation).

* Feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy.

* Higher quality feedstuffs should be utilized for replacement females and younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.

Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter.

* Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs).

* Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures.