Mineral nutrition plays an important role in every function of cattle – from health, to reproductive performance, to day-to-day activities. However, mineral deficiencies are hard to detect base on physical traits. Supplementation programs can help ensure your cattle are getting the minerals needed to perform their best.
Your calf’s most important meal is its first. Colostrum gives calves antibodies until they can build their own immunity. Manage cows to a BCS of 5 for adequate colostrum and easy calving. Maximum absorption occurs within first four hours of calf’s life.
Control what you can and deal with the rest. Cattlemen can’t stop drought or hurricanes, but they can set their herd up to be successful during “everyday” challenges. “We can manage their feed. We can manage their health protocol. We can’t manage their stress,” said Kelly Sanders, Westway Feed Products. “From my feed standpoint, how do I mitigate that problem the best I can?”
We sometimes associate cause and effect without knowing the real link, or as an academic buzz phrase has it, “correlation does not equal causation.” A quick search provides a humorous example. Did you know ice cream sales and shark attacks are highly correlated? While true in a broad sense, the actual reason for similar seasonal trends is that hot weather brings greater ice cream consumption as well as more swimming along beaches where sharks lurk.
We can debate the single largest factor in reproductive success for the cowherd depending on gender: Is there a fertile and able bull in the herd? Are the cows cycling? A failure in either of these systems results in a miserable day come preg-check time, and anyone who has been the victim of a bull gone bad would swear the male side of this equation is the most important. While a fertile bull is important, he is of little use to a cow that is not cycling.