As we move into the peak of the growing season, it’s time to evaluate our forage resources, rolling rainfall data and pasture utilization plans. Making those timely adjustments to our grazing management can save considerable economic and ecologic capital over the short and long term. However, in order to make those appropriate decisions, we need to fully understand grazing management metrics and how they relate to one another.
Noble Rancher Articles
Significant emphasis has been placed on the importance of fertility in the female, whether in the cow or a developing heifer. When we address fertility in one female, we are affecting one offspring. When we address fertility in one male, we could be affecting up to approximately 35 offspring, in a single year. Is this oversight on bull fertility because bulls are overlooked until it is time to turn them out for the breeding season? We know that reproductive failures can occur in any cow-calf operation and can be costly. Let’s take the bull out of that negative equation and take a look at the top 6 factors I believe affect bull fertility.
Properly designed and thought-out facilities will be safe for the producer and animal and will allow for cattle to be easily worked in a timely fashion.
High stock density grazing has intentional impacts on the soils, forages and ultimately livestock production.
It is important to properly develop heifers before the breeding season and to continue managing them during and after the calving season.
Proper off-season management of bulls can ensure longevity within the herd and a subsequent successful breeding season.
For most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity.
A replacement heifer represents the most costly improvement in a herd’s genetics. Some of the more important influencers that are critical to retaining these genetics over time include development, conceiving early in the breeding season, calving ease and maintaining good body condition prior to breeding, especially between 2 and 5 years of age when the heifer is still growing. For this article, I want to focus on development and conceiving early in the breeding season.
During and after drought, most producers try to survive the winter by stretching forage and feed resources. This can be accomplished with careful thought and consultation with a nutritionist to ensure that each cow’s nutrient requirements are still being met for the stage of production it is in. If corners are cut to save money now, it can have long lasting repercussions.
Body Condition Score (BCS) is a useful tool for assessing the energy status of an animal. BCS should be assessed at calving, mid-lactation and mid-late gestation.